Date: Tue, 10 Feb 98 21:47:09 CST
From: rich%pencil@VMA.CC.ND.EDU (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Weekly Americas News Update #419, 2/8/98
Article: 27490

/** reg.nicaragua: 52.0 **/
** Topic: Weekly News Update #419, 2/8/98 **
** Written 7:20 AM Feb 9, 1998 by wnu in cdp:reg.nicaragua **

Costa Ricans elect new president

Weekly News Update on the Americas, issue #419, 9 February 1998

Wealthy businessperson and economist Miguel Angel Rodriguez of the opposition Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) won Costa Rica's Feb. 1 presidential elections with 46.88% of the vote, according to final results released on Feb. 4 by the Supreme Tribunal of Elections (TSE). Jose Miguel Corrales, the candidate of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN), came in a close second with 44.44% of the vote. In third place was Vladimir de la Cruz of the leftist Democratic Force (FD) party with 3.02% of the vote. Another 10 candidates shared the remaining 5.66% of the total 1,387,287 valid votes. Of a total 2,045,980 registered voters, 32% abstained from voting or cast blank ballots. [Notimex 2/5/98] It was the highest abstention rate in Costa Rica in 40 years. [La Prensa (Honduras) 2/3/98 from AFP]

As the initial results came in, Rodriguez criticized his opponent's economic plan and stressed that the only real solution to fight poverty is the massive creation of jobs. The key to achieve this is foreign investment, insisted Rodriguez. Any other proposal is demagogy. [El Diario-La Prensa 2/2/98 from AP]