Costa Rica elects female President

Yesterday Costa Ricans went to the polls and overwhelmingly elected Laura Chinchilla president for the next 4 years. Chinchilla, who was Vice President in the current administration of Oscar Arias, resigned that post so she could run for president.

She ran a campaign that declared her “firme y honesta” — firm and honest — and promised more doctors in the state-run medical clinics and more police officers on the streets. She is a social conservative who opposes gay marriage and abortions.

She won 47 per cent of the vote; Otton Solis from the Citizen Action party and Otto Guevara from the Libertarian Movement party conceded defeat with 24 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

Chinchilla, 50, is married with one teenaged son. She will take office in May, becoming Costa Rica’s first female president and Latin America’s fifth in the last two decades. The other four are Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner, who was elected in 2007, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, elected in 2006, Panama’s Mireya Moscoso, elected in 1999, and Nicaragua’s Violeta Chamorro, elected in 1990.

Click here for election photos.