San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Rival Parties Trade Barbs, Then Sit Down to Talk

Consensus remained elusive between the Arias administration and the opposition Citizen Action Party (PAC) after a meeting this week at the Casa Presidencial.

PAC leader Ottón Solís presented a letter to President Oscar Arias accusing the government’s National Liberation Party (PLN) of violating the law in its handling of 11 bills that would implement the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA).

After the Wednesday meeting, Liberation faction head Mayi Antillón and Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias criticized the leftist PAC, which opposes CAFTA, for slowing the bills’ progress by presenting hundreds of motions and not attending legislative sessions.

Solís’ letter focuses on four gripes. First, PLN was tweaking the CAFTA implementation bills to exceed the treaty’s requirements.

Solís also accused PLN of applying  an illegal fast-track process to a bill that would open the state’s telecommunications monopoly.

And he took issue with the secrecy surrounding regulations issued by the executive branch to elaborate on the CAFTA laws.

And he disagreed with the Arias administration about the procedural steps for Costa Rica to officially enter the treaty.

If PLN addresses these problems, Solís said, PAC would “allow the legislative agenda to proceed with fluidity.”

Rodrigo Arias said the party’s lawyers were studying Solís’ letter.

Solís and Arias also talked Wednesday about the administration’s environment initiative, Peace With Nature, and an agenda for the country’s stint on the United Nations Security Council.


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