February 8, 2010 / 5:00 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Costa Rica's president-elect Laura Chinchilla

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Laura Chinchilla, a protege of Nobel peace laureate President Oscar Arias, won a landslide victory in Costa Rica’s election on Sunday to become the country’s first woman to be elected president. [ID:nN07132520]

Following are some facts about Chinchilla:

* Chinchilla, 50, is a career politician who was born into a political family and served as public safety minister, congressional deputy and most recently as vice president and justice minister in outgoing President Oscar Arias’s cabinet.

* Chinchilla has promised to continue Arias’s liberalizing economic policies and expand Costa Rica’s web of free trade agreements. She has also backed liberalization of Costa Rica’s state-controlled electricity and telecommunications sectors.

* Married with a teenage son, Chinchilla is a social conservative, opposing gay marriage, abortion and any change to Roman Catholicism’s position as the state religion. Supporters regaled her with rosaries during her campaign, including one she wears constantly for good luck.

* During the campaign Chinchilla said she would boost education spending to 8 percent of gross domestic product as well as increase funding for law enforcement and create an anti-drug czar to oversee the growing struggle against drug smugglers who are using Costa Rica as a transit route. (Reporting by Robert Campbell; Editing by Eric Beech)

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