Low turnout provides win for established parties

When there is low voter turnout, the political party with the best organization usually wins.

That is what happened Sunday where in some cantons the turnout was as low as 13 percent. The faithful of the Partido Liberación Nacional turned out and that party took the bulk of the 80 mayoral races, according to preliminary figures by the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones.

There were few surprises. In San José Johnny Araya Monge won a third term. He has served 20 years and will continue to serve until 2016. He won despite disclosures earlier in the year that he had not been living in the central canton of San José.

Araya’s challengers, Gloria Valerín of Accion Ciudadana and Óscar López of Partido Accesibilidad Sin Exclusión battled for a distant second place with about 15 percent of the vote each. Araya appears to have accumulated about 60 percent of the vote.

Unidad Social Cristiana, another long-running political party, garnered nine mayoral races.

Local parties won the mayor’s race in Curridabat and Escazú. In San Pedro the candidate of Renovación Costarricense won.

There were two unusual developments during the day. In Matina men in a vehicle fired shots in the direction of a voting location. Officials blamed drunkenness instead of an effort to disrupt the vote.

In Pococí the Tribunal de Elecciones delayed the vote for one week because some persons who were to handle voting failed to show up.

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