Solis the Historian Expected to Take the Presidency for Costa Rica

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Historian and candidate of the center-left Citizen Action Party, Luis Guillermo Solís, has an open door to the presidency of Costa Rica, after the candidate of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN), Johnny Araya, resigned from his candidacy this week.

    Following the announcement of Araya, Solís is the solo eligible candidate, but both will have to go to the second round next April 6 because of regulations of the Constitution from 1949.

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    Solis, a 53 year-old historian, has devoted 30 years of his life to teaching and, with some political experience, applied by the Citizen Action Party (PAC) in order to end the “misrule” of the PLN  by Oscar Arias (2006-2010) and Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014).

    The PAC candidate is a university professor of history and political science at the State University of Costa Rica, a quality that was reflected in the debates, where he has spoken with clarity and eloquence.

    During the election campaign before the first round of elections on February 2, all surveys placed Luis Guillermo Solís in fourth place with less than 15% support.

    But the surprise came when after the elections, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) revealed that Solis closed in first place with 30.64% of the vote, while Araya achieved 29.71%.

    Also, the first survey before the second electoral round released this week, indicates that Solis was the favorite with a wide lead over Araya.

    Solis scored 64.4% support while Araya barely reached 20.9%, according to the study by the Center for Research and Policy Studies (CIEP) of the State University of Costa Rica, published by the University Weekly.

    Luis Guillermo Solís has experience as chief of staff of the Foreign Ministry in the first government of Óscar Arias (1986 and 1990), and as an ambassador for Central American Affairs and he was the director of foreign policy of the government of Jose Maria Figueres Olsen (1994-1998), both representatives of the PLN.

    He resigned from the PLN on January 16, 2005 after reporting serious irregularities in the primaries of the party.

    In 2009, he joined the PAC and began the electoral process when he aspired to the presidency of Costa Rica.

    Between 2004 and 2008 he worked as research coordinator for the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) as their General Secretariat, and has written 10 books on political science.

    He studied history at the University of Costa Rica and has an MA in Political Science and  a degree in Sociology from Tulane University in the United States.

    He currently lives in San Jose with his wife, the Spanish Mercedes Peñas, who has a daughter, Agnes. The candidate has five other children: Monica, Cristina, Beatriz, Diego and Ignacio.

    The PAC has been the main opposition force in Costa Rica over the past three terms and was close to the presidency in 2006, when then-candidate Otton Solis, lost the election to Óscar Arias by a margin of just over 1%. (ACAN-EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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