Voters in Costa Rica sent former San Jose Mayor Johnny Araya and opposition leader Luis Guillermo Solis to an April 6 runoff after neither candidate received enough votes to win the presidency outright.
With 69 percent of votes in yesterday’s election counted, Solis of the Citizen’s Action Party had 30.6 percent to 29.8 percent for Araya of the ruling National Liberation Party, or PLN. Jose Maria Villalta of the Broad Front Party, who had 17 percent, conceded his loss last night. Pre-election polls showed Araya and Villalta as the top contenders, with as many as one-third of voters undecided.
Corruption scandals, historically high unemployment and a debate over a fiscal package to rein-in a widening budget deficit in the $45 billion economy undermined the government of President Laura Chinchilla, who wasn’t eligible for re-election and didn’t campaign publicly with Araya.
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