Polls close in polarizing Costa Rica presidential election

San José (AFP) – Polling stations across Costa Rica closed late Sunday after a run-off election that split much of the country between the two candidates: an ultra-conservative evangelical preacher and an ex-minister from the center-left ruling party.

The result will decide who rules the small Central American nation of five million people for the next four years. 

Pre-vote surveys suggested a neck-and-neck race between Fabricio Alvarado, a right-wing 43-year-old preacher, journalist and singer, and Carlos Alvarado (no relation), a 38-year-old former journalist who was a labor minister in the outgoing government.

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