Unlikely finalist Fabricio Alvarado is latest example that evangelicals are a growing political force in Catholic Latin America.
A contemporary Christian singer will not be Costa Rica’s next president.
Evangelist, performer, and former CBN Spanish news host Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz decisively lost Sunday’s presidential runoff to former minister, Carlos Alvarado Quesada. who received 61 percent of the vote.
“We’re not sad, because we made history, because our message touched the deepest fibers of society of this country,” said Alvarado Muñoz in his concession remarks.
The evangelical candidate had emerged from obscurity to take a plurality of the vote in the first round of the presidential race.
Just weeks before Costa Ricans went to the polls in February, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in San José, the capital and largest city, had called for equal civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. But the court’s decision proved very unpopular in the Central American country where, according to the Pew Research Center, less than a third of the population favors same-sex marriage.
While all the rest of Costa Rica’s candidates stated their support or willingness to respect the court’s decision, Alvarado Muñoz declared that he would not only not enforce the ruling, but also threatened to withdraw Costa Rica’s status as a signatory of the IACHR. Weeks later, he won 24.8 percent of the popular vote, qualifying him for the Easter Sunday runoff against runner-up Alvarado Quesada.
Over the course of his campaign, Alvarado Muñoz wooed voters with promises to eliminate sex education in schools and to replace the National Women’s Institute with one that centered the family. In the weeks leading up to the race, polls showed the candidates neck and neck.
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