Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Arias oficially named president-elect of Costa Rica

SAN JOSE (AFP) - Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president Oscar Arias is the president-elect of Costa Rica, the country's top election official said, one month after a contested general election.

"From this moment forward, Oscar Arias has been declared officially elected as president of Costa Rica," Oscar Fonseca, the head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, said at a news conference.

Arias, of the social-democratic National Liberation Party (PLN), won 40.80 percent of the vote, while his rival Otton Solis, a center-left economist who had contested the election, garnered 39.92 percent, the tribunal said.

The voter abstention rate was 35 percent, one of the highest in the Central American country's history.

Solis conceded Friday that Arias had won the ballot.

Arias, 65, is to take office on May 8, succeeding Abel Pacheco.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal's announcement officially ended a month-long political impasse after the results of the February 5 presidential election were contested by Solis's Citizen Action Party (PAC), forcing a manual recount of the ballots.

Several hundred ballots were rejected because of voting irregularities or were determined invalid.

Arias, a former president of Costa Rica (1986-1990), campaigned largely on his 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end civil war in Central America in the 1980s, squaring off in the process with then US president Ronald Reagan.

He pledged to turn Costa Rica into Latin America's most developed nation.

Between his last term as president and the recent election campaign, Arias nurtured his Arias Peace Foundation, which promotes the demilitarization of society, as Costa Rica has done, and traveled globally speaking about human rights.

No comments:

Related posts