Opposition candidate Luis Solis easily won Sunday’s presidential runoff in Costa Rica, an expected result given that his only rival had stopped campaigning a month earlier because he was so far behind in the polls. What gave Solis, a center-leftist, cause to celebrate was a solid voter turnout in an election considered a foregone conclusion. Experts had warned that a low turnout would undermine the legitimacy of his government. In the run-up to the vote, he had appealed to Costa Ricans to cast ballots and set a goal of getting more than 1 million votes. Late Sunday, Costa Rica’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced that with 93 percent of voting stations reporting Solis had 1,258,715 votes, or 77.9 percent support, easily beating ruling party candidate Johnny Araya at 22.1 percent. Araya remained on the ballot even though he suspended his campaign because the country’s constitution does not allow for a candidate to drop out.
Luis Guillermo Solis, presidential candidate for the Citizen’s Action Party, waves to supporters after casting his vote in the presidential runoff election in San Jose, Costa Rica, Sunday, April 6, 2014. Solis’ only rival in the runoff dropped out of the race last month, leaving Solis one remaining challenge: getting enough Costa Ricans to the polls to give him a respectable vote total. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
While the 43.2 percent abstention rate was slightly above the 39.8 percent rate seen the last time a Costa Rican presidential election went to a second round in 2002, authorities said Solis received the highest absolute number of votes for a presidential candidate in the country’s history.
“I receive these results with serenity, with maturity, and I will start by recognizing them with humility and respect, and by congratulating President-elect Luis Guillermo Solis,” said the 57-year-old Araya, conceding the election.
Full Article: Unchallenged candidate wins Costa Rica vote | Mail Online.