After the February 2 first-round votes in both El Salvador and Costa Rica, I wrote that even though the Costa Rican vote was tighter than the Salvadoran vote, it was easier to predict that Luis Guillermo Solís would defeat San José mayor Johnny Araya (despite just a 1.3% lead for Solís in the first round) in the April 6 runoff than Salvadoran vice president Salvador Sánchez Cerén (with a nearly 10% lead in the first round) would defeat San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano in the March 9 runoff.
Sure enough, while Sánchez Cerén is the favorite to win this weekend’s vote in El Salvador, the bigger news from Central America this week was Araya’s decision to suspend his campaign after a University of Costa Rica poll earlier this week showed the Solís held a staggering 44-point lead over Araya, winning 64.4% to just 20.9% for Araya (pictured above).
Though that poll included a sizable undecided vote (around 14.6%), it showed that Araya had lost ground in the past month — he won 29.6% of the first-round vote.
Facing the ignominy of leading Costa Rica’s most enduring party, the center-left Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN, National Liberation Party) through even more embarrassment, Araya suspended his campaign on Wednesday, with one month to go before the runoff.
The reasons for Araya’s decision were clear from the moment the Araya-Solís race were established — or before: Continue reading Johnny Araya suspends campaign in Costa Rica