Before yesterday’s presidential election, polls showed Luis Guillermo Solís, an academic and former diplomat, in fourth place in the race to become Costa Rica’s next president.
But on the strength of a surge in momentum at the end of the campaign, Solís (pictured above) not only elbowed his way into an expected April 6 runoff (only the second such runoff in the country’s history), but leapfrogged all the way to the top spot, edging out the frontrunner, San José mayor Johnny Araya, and the younger, more populist leftist José María Villalta. More recent surveys indicated a definite upswing in support as Solís capitalized on a strong performance in the final presidential debate, but even a late January poll showed Solís behind Araya, Villata and a conservative candidate, Otto Guevara.
Solís ultimately outpolled Araya by a little over 1% of the vote as undecided voters appear to have lined up solidly for the former diplomat — and he even defeated Araya in San José municipality, despite the fact that Araya has served as the city’s mayor since 1998.
So what happened? Continue reading Former diplomat Solís leapfrogs to top of Tico presidential race