Costa Rica votes, could elect 1st woman president

February 8, 2010 03:42

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Costa Ricans appeared likely to elect their first woman president Sunday as Central America's most politically and economically stable country chose between a career politician from the ruling party and an anti-taxation Libertarian.

Polls closed Sunday evening after a peaceful election and some people still lined up to cast their vote were turned away. Electoral Tribunal President Luis Sobrado said partial results would come in several hours.

Pre-election polls gave a nearly 20-point lead to Laura Chinchilla, who served as vice president under current President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and free-market enthusiast.

"All of this has been worth it. We are going to win, and in the first round," said Chincilla, who rose early Sunday to attend a traditional election-day Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Sunday's winner needs at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid an April run-off.

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