Former President Jose Maria Figueres and former World Bank official Rodrigo Chaves compete in the second round sharing orthodox views on economic policy.
On April 3, over 3.5 million Costa Ricans will go to the polls to elect their president between the National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate Jose Maria Figueres and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) candidate Rodrigo Chaves.
In the first electoral round held on February 6, none of them achieved more than 40 percent of the votes needed to become President of Costa Rica until May 2026.
Figueres wants to be president again. The 67-year-old politician Jose Maria Figueres returns to compete for the presidency after a long stay abroad. He held the presidency between 1994 and 1998. He was born into a family linked to a long political legacy, as his father founded the PLN and served as president in the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s.
During the Oscar Arias's administration (1986-1990), Figueres was appointed Trade Minister and Agriculture Minister. After the death of his father, he fully entered electoral politics and became President in 1994 at the age of 39.
His current government plan proposes policies related to education, export promotion, investment attraction, business competitiveness, and promotion of technology and innovation. Figueres seeks to take advantage of existing business opportunities by strengthening relations with Asian countries. He swears he will fight unemployment and poverty, protect the environment, and abolish oil extraction.
Chaves is a former World Bank official. Rodrigo Chaves was part of the government of Carlos Alvarado (2018-2022), with whom he had several frictions. Born in 1961, he studied in the United States and has a PhD in economics. For more than 30 years he worked at the World Bank (WB), which led him to conduct research in Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
Upon finishing his work with that multilateral institution, Chaves returned to Costa Rica, where he assumed the Ministry of Finance for almost six months in 2019.
He contemplates promoting foreign trade through Costa Rica's accession to the Pacific Alliance and eliminating all tariffs on machinery and industrial raw materials such as steel, iron, aluminum, paper, wood, and electronic components. Chaves proposes to reorganize the public budget, increase investments in green energy, and establish a universal minimum pension.