Rodrigo Chavez takes over the presidency of Costa Rica on a mission to clean up the economy

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San Jose (AFP) – Economist Rodrigo Chavez will become, on Sunday, the 49th president of Costa Rica for the period from 2022 to 2026, and his primary task will be to clean up the economy of one of the countries with the most stable democracies in Latin America.

The ceremony will take place in San Jose at 10:00 local time (16:00 GMT) inside Congress, unlike in previous years, when it was held at the National Stadium. The King of Spain, Philip VI, confirmed his presence among 97 international delegations.

The right-wing Chavez, 60, who has worked for the World Bank for three decades, came to power to try to solve the economic crisis in the country, where 23% of the population lives in poverty (6.30% in extreme poverty) and 13,6% unemployment, according to the institute. National Statistics and Census (INEC).

With an economy driven mostly by tourism, Costa Rica has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

said Adrián Aguiluz, 35, a communications specialist and a resident of the capital.

Chavez recently indicated that he hopes to “improve” the terms of a $1,700 million loan with the International Monetary Fund, which is vital, according to the outgoing Carlos Alvarado government, to keep the country’s finances intact.

“This, it seems, will be an administration focused on the economic part, the strong point of the president-elect. It is also a concern at the national level in all sectors. It seems that we will see a proposal for the restructuring and regulation of public finances,” said political analyst Gina Sebaga.

Apologies for the sexual harassment

According to experts, residents preferred Chavez’s experience in economics, despite the fact that he punishes sexual harassment within the World Bank against two subordinates. After his election, the new president offered his “apology” for these events.

In addition, it has already advanced in its opposition to environmental policies, in a country that has a recognized global leadership on the issue and has abandoned the exploitation of gas and oil.

Chavez said he would not ratify the Escazu Agreement, an important regional agreement to protect environmental advocates.

The new president is a surprising figure in politics, as the only time he held government positions for 180 days as finance minister, in the outgoing administration, was between 2019 and 2020. He left office due to disagreements with Alvarado.

A few months later he emerged as a presidential candidate with a proposal based on the economic recovery of this country of 5.2 million people.

Diplomacy

Costa Rica is currently ignoring Daniel Ortega’s government in Nicaragua, deeming his election to a fourth consecutive term as lacking “democratic conditions” and withdrew its ambassador from Managua.

A few days after taking office, Chávez was in favor of reinstating his ambassador to Managua, although he later retracted it.

Juan Guaido also called for the inauguration of Chávez, who has been recognized by fifty countries, including the United States, as President of Venezuela in place of Nicolás Maduro. Guaido has not confirmed his presence.

However, Chavez’s future advisor, Andre Tinoco, told local media that recognition of Maduro is subject to evaluation. Analysts believe that the new government may take surprising directions.

“We will see if there is a change in the narrative regarding the cost of living and corruption as the country’s main problems, according to her campaign issues, because she can intensify her rhetoric and reduce it to search for new narratives,” Associate Analyst Eugenia Aguirre said. .

Also confirmed at the inauguration ceremony were the President of Kosovo, Fouza Othmani, and her counterparts from Colombia and Morocco, Ivan Duque and Aziz Akhannouch, respectively.

So do the leaders of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abenader and Laurentino Cortizo of Panama. Both countries, along with Costa Rica, form the Alliance for Development in Democracy (ADD).

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