Skip to comments.Costa Rica poised to elect first woman president (ruling party centrist Laura Chinchilla)
Posted on 02/04/2010 12:25:34 PM PST by NormsRevenge
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) A protege of outgoing President Oscar Arias could be elected Costa Rica's first woman head of state on Sunday, though a conservative rival has upped his challenge ahead of the election.
Opinion polls show ruling party centrist Laura Chinchilla, who has promised to expand Costa Rica's free trade pacts beyond the Western Hemisphere, within striking distance of the 40 percent of the vote needed to avoid a second round run-off.
A late surge by libertarian Otto Guevara, who wants to replace the local currency with the U.S. dollar and crack down on rising crime, could force an April run-off
An oasis of stability in politically turbulent and crime-plagued Central America, Costa Rica earned a reputation for environmental friendliness and peacemaking under Arias, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his role in ending regional civil wars. He is now serving his second presidential term.
The country's relatively smooth passage through the global economic crisis under Arias -- slipping into recession in 2009 for the first time in 27 years but faring better than many of its neighbors -- has bolstered Chinchilla.
"The financial crisis would have been worse if Arias wasn't there," said psychotherapist lvaro Aguilar, 57. "Chinchilla will give continuity to the good government we've had."
Costa Rica's economy, driven by coffee, pineapples and tourism, is seen returning to growth above 3 percent in 2010.
Chinchilla promises to continue Arias's economic policies, expanding free-trade pacts and courting foreign investment.
Guevara, a Harvard-educated lawyer and founder of the pro-business Libertarian Movement, wants to get tough on crime with longer jail terms and softer gun laws, and has eaten into Chinchilla's lead with a surge in support since September.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Laura Chinchilla, presidential candidate for the National Liberation Party, speaks during a news conference with international journalists in San Jose February 3, 2010. Costa Rica will hold a presidential election on February 7. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
Hotter than heck down there when I visited.
Chinchilla?.............now the fur will fly!................
What is a Centrist?
I once tried to breed Chinchillas, but they wouldn’t mate.
Finally Major Winchester pointed out that they were both male Chincillas.
I was always on the lookout for the dirty fink that sold them to me, but seeing Laura’s pick, it may have been an honest mistake.
Her opponent couldn’t hold her coat.
THAT'S A WRAP!................
What is a Centrist?
In Central America, good question.
Those wacky South Americans always wanting to cause hyperinflation....
according to the AP, it at least means this:
Chinchilla, the mother of a teenage son, is a social conservative who opposes abortion and gay marriage. She appealed both to Costa Ricans seeking a fresh face and those reluctant to risk the unknown.