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Solis Set for Costa Rica Poll Win After Rival Withdraws

Image: Solis Set for Costa Rica Poll Win After Rival Withdraws
Luis Guillermo Solis

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 06:43 PM

Centrist candidate Luis Guillermo Solis appeared set for victory in Costa Rica's presidential elections after rival Johnny Araya unexpectedly withdrew from an April 6 runoff Wednesday.

In a surprise announcement, Araya, of the ruling right-wing National Liberation Party, said he was pulling out after indications Solis was poised to win by a landslide.

A recent poll had Araya with 20.9 percent of the vote, against 64.4 percent backing Solis.

"It is with great certainty that I close my campaign for the presidency of the republic," Araya, 56, told a press conference, his wife standing by his side.

"The campaign for the second round looks very difficult and full of obstacles.

"It is only prudent not to spend millions on publicity, meetings and other events. We will respect the constitutional provisions, but I will refrain from any electoral activity," he said.

The decision created confusion in Costa Rica, where the constitution stipulates that official candidates may not formally withdraw from presidential election ballots.

Thus, the runoff will still go ahead, but with only Solis in the field, effectively making the ballot a ratification of his bid for the presidency.

Solis scored a surprise win in the first round of voting, advancing to the run-off with Araya, while leftist candidate Jose Maria Villalta was eliminated.

If Solis's victory is confirmed next month, it will complete a remarkable political triumph. A historian by training, polls in January gave him only a five percent share of the vote.

His party, formed to fight corruption and support better income distribution, is only 13 years old.

© AFP 2017

 
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Centrist candidate Luis Guillermo Solis appeared set for victory in Costa Rica's presidential elections after rival Johnny Araya unexpectedly withdrew from an April 6 runoff Wednesday.
CostaRica,vote
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2014-43-05
Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 06:43 PM
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