May 24, 2022

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Ex-finance minister wins runoff to be Costa Rica’s president : NPR

Seen by way of a glass window, presidential prospect Rodrigo Chaves reacts following marking his ballot all through a runoff presidential election, at a polling station, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Sunday.

Carlos Gonzalez/AP


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Carlos Gonzalez/AP


Observed by means of a glass window, presidential candidate Rodrigo Chaves reacts soon after marking his ballot all through a runoff presidential election, at a polling station, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Sunday.

Carlos Gonzalez/AP

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — A previous finance minister who amazed lots of by producing it into Costa Rica’s presidential runoff vote has simply received that ballot and is to come to be the Central American country’s new leader next thirty day period, while nonetheless fending off accusations of sexual harassment when he worked at the Globe Lender.

With just about all polling stations reporting late Sunday, conservative economist Rodrigo Chaves had 53% of the vote, in comparison to 47% for former President José Figueres Ferrer, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal mentioned.

Additional than 42% of eligible voters did not participate in Sunday’s election, nonetheless, reflecting the lack of enthusiasm Costa Ricans experienced for the candidates.

In his victory speech, Chaves said he obtained the outcome with humility and called for unity to address complications like unemployment and a soaring price range deficit.

“For me this is not a medal nor a trophy, but relatively an massive accountability, heaped with problems and issues that we will all take care of,” he claimed.

“Costa Rica, the finest is to appear!” Chaves stated in advance of celebrating supporters. His inauguration is scheduled for May perhaps 8.

Figueres conceded defeat fewer than an hour following outcomes began to come in. He had led the very first spherical of voting Feb. 6, with Chaves in 2nd that day. Neither experienced appear close to the 40% of the vote wanted to steer clear of a runoff.

“Costa Rica has voted and the people have spoken,” Figueres claimed. “As the democrats we are we will usually be respectful of that selection.”

He congratulated Chaves and wished him the most effective, including that proceeds to believe that that Costa Rica is in a “deep disaster” and he is willing to assistance it recover.

Figueres, who was Costa Rica’s president from 1994 to 1998, represents the Nationwide Liberation Get together like his father, 3-time president José Figueres Ferrer. Chaves served briefly in the administration of outgoing President Carlos Alvarado and signifies the Social Democratic Progress Occasion.

Both gentlemen waged a bruising campaign that highlighted previous controversies.

Chaves’ campaign is beneath investigation by electoral authorities for allegedly operating an illegal parallel financing framework. He also has been dogged by a sexual harassment scandal that drove him out of the Entire world Financial institution.

When doing the job at the Earth Lender he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple gals, was at some point demoted and then resigned. He has denied the accusations.

The World Bank’s administrative Tribunal final calendar year criticized the way the scenario was to begin with taken care of internally.

The tribunal observed that an inside investigation had found that from 2008 to 2013 Chaves leered at, made unwelcome opinions about bodily physical appearance, repeated sexual innuendo and unwelcome sexual advances towards numerous financial institution staff. These details had been recurring by the bank’s human resources section in a letter to Chaves, but it made the decision to sanction him for misconduct somewhat than sexual harassment.

“The points of the present scenario indicate that (Chaves’) perform was sexual in mother nature and that he knew or need to have regarded that his conduct was unwelcome,” the tribunal wrote. The tribunal also mentioned that in the proceedings, the banking institutions latest vice president for human assets mentioned in testimony “that the undisputed details lawfully amount to sexual harassment.”

Much more than 3.5 million Costa Ricans had been eligible to vote, but with lots of voters underwhelmed by the solutions, turnout was even reduce than the 60% in February.

Strains formed right before voting began at some polling spots in San Jose, the cash, although other folks appeared approximately empty.

Political analyst Francisco Barahona explained Costa Ricans’ absence of enthusiasm was the result of the multitude of personal assaults that characterised the marketing campaign.

“In the debates they only heated points up in personalized confrontations, mistreatment of each other,” he stated. “They failed to incorporate depth to their proposals to take care of the country’s complications. The debates failed to support to inspire the citizens.”

“For a large amount of people it’s embarrassing to say they voted for 1 or the other, and several desire to say they will not likely vote for either of the candidates or just will not likely go to vote,” Barahona extra.

Figueres has been questioned about a $900,000 consulting fee he acquired right after his presidency from the telecommunication firm Alcatel whilst it competed for a agreement with the national energy company. He was never billed with any crime and denied any wrongdoing.

Even though Costa Rica has loved relative democratic balance compared with other nations in the region, the community has developed discouraged with public corruption scandals and significant unemployment.

In the February vote, Alvarado’s occasion was almost erased from the political landscape, receiving no seats in the new congress. At the time of that first vote, the country was driving a new wave of COVID-19 bacterial infections, but infections and hospitalizations have fallen significantly considering the fact that.