Costa Rica leftist takes huge lead in presidential run-off

Reuters
Supporters wave party flags of Luis Guillermo Solis, presidential candidate of the Citizens' Action Party, during the presidential election run-off in San Jose
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Supporters wave party flags of Luis Guillermo Solis, presidential candidate of the Citizens' Action …

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Center-left academic Luis Guillermo Solis took an overwhelming lead in Costa Rica's presidential election run-off on Sunday, official results showed, storming ahead as widely expected after his opponent slid in polls and stopped campaigning.

Solis, a former diplomat who ran on a popular anti-corruption message but who has never been elected to office, had 77.69 percent of the vote with 77.61 percent of polling booths counted, Costa Rica's election tribunal said.

He rode a wave of anti-government sentiment over rising inequality and graft scandals to finish ahead in February's first-round vote, surprising pollsters who had placed him fourth.

Facing a depleted war chest, rival Johnny Araya of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) quit campaigning after an opinion poll showed him trailing badly.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner and Gabriel Stargardter)

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