Twenty-five politicians registered as presidential candidates. However, none of them is likely to obtain 40 percent of the votes needed to win in the first round, as a recent survey from the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) of the University of Costa Rica revealed.
The poll showed that Former President and National Liberation Party (NLP) militant Jose Figueres leads the voting intention with 15-percent support. Former vice president and Christian Social Unity Party (CSUP) candidate Lineth Saborio goes second with 13.7 percent of the ballots, and evangelical preacher and journalist Fabricio Alvarado is likely to obtain 10.6 percent of the votes.
Jose Villalta, the candidate of the Leftist Broad Front (BF), is likely to win 7.6 percent of the ballots, and the economist and Democratic Social Progress Party (DSP) militant Rodrigo Chaves will have about 6.2 percent of support. Twelve other candidates have preference levels that are not significantly different from cero.
Historian Rafael Cuevas Molina considered that the proliferation of candidates stems from the perception that any citizen can end up acceding to the presidency and the emergence of new parties due to the rejection of traditional policies.
The number of presidential candidates posed a challenge for the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET), which organized four presidential debates. Faced with the impossibility of carrying out mass events, the candidates have opted for small activities in communities and promoting themselves on billboards on roads, television, and social media ads.
The political campaigns have focused on economic issues and comprised proposals such as taxing free zones and reducing the value-added tax (VAT). They also stressed the importance of investing in the health system, whose almost universal coverage is a source of pride for Costa Ricans.