This “pact” meant the definitive co-optation by the political class of the Legislative Power, the Judicial Power and the Constitutional Court, a fact that meant a setback in terms of transparency, justice and the fight against organized crime. Costa Rica, in this context, is a relative exception, although instability and political uncertainty have also taken root. Not by chance, the campaign for the 2022 presidential and legislative elections was framed by the issues of corruption, nepotism and the economic crisis and by personal complaints among the candidates. The two candidates who reached the second round were former president José María Figueres for the traditional National Liberation Party ( pln) and Rodrigo Chaves, former Minister of Finance and former World Bank official, through the young Social Democratic Progress Party peps.
The latter was the winner with 52.84% of C Level Contact List votes and will have to govern with a highly fragmented Legislative Assembly and the support of only nine seats out of 57, and without a true party structure. In this sense, Costa Rica is entering a period of “divided government”, with an outsider leader who will have to face an economy with 23% of the population mired in poverty, a public debt that is equivalent to 70% of its GDP and high levels of mistrust of politicians. A distrust that helped Chaves to reach the Presidency, but that may make it difficult for him to remain. In this context, the liberal democratic model, as we know it, is suffering.
The arguments that appeal to the paradigm of efficiency in issues such as the fight against crime, economic growth or crisis management (whether climatic or health) are revaluing authoritarian behaviors. The low credibility of politicians and representative institutions, and the bad press from traditional political actors, such as parties and unions, constitute direct criticism of the democratic model. In Central America, democracies have cost a lot of blood and have been the result of long years (decades, better) of struggle. To date, despite all the errors, failures, frustration and mediocrity, no one has dared to openly deny democracy, although some pollsters have been pointing out that among the citizens of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala the preference by an authoritarian government already exceeds 50% of the population.