San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arias Announced Presidential Candidacy

AFTER a four-year struggle to eliminate Costa Rica s ban on re-election, former President and Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias (1986-1990) this year announced he will run for President in 2006. Since December 1999, the former President had made public his aspirations to serve a second term, but the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) upheld the re-election ban in September 2000, preventing Arias from running in the 2002 election. It was not until Arias supporters took the case to court again with a different argument that Sala IV overturned the ban in April 2003. In March, Arias, who has expressed support for the Central America Free- Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), announced the focal point of his 2006 campaign will be turning Costa Rica into Latin America s first developed country and so resuming the dream of 1986.

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