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Costa Rica: Libertarian candidate says party is ‘triumphant’ despite defeat

By Adam Williams
Tico Times

As the day gave way to night, the Libertarian Movement faithful remained optimistic at the campaign gathering in the ballroom of the Hotel San José Palacio in La Uruca. A band played cumbia music; the red-clad followers danced, waved flags and mingled as they awaited the appearance of Guevara or any indication of the election results.

Soon after 8 p.m., the first results were released, indicating that Laura Chinchilla had taken almost 49 percent of the vote. Minutes later Deborah Formal, Guevara’s girlfriend emerged to speak to the crowd. Formal told the crowd that the preliminary numbers were not to be considered an indication of the final results.

“We’ve just received the results from Limón,” she said. “And the Libertarian Party won the majority over the Citizen Action Party and the National Liberation Party. It is not over yet! Thank you Limón! Thank you Limón.”

The crowd resumed dancing but, minutes later, a hush came over the crowd as further results from the Supreme Elections Tribunal were announced on the large screens that hung from the ballroom. When the party faithful learned Guevara had taken [21] percent of the vote, a brief roar arose from the crowd, although it was more an outburst of pride, significantly more muted than a cry of victory.

Minutes later, Guevara emerged to concede defeat.

“The Libertarian Movement is a triumphant party,” said Guevara to his still boisterous crowd of followers. “We are a party that will continue to grow, that will continue to care for the people, that will continue to try to improve security, that will fight for lower taxes and that will fight for a better country!”

At the end of his speech, Guevara congratulated Chinchilla on her victory.

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