Solis, unchallenged, wins Costa Rican presidency

ARCHIVE -  AFP PHOTO / Rodrigo ARANGUA

ARCHIVE – AFP PHOTO / Rodrigo ARANGUA

April 7th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Former diplomat and academic Luis Guillermo Solis has easily won Costa Rica’s presidential runoff election.

Sunday’s win was no surprise. His opponent, Johnny Araya of the ruling National Liberation Party, or PLN, dropped out of the race on March 5th after Solis’ popularity skyrocketed following the first-round vote.

Araya’s name remained on the ballot because the constitution prevented him from withdrawing. He earned about 20 percent of Sunday’s votes, despite withdrawing.

Solis was a member of PLN, but became disillusioned and quit it in 2005.

Political power in Costa Rica has traditionally been traded between the PLN and the Social Christian Unity Party.

Solis, a member of the moderate Citizen Action Party, is the first third-party candidate to win the Costa Rican presidency in decades.

Solis has never held political office and was largely unknown until the race, though he has worked in several PLN administrations and once served as ambassador to Panama.

In early January, polls showed that Solis had only five-percent support among voters. His party, formed to fight corruption and support of better income distribution, is just 13 years old.

Solis will assume office on May 8th.

While some international media has referred to Solis and his party as ‘leftist,’ the party and Solis are better described as centrist.

VOA and AFP contributed to this report.

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    • Karen Mata

      Aren’t all Jamaicans centrists?

      Time to cut and run boys and girls.

      • Carlo Latini

        Well, as the old saying goes, don’t let the door hit you in the………well you get it.

        • Karen Mata

          Carlo, you’re Italian….way to easy.
          Shouldn’t respond, but will.

          Who do you think has been propping up CR over the past 50 plus years (paying off their bonds when they’re ready to default, covering their back militarily, and trying our best to nurture their vision of democracy) so pathetic guineas like you can pop off??

          Have you figured out what side you’re on following WWII?? I know whoever is winning… As eytyes, you’re masters of cutting and running, while soiling yourselves, so tell us about it.

          I’m a service academy grad from the US. We still kick ass and take names while your likes squat to piss. We know first hand how your military cried like girls while losing the war, and couldn’t surrender fast enough.

          The question is do you get it dago???

          ps thanks for responding

          • Carlo Latini

            Actually you nitwit, I’m not Italian, I am using my Foreign Legion “Anonymat” as a screen name. Service academy graduate? Sort of like that freak of nature from Annapolis “Horrible Holly Graf” or the adulteress Paula Broadwell that took Gen, Petraeus down. You’re just another bimbo who because of your gender was admitted to a service academy at the expense of the American taxpayer. Bimbos or freaks of nature like you shouldn’t even be allowed to serve, you’re nothing but problems, Google “Paula Coughlin tailhook scandal.” As for Americans winning wars, don’t make me laugh, they haven’t won a war since WW2. Oh! I forget, they did kick the asses of those 200 Cuban construction workers in Grenada.JaJaJa. Americans will never fight anyone who can fight back, they’ve sacrificed courage for technology, not to mention Morals,ethics, etc. CIA torture anyone? Any country that would allow it’s only friend in the Middle East to murder 34 of it’s Sailors in the USS Liberty is morally bankrupt. No need to reply bimbo.

    • expatin paradise

      Let’s hope that Solis makes good on his promises. Corruption of many types – direct bribes, kick-backs, direct complicity by government officials in criminal activity, falsification of work hours by government officials who spend work hours attending to personal affairs, under-reporting income or the value of assets, and various other forms – is rampant in Costa Rican government. Income inequity has been part of the societal structure since the first families came here, an extension of Spanish feudalism with a few masters and many peons living at subsistence levels.

      There are many infrastructure needs, and the country cannot keep borrowing, so the money will have to come from those who can afford to pay. Consumer taxes (sales tax, value-added tax, tax on gasoline) hit the poor too hard, so other taxes must be collected. The first step is enforcement of existing taxes, making sure that real income is fully reported and that assets subject to taxation are properly valued. To accomplish this will probably require more tax auditors and tax assessors who place value on real estate rather than relying on owners to assess the value of their property.

      The new president has his work cut out for him. Let’s hope that he is up to it.