Social policies at the heart of Costa Rican elections

Social policies at the heart of Costa Rican elections

The first round of Costa Rica’s presidential elections will be held today, with same-sex marriage looking to be the decisive

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Photo: AP

The first round of Costa Rica’s presidential elections will be held today, with same-sex marriage looking to be the decisive issue.

Recently, public opinions have shifted to favour more conservative candidates, like Congressman Fabricio Alvarado Rocafor. Debate has focused on the incumbent government’s push to recognise same-sex unions. This follows an opinion requested from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has urged Costa Rica to legalise same-sex marriage due to its international human rights obligations.

Fabricio Alvarado, the conservative frontrunner, has pledged to withdraw the country from the court’s jurisdiction in order to protect what many view as Costa Rica’s traditional values. Some, like the former left-leaning justice minister, Carlos Alvarado, support the court’s ruling.

With almost 30% of the population still polling as undecided, there is the possibility of significant political change in the short-term. Expect Fabricio Alvarado to take first, while Carlos Alvarado and Libertarian Antonio Desanti battle to advance to the runoff.

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