Oscar Arias Still a Favorite But Losing Support, Poll Says

June 24, 2005

FORMER Costa Rican PresidentOscar Arias continues to be the favorite towin the presidential elections in 2006, butsupport for the candidate has decreased inthe past two months, according to anopinion poll released this week.In July, 38% of those consulted by thefirm Demoscopía for the daily Al Día saidthey support Arias, compared with 43.3%in March.On the other hand, the percentage ofCosta Ricans who are not inclined to votefor Arias rose from 39.5% to 45%,according to the poll, which did notinclude any reasons for the change.The Demoscopía poll took into considerationthe opinions of 1,202 adultCosta Ricans with a margin of error ofplus or minus 2.8%Arias, who governed Costa Rica from1986 to 1990 and won the Nobel PeacePrize in 1987, is considered the favorite towin the elections in February 2006. TheConstitutional Chamber of the SupremeCourt (Sala IV) eliminated the norm prohibitingpresidential reelection last year.The politician seeks the candidacyunder the National Liberation Party(PLN), which political analysts considernearly a done deal.Another poll, conducted by the firmUnimer for the daily La Nación andreleased last week, shows 41% support forArias, but indicated the ex-President lostsupport in sectors of high economic andeducation levels.

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