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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06SANJOSE434 2006-02-23 23:33:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Cable title:  

ARIAS WINS FINAL COUNT FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT WINNER

Tags:   PGOV PREL CS 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000434 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL CS
SUBJECT: ARIAS WINS FINAL COUNT FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT WINNER
NOT YET OFFICIALLY DECLARED

REF: SAN JOSE 410



1. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) finished its
mandatory manual recount of all votes in the presidential
election at 4:00 pm on February 22. At the end of the count,
Arias defeated Solis by 18,167 votes. Arias narrowly avoided
a run-off election by winning 40.92 percent of the vote (40
percent is required). Solis won 39.8 percent. Complaints
can be filed up to three work days after the final count and
have to be resolved before the election results can be made
official. Consequently, official results will not be
released until at least February 27. Arias's lead could
shrink slightly as the complaints are resolved and some votes
are inevitably thrown out. We expect Arias to be declared
the official winner sometime next week.



2. Several candidates have begun to congratulate Arias on
his victory. National Unity Party (PUN) candidate (and
former human rights ombudsman) Jose Manuel Echandi reminded
reporters outside Arias's home that he had personally
observed the entire manual recount on behalf of his party and
was completely satisfied with the transparency of the
outcome. Solis has stated that he will not concede until the
official announcement of a winner. Arias and Solis
encountered each other in public at the ordainment of the new
Bishop in Limon. After an awkward moment, they rather
stiffly embraced--prompting spontaneous applause from the
thousands of onlookers. Arias later told reporters that he
and Solis are still friends, with areas of agreement as well
as their differences. With the campaign over, it was time to
build on the areas where they agree.



3. Members of Solis's party have begun wearing black ribbons
in protest of what they call the TSE's "lack of concern over
serious anomalies." Representatives of the powerful public
sector unions have threatened "street confrontations" to
disrupt Arias's "illegitimate reign." Beyond this, all
appears calm with Costa Ricans accepting the electoral
results peacefully.
LANGDALE