Costa Rica leftist takes huge lead in presidential run-off

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Center-left academic Luis Guillermo Solis took an overwhelming lead in Costa Rica's presidential election run-off on Sunday, official results showed, storming ahead as widely expected after his opponent slid in polls and stopped campaigning. Solis, a former diplomat who ran on a popular anti-corruption message but who has never been elected to office, had 77.69 percent of the vote with 77.61 percent of polling booths counted, Costa Rica's election tribunal said. He rode a wave of anti-government sentiment over rising inequality and graft scandals to finish ahead in February's first-round vote, surprising pollsters who had placed him fourth. Facing a depleted war chest, rival Johnny Araya of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) quit campaigning after an opinion poll showed him trailing badly. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner and Gabriel Stargardter)