Monday, May 10, 2010

Chinchilla sworn in as Costa Rican president

Three months and one day after being elected Laura Chinchilla was inaugurated as Costa Rica’s first female president.

The center-right Chinchilla took the oath of office on Saturday in an event attended by heads of state from around the Americas as well as dignitaries from China and Spain. According to CNN during her inauguration speech she pledged “to move the country toward a more innovating, intelligent and entrepreneurial path”.

Chinchilla is expected to continue the policies of her predecessor- Nobel laureate Oscar Arias- though “she appealed both to Costa Ricans seeking a fresh face and those reluctant to risk the unknown.” Despite the reconciliatory tone of her discourse Chinchilla faces stiff legislative opposition in areas such as free trade:
She was expected to continue Arias's support of free trade and international business ties, but could face tough deal-making in Congress, where her National Liberation Party (PLN) lacks an absolute majority.

Her government is due to oversee free trade deals with Singapore and China -- Costa Rica’s second trading partner after the United States -- and take over recently stalled talks for a Central American trade pact with the European Union.
Chinchilla becomes the second current female president in Latin America aside from Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Xinhua, CNN, AFP, NPR

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