Conservative Christian evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado has taken an early lead in Costa Rica’s presidential election.
With more than half the votes counted, Mr Alvarado had 25% of the vote with nearest rival Carlos Alvarado on 21%.
If no candidate wins at least 40%, a second round will be held in April.
Campaigning has been dominated by the issue of same-sex marriage after a human rights court ruled that such alliances should be recognised.
The binding ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights required Costa Rica to legalise same-sex marriage.
But the decision led to a backlash in the deeply Catholic Central American country and saw Fabricio Alvarado become the most popular presidential candidate.
Mr Alvarado, who represents the right-wing National Restoration Party (PRN), surged to the top of opinion polls.
In all, 13 candidates ran to replace President Luis Guillermo Solis of the centre-left Citizen’s Action Party (PAC).
Running in second place was PAC candidate Carlos Alvarado (no relation to Fabricio Alvarado) closely followed by former lawmaker Antonio Alvarez from the centre-right National Liberation Party (PLN).
Observers say that as more than a third of the electorate appeared to be undecided, a run-off seems likely.