Former Broad Front Party legislator Ronal Vargas Araya on Tuesday evening filed a request before the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) to annul a resignation letter he submitted last Thursday. Vargas stepped down after an office assistant filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with administrative officials at the Legislative Assembly.
In his request, Vargas argued that he had agreed to resign under pressure from Broad Front Party leaders, including the party’s president, Patricia Mora, top legislator Gerardo Vargas Varela and former presidential candidate José María Villalta.
“After deep consideration of the circumstances under which I made such an important decision, and the appearance of new evidence and facts, I’ve concluded that my consent was the product of coercion against me by leaders of the party,” Vargas stated.
He said he had asked Villalta to grant him 12 hours to seek counsel, but the former Broad Front Party candidate denied that request and demanded his immediate resignation “for the sake of the party.”
Vargas also said that Villalta drafted the resignation letter and accompanied Vargas to the TSE.
“My clouded conscience at the time prevented me from clearly seeing the transcendental decision I was making,” Vargas claimed.
The appeal was filed just one day after Suray Carrillo Guevara was sworn in as Vargas’ replacement.
TSE justices agreed to study the request and granted all parties involved three working days to respond to the claims.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Vargas claimed “the verbal accusation of alleged sexual harassment never became a criminal complaint.” He said he previously had a serious relationship with the alleged victim.