Infighting Continues In Unity Party

July 29, 2005

• LegislatorGloria Valerín hasbeen asked to leavethe Social ChristianUnity Party (PUSC)by fellow party legislatorand PUSC presidentialcandidateRicardo Toledo.Toledo said Valerínmust stop offendingfellow legislators with her insults and“barbarities,” the daily La Nación reported.He added that because she is an atheist,she cannot participate in a party basedon the social doctrine of the church.Valerín, who is considering leaving theparty, countered that PUSC legislatorswant her out because she tells the truth.• Toledo was ratified Monday as theofficial PUSC presidential candidate. Duringthe ceremony, Toledo announced thatif he is elected, one of his first acts will beto sign a decree awarding every publichigh-school graduate a free computer and ayear of free Internet access. Toledo alsosaid he plans to restrict immigration toCosta Rica. Toledo denied that the computermandate rings of populism and theimmigration call rings of xenophobia,when questioned by the daily La Nación.• University of Costa Rica (UCR)rector Yamileth González criticized agroup of 20-25 students who, last week,greeted presidential candidate OscarArias with a barrage of angry shouts andinsults and prevented the formerPresident and Nobel Peace Prize winnerfrom attending an interview with the universitytelevision station (TT, July 22).The rector said the students, who wererecorded on camera, may be punished,the daily Al Día reported. The studentsoppose Arias’ pro-free trade stance.• A legislative commission approved amotion last week to prohibit mayors fromrunning for reelection, as they are currentlyallowed to do. The commission alsoapproved a motion to change mayoralelections to one year after national elections,starting in 2010 and 2011. The twoare currently held at the same time.Legislators said their goal is to preventthe dedication of municipal time andfunds to mayoral reelection campaigns.The bill, and motions, must still be consideredin the full assembly.

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