Costa Rica’s Political Campaigning Gearing for 2014 Elections

2014-electionsThe Costa Rica 2014 election campaign kicked off this week with a shake up within the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) with the resignation of its candidate Rodolfo Hernandez, second in the voting intention polls, forcing the party to find another candidate in short time.

PUSC president, Gerardo Vargas, said local media that before looking for a new candidate, priority will talk with Hernandez to better understand the reasons for his resignation Thursday through a press release.

Hernandez, a pediatrician by profession, denounced “backstabbing”, intrigues, jealousies and betrayals within the party, he preferred to leave the application and return to his position as director of the National Children’s Hospital.

PUSC president said that the party is “united” and said there is still no substitute names for Hernandez, whom he described as a man “honest” and “right”.

Rodolfo Piza, who lost to Hernandez at the internal convention this year, has appeared in the last few hours as the main option PUSC, a group that has until October 18 to appoint a new candidate.

Piza has told local media that will value the opportunity to stand as a candidate and is confident that the party has the ability and the strength to fight the elections on February 2.

The Costa Rican electoral campaign, which began last Wednesday in an atmosphere of apathy, stirred with the departure of Hernandez, who was on the second place in the polls behind Johnny Araya candidate of the ruling National Liberation Party.

The candidate of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), Luis Guillermo Solis, was one of the first to react to the decision to Hernandez.
“The resignation of candidate Rodolfo Hernandez can only cause me great sadness. Nobody can feel happy when someone uses terms like betrayal, jealousy and backstabbing to refer to actions against them,” Solis said.

“I also regret the Social Christian people who believed at some point that their leaders had learned their lesson,” said Solis.

The last government was PUSC Abel Pacheco (2002-2006), but from there he suffered a serious decline in its credibility due to corruption trials against its leading figures: former presidents Miguel Angel Rodriguez (1998-2002 ) and Rafael Angel Calderon (1990-1994).

However, support for the party grew in recent months according to the latest polls, which put to Rodolfo Hernandez in second place in voting intentions.

The PUSC and PLN have governed Costa Rica since the 1980s, but in the last three elections the CAP emerged as a new force, like the Libertarian Movement, which although they have not reached the Presidency itself have increased their presence in Congress.

Meanwhile, PLN candidate, Johnny Araya, said the statement by Hernandez should be a “wake up call” because it exposes practices “that have devalued Costa Rican politics.”

“If we want to regain credibility and confidence of Costa Ricans is necessary to overcome such practices,” said Araya radio to DNA.

According to the latest survey by Unimer, Araya leads the intention to vote for the presidential elections next February 2nd with 27.5% support, followed by Hernandez with 10.6%.

The right-Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement (ML), was third with 9.7%, while the PAC Luis Guillermo Solis added 2%, although this movement is the main opposition in Congress and has earned the second in the last two elections. EFE

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica

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