SAN JOSE (Reuters) – Costa Rica’s ruling political party said late Monday that it had chosen a former economy minister as its presidential candidate for national elections early next year.
The center-left Citizen Action (PAC) party chose Welmer Ramos, currently a deputy in the legislative assembly, to run for the presidency in Feb. 6 elections.
The 60-year-old Ramos obtained 48% of the 16,500 votes in an open convention on Aug. 22, the results of which were announced on Monday night.
Ramos served as economy minister from 2014 to 2017 and previously held a position at the central bank. He opposed the current administration’s austerity drive to comply with a financial package by the International Monetary Fund but supported the ratification of the IMF deal in July.
The election is expected to have about 20 candidates from various parties, making it one of the most fragmented votes in the Central American country’s history. Current President Carlos Alvarado cannot seek another consecutive term.
Ramos will run against former President Jose Maria Figueres, who was named as the candidate for the National Liberation Party (PLN), and attorney Lineth Saborio, a former vice president who will be the candidate for Christian Social Unity (PUSC).
(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo, writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)