Costa Rica Set for Lopsided Victory


The likely election of the professor, Luis Guillermo Sol__s, signals a turn in Costa Rican politics away from t...


The likely election of the professor, Luis Guillermo Sol__s, signals a turn in Costa Rican politics away from the dominant National Liberation Party, or PLN, which has seen its support wither under a series of corruption scandals. After a first-round vote in February gave Mr. Sol__s, 55, a surprise victory, his PLN opponent, Johnny Araya, continued to lose ground in opinion polls.

Although Mr. Araya, a former mayor of San Jos__, the capital, announced last month that he would stop campaigning, his name remained on the ballot and the election went ahead as scheduled for Costa Rica_s 3.1 million voters.

Mr. Sol__s, of the center-left Citizen Action Party, is a former diplomat who left the PLN in 2005. Despite the one-sided race, he has said that he hoped to win one million votes, and a strong mandate.

Costa Rica, long a star in Latin America for its stable democracy and social safety net, has lost some of its shine in recent years amid rising crime and growing inequality.

One of the new president_s most important challenges will be to _recover people_s confidence in the Costa Rican state,_ Luis Mesalles, an analyst, wrote in La Naci__n on Saturday.

New Yorkt Times | By ELISABETH MALKIN

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