Speed Reads


Costa Rica's ruling party candidate Alvarado wins presidency, beating gay-marriage critic Alvarado

Carlos Alvarado, a novelist and former labor minister, won Sunday's presidential runoff election in Costa Rica, easily beating evangelical Christian pastor and singer Fabricio Alvarado to keep the ruling center-left Citizen Action Party in power for another term. The two Alvarados are not related. With 95 percent of the ballots counted, Costa Rica's Supreme Electoral Council said Sunday night, Carlos Alvarado has 61 percent of the vote while Fabricio Alvarado has 39 percent. Polls had shown the two men running neck and neck.

Fabricio Alvarado, representing the National Restoration Party, took first place in the first round of voting in February, running on a platform of opposing same-sex marriage. The San Jose-based regional Inter-American Court of Human Rights said in January that Costa Rica should allow same-sex marriage. Carlos Alvarado, 38, who backed the call for same-sex marriage, will be Costa Rica's youngest president. "Costa Rica is an amazing country and we want to not only preserve its great democracy, its peaceful nature, its respect for the environment and human rights, but we also want to move Costa Rica forward," Carlos Alvarado said after casting his ballot on Sunday.