Economist Rodrigo Chaves has won the Costa Rican presidency, vowing to do everything he can to deal with the country’s rising unemployment and budget deficit.
The 60-year-old former finance minister, who worked for the World Bank for more than 25 years, achieved a comfortable victory over former President Jose Maria Figueres.
The election results confirm that Costa Ricans are disgusted with political corruption and that they are unwilling to encourage traditional party politics. Figueres belongs to a political family and his father also ruled the country as president.
Moreover, Figueres was accused of seeking bribes from a telecom company. Many Costa Ricans were angry with the government because they thought it did not carry out a sincere investigation into the allegation.
Chaves faces the daunting task of creating jobs in a country of 5 million people. The Costa Rican economy, heavily dependent on tourism, suffered a devastating blow in 2020 when the travel restrictions kept foreigners away from its tourism hotspots.
He is reportedly seeking more funds from the International Monitory Fund (IMF) to stimulate the economy, which is struggling to recover with unemployment hovering at 14%.