San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Afro-Costa Rican activist to run for president

Epsy Campbell, an economist-turned-activist of Afro-Caribbean descent, said Monday she would seek her party´s nomination to run in the 2010 presidential elections.

Running on a platform of change, she will challenge Citizen Action Party (PAC) founder Ottón Solís, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2002 and 2006 and intends to run again.

“It is time to inspire people, to tap into the en ergy that will generate change in this country, ” Campbell said.

If elected, Campbell said she would work to increase taxes, strengthen state services, address inequalities in wealth, and conserve the environment. Her campaign aims to attract young people and will rely heavily on the Internet. She will give a live chat at 11 a.m. today on

PAC is now divided over whether to hold a nationwide primary, open to all Ticos, or a closed primary in which only the 80 National Assembly members vote. While the assembly overwhelmingly favors Solís, a nationwide race would be tight, according to recent polls.

Campbell said PAC can win in 2010 only if it holds an open primary, which she said would attract new people to the party.

“I am propos ing an open party, a party that will attract tens of thousands of adherents, ” she said. “That is the PAC I dream about, and that is the PAC I am working for. ”

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