Costa Rica president-elect Carlos Alvarado calls for unity
Carlos Alvarado, who has won Sunday’s presidential election in Costa Rica, has called for unity after a divisive election campaign.
The centre-left candidate won by a surprisingly wide margin over his evangelical rival, Fabricio Alvarado (no relation).
With more than 95% of votes counted, Carlos Alvarado had a 21.5 percentage point lead.
He called on other parties to join him in a government of national unity.
‘Take the country forward’
Polls conducted ahead of the second round of voting on Sunday had put the two candidates neck and neck, and Carlos Alvarado’s unassailable lead early on Sunday was unexpected.
Supporters of Carlos Alvarado celebrated his victory
In his victory speech, given on Sunday night in front of hundreds of supporters in the city of San Pedro, the ex-government minister said that Costa Ricans could now “go to sleep reassured because there is a result, a decision and now we’ll unite to take this country forward”.
He also said that he had already received a “brotherly call” from his rival, Fabricio Alvarado, congratulating him.
The battle between Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelical pastor who had won the first round of the election on the back of his opposition to same-sex marriage, and Carlos Alvarado, who backs its legalisation, had been fierce.
The two Alvarados also disagreed on most other topics, with 38-year-old Carlos running on a progressive platform and 43-year-old Fabricio promising to defend “traditional values”.