Costa Rica elects first woman president
Costa Rica elected Laura Chinchilla to be the country’s first woman president Sunday in a festive election day that proved to be a major victory for the incumbent party of President Oscar Arias, of the centrist National Liberation Party (PLN).
Chinchilla, 50, who had stepped down as Arias’ vice president last year to campaign for president, garnered nearly 47 percent of the vote, with 70 percent of the votes counted by 11 p.m. The result confounded most analysts’ expectations and surpassed Chinchilla’s ranking in the polls, which sank to 41.9 percent in a Unimer survey published last week in the daily La Nación.
Ottón Solís, candidate of the center-left Citizen Action Party (PAC), earned just below 25 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m., while the right-wing Libertarian Movement’s (ML) Otto Guevara garnered 21 percent.
After campaigning under the slogan “Laura: Firme y Honesta,” Chinchilla won all seven provinces, which is the first time in a quarter century this has happened.
“Wives and working women continue overcoming barriers to make a greater Costa Rica,” Chinchilla said in her acceptance speech, as the poll results continued to come out. “All the women and also the men who have accompanied us have made it possible that a daughter of this country can today be president.”
Chinchilla’s highest priority will be to guarantee the security and safety of Costa Ricans, she said, as well as to meet all of her campaign promises. She called on the PAC and the ML to join with her to solve the nation’s problems.
The PLN, characterized by a blend of pro-business and social democratic policies, will also dominate the Legislative Assembly with as many as 24 – by Sunday night’s unfinished vote count – of the legislature’s 57 seats. The PAC won 10 seats and Libertarians won 10. The Social Christian Unity Party (Unidad) took six seats and, beyond all expectations, the Accessibility Without Exclusion Party earned four.
“I consider this a great moment for our country, it can bring us continuity,” Damaris Leiva, a 51-year-old teacher, said Sunday at Chinchilla’s celebration party.
Another Chinchilla follower, Roger Quesada, 41, an event planner who worked on the campaign, said, “I am very excited that we’ll be able to return to the presidency. I’m proud to be Costa Rican.”
Word of the Day
Main Entry: con·found
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French confundre, from Latin confundere to pour together, confuse, from com- + fundere to pour — more at found
Date: 14th century
1 a archaic : to bring to ruin : destroy
b : baffle, frustrate <conferences…are not for accomplishment but to confound knavish tricks — J. K. Galbraith>
2 obsolete : consume, waste
3 a : to put to shame : discomfit <a performance that confounded the critics>
b : refute <sought to confound his arguments>
4 : damn
5 : to throw (a person) into confusion or perplexity
6 a : to fail to discern differences between : mix up
b : to increase the confusion of
synonyms see puzzle
— con·found·er noun
— con·found·ing·ly adverb
Blend: n. a mixture produced by combining various sorts, types or grades of something
Garner: v. to get, acquire or earn
Incumbent: adj. holding an indicated position, role, office, etc. currently
Overcome: v. to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount
Surpass: v. to go beyond in amount, extent, or degree, be greater than, exceed
Love those Phrasal Verbs!
Come out: to become known; be revealed
The truth behind the company’s layoffs came out in the board meeting on Friday.
Step down: to relinquish one’s authority or control; resign
Although the CEO is almost eighty years old, he refuses to step down and let his son take over the business.