Costa Rica has elected Laura Chinchilla as its first female president. The protégé of Nobel peace laureate President Oscar Arias won a landside victory. “Chinchilla, formerly Arias’ vice president, has vowed to continue his pro-business policies in the Central American nation, expanding free trade pacts and courting investment. The center-leftist won 47 percent of the vote, around double the scores of her two closest rivals, who quickly conceded defeat. She will join a small camp of women leaders in typically male-dominated Latin America that currently includes Chile’s Michelle Bachelet and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez. ‘I am thankful for the good work of the outgoing government and thankful our country is again moving forward and refuses to allow this advance to stop,’ Chinchilla said after declaring victory to cheers from her supporters. Famed for its political stability in a turbulent region, Costa Rica is an economic success story in Central America, with an economy based around tourism, manufactured products like microchips, and exports of coffee, pineapples and bananas.”
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