Unprecedented evangelical fraction in the parliament of Costa Rica
It is the first time that the Legislative Assembly of the Central American nation has as many as fourteen Christian MPs.
SAN JOSE · 02 MAY 2018 · 17:13 CET
For the first time in the history of the Central American nation, the Legislative Assembly has as many as 14 Christian MPs.
They all belong to the National Restoration Party (PRN) and were elected in the first round of the Presidential election, in February.
The majority of these new parliamentarians are evangelical pastors, preachers and church leaders. This is a new trend in the Costa Rican political world since the PRN (shaped by a clear religious perspective) succeeded in the last electoral campaign and received a hugely unexpected support for its Christian values and principles.
Until now, the party had only achieved to have one single representative in the national Assembly. For the last four years, it was Fabricio Alvarado alone who represented the party. He would become the presidential candidate in 2018, and only lost the Presidential election in the second round (April), after winning the first round (24%). The officialist Carlos Alvarado of the PAC won the second round in April with a secular and progressive agenda.
It is the narrative of the PRN leader, a Christian journalist and singer, that helped the Christian party go from being a marginal party to now become the second largest of the national parliament.
NO MAJORITIES IN THE PARLIAMENT
On May 1, the 57 MPs took office in the Costa Rican parliament, and voted for the parliamentary exeutive desk.
Although the party of the country’s new President came only third in the parliamentary election (with 10 MPs), the PAC won the Assembly’s presidency for the 2018-2022 mandate after it negotiated negotiating the support for its candidate with several smaller parties. In other words, no group has a majority in the parliament, and all legislative initiatives in the coming years will need coalition work.
The PRN is the second group in the parliament. The aim of the 14 Christian MPs is to “balance the action of the President [Carlos Alvarado] and practise a responsible opposition”.
PRN’s MP Ivonne Acuña was voted the as the second secretary of the Assembly desk. Acuña is psychologist and youth pastor of the International Church of the Big Flock.