San Jose, Feb 6 (EFE).- Former president José María Figueres and evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado lead the preliminary election results in Costa Rica on Sunday, but neither of them is expected to secure the more than 40 percent of the votes needed to win outright in the first round.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET) announced that with 22.5 percent of the polling stations counted, Figueres of the National Liberation Party had obtained 28.80 percent of the votes and Alvarado of the New Republic Party 17.2 percent.
However, there is a close fight for second place between Alvarado, economist Rodrigo Chaves of the Social Democratic Progress Party, who has 16.30 percent of the votes, and the former vice-president of the Social Christian Unity Party, Lineth Saborio (14.10 percent).
For a candidate to win in the first round, they need to obtain at least 40 percent of the votes.
The SET will finish disclosing the preliminary results on Monday and the final counting of votes will begin on Tuesday.
Voter absenteeism stands at 43 percent, according to preliminary data.
SET President Eugenia Zamora said that “the Costa Rican electoral cycle has once again been completed” and that people have gone to polls to exercise their right to vote to “fulfill their civic duty.”
“All 6,847 polling stations were open and no one with the right to do so was prevented from voting. The people confirmed their historic calling to live in peace and freedom,” Zamora added.
A record number of 25 candidates contested in Sunday’s elections, in which 3.5 million citizens were called to vote to elect the president and the 57 lawmakers who will make up the Legislative Assembly for the period between 2022 and 2026. EFE