Election campaign season kicked off with formal ceremony

The nation’s Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones formally opened the political season Wednesday with a ceremony.

The electoral process is controlled closely in Costa Rica. For example, firms that do voter preference surveys must register with the tribunal.

Wednesday the banner of the Fuerza Pública came into the hands of Luis Antonio Sobrado González, the president of the election tribunal.

That symbolic act meant that the 14,000 members of the police force will be under the control of the tribunal with regard to election activities and are committed to defend the purity of the vote.

Sobrado urged citizens to vote, although the campaign is generating little enthusiasm now. He warned against casting a blank vote or not showing up at the poll at all.

The election tribunal wants citizens to vote with their heads, so they have expressed unhappiness in the past with the hard-hitting television commercials that win elections.  Sobrado said he thought that the electorate had matured.

He urged citizens to ask questions about policies and proposals of the various candidates.

Part of the reason that the public has not become excited by the Feb. 2 elections is because Johnny Araya Monge, the former San José mayor, has a commanding lead.

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