Costa Rica ruling party leads presidential election but run-off looms

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By Alexandra Alper and Zach Dyer SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Costa Rica's centrist ruling party candidate Johnny Araya took an early lead in Sunday's presidential election but looked on course to face a run-off after a late surge from a left-leaning rival, partial results showed. Araya, a former mayor of the capital San Jose, had around 31.2 percent support with votes in from around 41 percent of polling booths, while leftist newcomer Luis Guillermo Solis was in second place with around 28.4 percent. Left-wing lawmaker Jose Maria Villalta was third with 17.4 percent. Araya, 56, of the National Liberation Party, has promised to reduce poverty and has sought to distance himself from President Laura Chinchilla's scandal-plagued government while painting rivals as radicals.