Costa Ricans’ confidence in the administration of President Óscar Arias has reached its lowest level in four years according to a poll released by Unimer Research International. An approval rating index maintained by the firm showed a significant drop in the first month of 2010 to 1,697 from 2,260 in November 2009. A drop in voter satisfaction was recorded in a range of areas from the government’s management of public funds to the president’s own performance.
The results come three weeks from Costa Rica’s February 7 elections during which Arias’ successor will be decided. Polls indicate that Laura Chinchilla, who resigned as vice-president in the Arias administration to run for president, is the leading candidate. However, it is likely she will face a runoff election against presidential hopeful Otto Guevara. It seems unlikely that Ms. Chinchilla will suffer due to her past association to the current administration, as both candidates are using the growing dissatisfaction with President Arias to bolster their own campaigns.