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Weekly Report - 08 February 2018 (WR-18-05)

COSTA RICA: Costa Rica’s first round reveals new political landscape

“The worst electoral result in its history”. This was one of the responses by the leading daily La Nación to the performance in the 4 February general election of Costa Rica’s oldest and largest party, Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN). The presidential first round confirmed a run-off between evangelical pastor Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, (whose shock surge in recent weeks was attributed to an Inter-American Court of Human Rights [Corte-IDH] ruling on gay marriage [WR-18-04]) and Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), whose performance served as the latest surprise in an already unpredictable race. The election has consolidated the demise of the traditional biparty system, previously dominated by the centrist PLN and centre-right Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), which had already been shaken up in 2014 when the PAC came to power through President Luis Guillermo Solís.

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