After several weeks of discussion, suspensions and definition analysis by the faction leaders of the congressional benches, there would be a definition regarding the Ombudsman’s Office. Everything was ready to restart the process with a regulated debate and then vote.
Although there is no consensus, there is a majority by name: Angie Cruickshank. The woman, an international consultant and activist, would have the support of 29 deputies, a sufficient number to be elected. According to reliable sources consulted by this means by Cruickshank, she would be voting for a large majority of the National Liberation faction. It would be 17 of the 19 legislators who would give her the vote.
They would be joined by the factions of the Broad Front and also that of the Progressive Liberal Party, which would now vote in-bloc. They would add 12 more votes for the candidate.
It is the second time that she presents her name to be considered to direct the Ombudsman’s Office. She also did it in 2018; in neither of both cases did she enter the list recommended by the Appointments Commission.
However, after the entrapment in this election process, her name came up again and now it seems that everything would be ready for the appointed. Cruickshank was a member of the PLN, a party she resigned on February 6 for a “sum of things”, as indicated at the time.
Without confirming it yet
The deputies have maintained reservations regarding the names proposed. It is, mainly, because of the fact that they say many of those who searched decided not to participate, due to the exposure and attacks that those who aspired to the position were suffering. The head of the PLN faction, Kattia Rivera, was consulted on the issue of Angie Cruickshank and she was evasive in her response.
On her part, Pilar Cisneros, the head of the ruling party, did confirm that her name is on the table and that everything decided in the vote. “That is one of the names that is on the table; what we decided is that on Monday we vote no matter what happens”, Cisneros told this outlet.
What the deputy also confirmed is that there are several factions that have defined the vote for another candidate. Democratic Social Progress, which has always supported Erick Ulate, will maintain its vote for him. “Each one will vote for his candidate, we are still supporting Erick Ulate”, said Cisneros. What is not clear is whether the 11 deputies of the faction will vote for him.
For its part, the PUSC would vote for José Manuel Echandi and Nueva República would vote for Mario Zamora. The former Security Minister had 2 more votes from Verdiblancos deputies.
An odd dance of names
On January 13th, 2023, the election process for the new head of the Ombudsman began. 17 people applied and four were recommended by the Commission: Ulate, Laura Arguedas, Echandi and Daysi Corrales. The first 2 had the support of the factions and the votes were distributed, but they did not reach a majority and that is why they did not vote. The PLN declined to support Arguedas and together with Kattia Cambronero and Jorge Dengo from the PLP they supported Kathya Rodríguez, former director of Migration and Aliens. She also did not get the necessary support, so more names came out. The PUSC opted for Echandi and that of the political scientist Francisco Barahona, mentioned by various people from civil society, also emerged. However, his name did not catch on among the deputies.