San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

PLN’s Chinchilla Names Vice Presidential Choices

Costa Rica’s presidential frontrunner, Laura Chinchilla of the National Liberation Party (PLN), named her vice-presidential running mates Monday, in front of an audience of green-shirted party enthusiasts.

Listing the economy and the environment as central issues to her presidency, she appointed scientist Alfio Piva and businessman Luis Liberman as her seconds-incommand.

Piva, an intellectual and an environmentalist, currently serves as the executive director of the famed INBioPark and is professor emeritus of the NationalUniversity, both in Heredia, north of San José.

Liberman, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the United States’ University of Illinois, served as director of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and was founder of Banco Interfin (now owned by Scotia Bank).

The only campaign themes not represented in her vice presidential choices is security, a field to which Chinchilla herself brings some expertise.

The former public security minister, who will be traveling to the United States this week to study public safety issues, said, “The most important (challenge) is to achieve a safe society. No issue is closer to my heart … No issue has found me in more hours of reflection … We need to recuperate safety in each town and in each city.”

In making her announcements at the NationalAmusement Park’s old town in San José, Chinchilla took swings at two of the other presidential candidates.

She said Citizen Action Party candidate Ottón Solís is looking to “put the motor in reverse” and Libertarian Movement candidate Otto Guevara would construct a society “based on the individual Costa Rican … who does not value solidarity.”

She said that the PLN is the most balanced, most politically centered party and the best choice for the country.

Costa Ricans will go to the polls on Feb. 7, 2010.

–Chrissie Long


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