Ex-President Abel Pacheco to back opposition candidate Solís

April 8, 2014
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In the run-up to Costa Rica’s April 6 presidential runoff, the final two candidates are now battling for endorsements from the country’s former leaders.

On Saturday morning, former President Abel Pacheco (2002-2006), of the Social Christian Unity Party, met with opposition candidate Luis Guillermo Solís, of the Citizen Action Party, in Pacheco’s home in Rohrmoser, west of the capital. Following the meeting, Pacheco announced his endorsement of Solís.

“Don Luis Guillermo has led an honest, intelligent and patriotic campaign. Today, I wish to lend my support (to Solís) in a second round. Our mantra is the same: honesty,” Pacheco said, according to a post on Solís’ Facebook page.

On Thursday, former ruling party President Oscar Arias (1986-1990, 2006-2010) made clear he intended to vote for National Liberation Party candidate and former San José Mayor Johnny Araya, who was narrowly defeated by Solís in a first-round vote on Feb. 2.

And according to Radio Monumental, Araya said campaign organizers for leftist candidate José María Villalta, of the Broad Front Party, who captured 17 percent of the vote in this month’s election, had approached the former mayor to announce their support for his candidacy.

Broad Front Party campaign manager Rodolfo Ulloa quickly refuted Araya’s claim, saying it was an act of “desperation” by the PLN candidate, Radio Monumental reported.

Meanwhile, in Rohrmoser, Pacheco – known for his colorful language rooted in Costa Rican colloquialism – advised Solís to watch out for members of the news media.

The press, Pacheco said, “Es un animalito chúcaro que hay que saber jinetear,the daily La Nación reported.

Translation: “The media is a wild beast that one must know how to tame.”

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