Ex-Finance Minister Rodrigo Chaves Set to Win Costa Rica Presidency

Preliminary results showed economist Rodrigo Chaves had won Costa Rica’s runoff presidential election on Sunday.

Chaves, a former World Bank official, was projected to win about 52.9 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary tally. Opponent and former Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres, seen securing 47.1 percent, immediately conceded after results were announced.

Final results are yet to be announced this week after the votes are manually certified.

Chaves had showed an edge over Figueres in polls ahead of the vote. The former finance minister was seen as a maverick, vowing to shake up Costa Rica’s political system and address citizens’ frustrations with recent public corruption scandals.

“If the people go out to vote, this is going to be a sweep, a tsunami,” Chaves said on Sunday after casting his vote.

Both candidates had managed to reach the final stage of the presidential polls despite previous scandals that surrounded their campaigns.

Figueres has been investigated for allegedly accepting $900,000 from French firm Alcatel when he was president of the country from 1994 to 1998. Chaves has been investigated for sexual harassment during his tenure in the World Bank and was demoted from his position.

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