Libertarian Otto Guevara in Costa Rica polling second for President

Email from Marc Montoni to

Readers with any curiosity about libertarianism on the international scene may be interested in the current elections in Costa Rica. Otto Guevara is the founder of the Partido Movimiento Libertario (Libertarian Movement Party). He served in the Costa Rican legislature from 1998-2006. Guevara is currently the president of the Libertarian Movement Party and is the party’s candidate for president of Costa Rica.

NOTE: Guevara has stated that his party’s goals are no longer explicitly “libertarian” but “liberal”…

The Associated Press
Sunday, February 7, 2010; 9:50 AM
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Costa Ricans appear likely to elect their first woman president Sunday as Central America’s most politically and economically stable country chooses between a career politician from the ruling party and an anti-taxation Libertarian.

Pre-election polls gave a nearly 20-point lead to Laura Chinchilla, who served as vice president under current President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and free-market enthusiast.

“All of this has been worth it. We are going to win, and in the first round,” said Chincilla, who rose early Sunday to attend a traditional election-day Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Sunday’s winner needs at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid an April run-off.

A scattering of voters turned out to cast early-morning ballots in a contest that was expected to produce few surprises, but could produce Latin America’s fifth woman president.

Otto Guevara, of the Libertarian Movement Party, emerged as Chinchilla’s biggest challenger. He promised to lower taxes, dismantle monopolies and adopt the U.S. dollar as the country’s currency.

Otton Solis, who barely lost the presidential election to Arias in 2006, came in third in the opinion polls. Solis voted early Sunday in his southern native town of Perez Zeledon.

12 thoughts on “Libertarian Otto Guevara in Costa Rica polling second for President

  1. Danny S

    Even though the party isn’t explicitly libertarian, it does have a strong libertarian current. I think it was like the US LP, a fight with more radical libertarians. Only it actually fractured the party itself in Costa Rica to produce a significant split.

    I like the Costa Rican party though.

  2. Ben

    Although it sounds like he’s running more as a moderate, this guy is a real hardcore libertarian. I’d be interested to know what he’s said about social issues during the campaign. He used to talk about reducing crime by ending the war on drugs.

    The favorite in this election is a mainstream conservative.

  3. Ralph

    No. They’re a Liberal-Libertarian alliance that’s positioning itself as the center. They adopted the LIO goals (so did the USLP, but only a few are using them). Party leaders have created some pretty strict Libertarian think tanks and projects, including a group working on a proposal for a Libertarian province.

    I don’t think Otto will win but the campaign will continue to do wonders at the local level and position a later set of wins. They’re also focused on developing similar groups, first in Central America.

  4. Ralph

    Oops…this just in.

    Otto Guevara Accepts Defeat

    Otto Guevara, leader of the Movimiento Libertario party, entered the main ballroom of the San José Palacio to accept defeat in 2010, congratulate Laura Chinchilla, reminding supporters that even though they lost today, the party went from an 8% approval in 2006 to over 20% today and will continue to grow, promising a win in 2014.

    Otto vowed to continue the fight for a change for Costa Rica from his legislative seat.

    He thanked all his supporters and all the voters who put their trust in the Movimiento Libertario and that they will not be let down.

    With the Guevara acceptance of defeat, Laura Chinchilla without a question becomes Costa Rica’s next president.

  5. Starchild

    Congratulations to Otto Guevara and the Costa Rica Libertarians on such a strong showing!

    I am not familiar with their current policy positions, but I hope they do not get a case of “political fever” and move further away from standing up strongly for libertarian reforms.

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