Laura Makes History, Becomes
Costa Rica's First Female President
Laura Chinchilla was on Sunday elected as
the first female president in Costa Rica's
history, winning the popular vote with a
46.8% support with 94.2% of the ballots
Chinchilla's win was apparente within a few
hours of the closing of the voting, as
rivals Ottón Solís and Otto Guevara declared
defeat, not even waiting for the vote count
to reach the half way mark.
Solís was the first to accept the Chinchilla
win, congratulating Laura and promising that
this would be his last campaign, moving on
to others things, paving the way for the
Guevara, moments later announced defeat but
with a triumphant voice, claiming victory
for a party that won more than 20% of the
vote, a big win over the 9% support of 2006
and vowed the party to the presidency in
"With a lot of respect, we accept the
reality," said Solis, who was just 1 percent
of votes away from a victory in 2006
Chinchilla told her supporters gathered at
the Crowne Plaza Corobici as the country's
next president, whe would keep all she
promised during the campaing.
"We don't receive a bounced cheque from the
people. To the contrary, we have shouldered
solemn obligations to hold dialogues with
all parties and social sectors," she said.
Chinchilla's campaign platform included
improvement of the country's infrastructure,
creation of a progressive income tax and new
jobs with "green jobs" initiative.
She also has promised to create more job
opportunities, better living conditions for
children and senior citizens, as well as to
combat crimes and drug trafficking.
Laura became the first female ministra de
Seguridad from 1996 to 1998 and held the
post of first vice-president in the Arias
administration from 2006 to 2009, resigning
to run for the presidency.
Voting began at 6am sharp, as all the 6.000
voting centres were in syncronized time with
the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) and
closed promptly at 6pm. At 8:15pm, Luis
Antonio Sobrado, president of the TSE,
announced the first voting results, showing
Chinchilla with a firm lead, with more votes
than her two main rivals combined.
Costa Rica is the only Latin American
country which in 60 years has enjoyed
democratic elections without interruption,
said Emma Maria Mejia, chief of an observer
mission from the Organization of American
President of the Supreme Tribunal of Elections, Luis Antonio Sobrado,
declares Laura Chinchilla won the presidential election.