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Costa Rica: election campaign shock

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things have changed significantly since last September, when Johnny Araya, presidential candidate of the National Liberation Party had a seemingly insurmountable lead (see Centralamericalink of September 30, 2013). 

Now, just two months before the election, the percentage is 37% for Araya, while José María Villalta of the leftist Broad Front, Frente Amplio, is just 5 points behind, having gained 20 points, according to a CID Gallup poll for the Costa Rican newspaper La República, published this week. 

Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement is in third place with 15%.

In September, Araya led voter preferences with 48%.

Based on the survey, if the election were held today, Costa Rica would go to a second round, involving two distinct trends - center and left - something not seen in recent decades. 

The elections go to a run-off between the two leaders, if no candidate receives 40% of the vote in the initial phase.