San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Arias says San José mayor should step down

National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate Rodrigo Arias – a former minister in the administration of his brother, ex-President Oscar Arias – said Thursday that it is not “ethical or moral” for San José Mayor Johnny Araya to remain in office while mounting a presidential electoral campaign.

Arias made the statements during an interview with local radio station Radio ADN, where he was asked about the results of a poll published Thursday by the daily La Nación, which showed Araya has twice the support among potential voters as Arias.

Arias said “he [Araya] should resign as mayor of San José as soon as he registers as candidate for the presidency, in order to compete as a regular citizen, because the mayor has access to media exposure that no other candidate has.”

The official registration of candidates for PLN primaries will be in January.

Araya replied minutes later in an on-air phone call, saying he would “continue in office until a month before the election,” at which point he would take an unpaid vacation to participate in the presidential elections.

In the La Nación survey, Araya received 32 percent of support among PLN members, while Arias and former President José María Figueres received 16 percent each.

Figueres dropped out of the race Thursday night, saying that he “can do a lot for Costa Rica without having to head the government.”

Tico Times Poll:

José María Figueres quits presidential race

Should ex-President Figueres have quit the race?

Contact L. Arias at

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