IN THE NEWS
Costa Rican Women Celebrate 60 Years of suffrage
“Costa Rica is in the world’s vanguard of female participation in governmental bodies and institutions,” and “the fight against discrimination and for equality is one of the main objectives” of the current administration, Laura Chinchilla, the country’s first female president, said Wednesday at Costa Rica’s 60th celebration of universal suffrage, reported newswire EFE. Nearly 50 percent of Chinchilla’s cabinet is made up of women, including key positions such as the agriculture, foreign trade, economy and health ministries. Costa Rica ratified female suffrage in 1949, and women first voted in the July 30, 1950, presidential elections. The first women ran as candidates in the 1953 elections when three were elected to the legislature.
4Ticos Abroad Can Vote fo First Time
In another historic voting act, the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) is for the first time making it possible for Costa Ricans living abroad to vote. Voting from abroad through consulates is now allowed for presidential elections and for referendum votes, the TSE announced in a statement. To register, Ticos must go in person to the nearest Costa Rican consulate or to a TSE office on their next visit to their home country. Information on the process can be found on the TSE website at www.tse.go.cr.
4Municipal Interconnectivity Project Up and Running
The Institute for Municipal Development (IFAM) is aiming for all 101 municipalities, federations and state bodies to participate in an electronic interconnectivity network. The virtual private network is a tool for improving local administration and provides technological infrastructure for digital training and for implementing the Digital Municipal Government project, IFAM said in a statement. The network will save government institutions money and time, improve inter-institutional communication, and eventually allow residents to make electronic payments. Institutions will be able to use the technology to manage regional projects, land planning and zoning, and GPS databases, as well as create calendars, work plans and progress reports. Twenty-seven institutions are currently part of the IFAM-hosted network, with more in the process of affiliating.
4Geothermal Plants on Track in Guanacaste
The Las Pailas geothermal energy production plant on the flanks of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in the northwestern province of Guanacaste is advancing as scheduled, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). Work on the 35-megawatt plant is 65 percent complete with five perforations already made, and is expected to begin operating in 2011. The Central American Bank for Economic Integration will invest $160 million to develop the plant, which ICE is designing and building.