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Laura Chinchilla Elected First Woman President of Costa Rica

In a landmark victory on Sunday, Laura Chinchilla was elected as the first woman president of Costa Rica. She obtained 46.8 percent of the vote, far exceeding the 40 percent needed to win the election outright without runoff elections. Chinchilla ran on the National Liberation Party ticket.

According to English News, Chinchilla’s campaign platform on the included promises to create more jobs, improve the standard of living for children and the elderly, and to concentrate efforts to reduce drug trafficking and other crimes. The New York Times reports that she is socially conservative, opposing gay marriage and abortion. She is expected to continue many of the policies of out-going President and Nobel laureate Oscar Arias.

Her election to the presidency is not the first time Chinchilla has broken through the glass ceiling in Costa Rica. In 1996, she became the first female minister of public security and held that position until 1998. She later served as Vice President under Oscar Arias from 2006 to 2008. She resigned from this position only to run for the presidency. Ms. Chinchilla was quoted on Democracy Now as saying “Costa Rica is my beloved fatherland. I defend her, I love her, I adore her, and I give my life to her.”

Sources:

English News 2/8/10; New York Times 2/7/10; Democracy Now 2/8/10