New President in Costa Rica
Luis Guillermo Solis of the centre-left Citizen Action Party (PAC) has won the presidential election in Costa Rica.
With almost all the votes counted, Mr Solis had 78%.
He had been expected to win after his rival – governing party candidate Johnny Araya – had stopped campaigning after opinion polls suggested Mr Solis had an unassailable lead.
Mr Araya, whose name remained on the ballot even after he pulled out, got 22%.
Two items of interest to those who pay attention to parties and elections:
Mr Solis’s win breaks with the traditional two-party system which has dominated in Costa Rica for decades.
Forty-three percent of the electorate abstained, the highest rate in the past 60 years.
On the second point, the lack of competitive election explains the depressed turnout. Although from a US POV it is striking that we would be quite pleased by such numbers in a competitive contest.