Conservative candidate wins first-round vote in Costa Rica presidential race

Conservative Evangelical singer Fabricio Alvarado Munoz solidified his transformation from a long-shot candidate to a frontrunner on Feb. 5, capturing 24.8 percent of the vote in the first round of Costa Rica’s 2018 presidential election.

Alvarado Munoz has built his campaign around his opposition to an international court decision requiring the Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage, and will face off against former Labor Minister Carlos Alvarado Quesada in an April 1 runoff vote. Though they share a surname, the two candidates are not related.

Alvarado Munoz’s meteoric rise and issue based–popularity represent a marked departure from Costa Rica’s political traditions, which have long been characterized by a moderate two-party system. Nevertheless, his position on same-sex marriage has struck a nerve among a significant sector of the Costa Rican population, the majority of whom self-identify as conservative, despite the country’s progressive reputation.

I am a fourth-year student in the University Honors College studying political science and Arabic. I started with Vanguard in August 2017 as a reporter for the international section before becoming international editor at the beginning of this year. I have been working with the news team since spring 2018. As news editor, I am responsible for curating, editing and reporting on content relating to the goings-on of PSU and its surrounding area while working with a team of reporters to accurately and responsibly inform the campus community.