Political Mudslinging Season Underway

November 20, 2009

 

The fact that the campaign season has hit Costa Rica with full force became apparent Wednesday when some members of President Oscar Arias’ cabinet used the better part of their weekly press conferences to deflect criticism from an opposing party.

Arias is not running for re-election, but the rival Citizen Action Party (PAC) is using him as a primary target in its campaign, accusing him of failed social programs and a souring economy.

“Education has been abandoned (and) the Costa Rican Social Security System has collapsed,” said PAC presidential candidate Ottón Solís during presentation of his government plan at the Aurola Holiday Inn in San José Monday, according to the financial weekly El Financiero.

Planning Minister Roberto Gallardo arrived Wednesday at Casa Presidencial armed with a laptop full of spreadsheets to defend the administration against Solís’ shots.

Deflecting anticipated criticism for using time with the press for campaign issues, Minister of the Presidency Rodrigo Arias said, “The government has a right to defend itself. (PAC) said things that weren’t true.”

Solís, who lost to Arias in the 2006 elections by a mere 2 percent of the vote, remains 30 points behind leading candidate Laura Chinchilla, of the National Liberation Party, in the polls with less than three months to go on the campaign trail.

Many political analysts Consider that a win by Chinchilla, who served as vice president in the Arias administration, will in many ways represent a continuation of Arias’ government.

–Chrissie Long

 

The fact that the campaign season has hit Costa Rica with full force became apparent Wednesday when some members of President Oscar Arias’ cabinet used the better part of their weekly press conferences to deflect criticism from an opposing party.

Arias is not running for re-election, but the rival Citizen Action Party (PAC) is using him as a primary target in its campaign, accusing him of failed social programs and a souring economy.

“Education has been abandoned (and) the Costa Rican Social Security System has collapsed,” said PAC presidential candidate Ottón Solís during presentation of his government plan at the Aurola Holiday Inn in San José Monday, according to the financial weekly El Financiero.

Planning Minister Roberto Gallardo arrived Wednesday at Casa Presidencial armed with a laptop full of spreadsheets to defend the administration against Solís’ shots.

Deflecting anticipated criticism for using time with the press for campaign issues, Minister of the Presidency Rodrigo Arias said, “The government has a right to defend itself. (PAC) said things that weren’t true.”

Solís, who lost to Arias in the 2006 elections by a mere 2 percent of the vote, remains 30 points behind leading candidate Laura Chinchilla, of the National Liberation Party, in the polls with less than three months to go on the campaign trail.

Many political analysts Consider that a win by Chinchilla, who served as vice president in the Arias administration, will in many ways represent a continuation of Arias’ government.

–Chrissie Long

 

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