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Ruling Party Candidate Wins Costa Rica’s Presidential Election


Carlos Alvarado, presidential candidate of the ruling Citizens' Action Party, during a live televised debate before a second-round presidential election runoff at Supreme Election Tribunal in San Jose, Costa Rica, March 25, 2018.

The ruling party candidate won Costa Rica's presidential election Sunday as many voters rejected a Christian singer who rose to political prominence by campaigning against same-sex marriage.

The Electoral Council announced that with about 91 percent of ballots counted Sunday night, Carlos Alvarado of the ruling Citizen Action Party had 60.6 percent of the votes in the runoff election. His opponent, Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration party, had 39.4 percent. The two men are not related.

Fabricio Alvarado, a gospel singer and journalist, who conceded defeat in a speech to supporters, jumped to prominence from being a political unknown in the election's first round in February, campaigning strongly against a call by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for Costa Rica to allow same-sex marriage.

Supporters of presidential candidate Fabricio Alvarado with the National Restoration party gather before a debate ahead of the presidential election in San Jose, Costa Rica, Feb. 1, 2018.
Supporters of presidential candidate Fabricio Alvarado with the National Restoration party gather before a debate ahead of the presidential election in San Jose, Costa Rica, Feb. 1, 2018.

Carlos Alvarado of the governing Citizens' Action Party, a novelist and a former labor minister spoke in favor of letting gays wed.

Originally, thirteen candidates had been looking to succeed outgoing President Luis Guillermo Solis, who was constitutionally barred from seeking a second consecutive term.

Polls had shown that about two-thirds of Costa Ricans oppose same-sex marriage.

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