Center-left candidate Luis Guillermo Solis won Costa Rica’s presidential election over the weekend and vowed to work for national unity and greater social justice.
Solis garnered 77.88 percent of the vote on Sunday, while his National Liberation Party, or PLN, rival, Johnny Araya, got 22.12 percent, with 94 percent of the ballots counted, the national elections commission said.
“I am calling for national unity. That there be no more divisions other than those that are a product of plurality. That there be no conflicts that divide, and that we go beyond parties, called forth by the national flag, walking united in the quest for prosperity,” the 53-year-old president-elect said in his victory speech.
Solis easily surpassed his goal of getting the votes of 1 million of the nearly 3.1 million people registered to vote in the Central American country, a target that appeared unachievable heading into election day.
He received 1.27 million votes, with 6 percent of the ballots still to be counted, winning the largest number of votes ever in a presidential election in Costa Rica.
“This is the time for change and transformation,” Solis, who will take office on May 8, said.
Solis’s victory will allow his Citizens Action Party, or PAC, to hold the presidency for the first time.