San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Johnny Araya

Ex-San José mayor and presidential dropout Johnny Araya denies rumors of party flip-flop ahead of 2016 elections

Say it ain’t so, Johnny.

Johnny Araya, the National Liberation Party’s disgraced former presidential candidate and former long-term mayor of Costa Rica’s capital, denied recent rumors that he had meetings with leaders from the Accessibility Without Exclusion Party to run for mayor next year as a member of their party.

PASE lawmaker and founder Óscar López Arias on Monday said he is aware that several party leaders over the weekend met with people close to the former PLN candidate to assess Araya’s interest in running next year. López said he is not aware of the specific details of the meeting, but that he thinks Araya would make a good candidate.

Later on Monday, Araya told Channel 7’s Telenoticias that he is unaware if any of his friends or advisers have met or are negotiating with PASE leaders. He also said he has received four requests from other parties to represent them in the Feb. 7, 2016 municipal elections, but he stressed that currently he is not considering the option of running as candidate for another party.

Araya was mayor of San José for 22 years, and following his failed bid for Costa Rica’s presidency last year, he has publicly voiced his interest in once again becoming The Big Boss of San José.  There’s just one catch – Araya is currently ineligible to run for any public post representing PLN, because last December the party’s ethics committee banned him from participating in any political activity for four years as a result of his decision to drop out of the presidential runoff race last year.

Araya left the race just one month after losing a first-round vote in February against Citizen Action Party candidate and now President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The PLN’s General Assembly earlier this month discussed Araya’s request to suspend the ban, pending a ruling on a complaint he filed before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV. The move would allow Araya to submit his bid for mayoral candidate in the meantime.

Party representatives voted against Araya’s petition and agreed to await the outcome of the Sala IV ruling.

The former mayor, however, managed to get a motion approved to ask Sala IV justices to rule on Araya’s complaint before Aug. 15, the deadline for party candidates to register for the mayoral election. Seems he really wants to be mayor again.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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Gerry Adams

More fact on Corupt Araya

MECO Travel Incident
Five days after being chosen as the PLN presidential candidate, Araya flew in a private jet owned by MECO Construction, a firm that was awarded $65 million contracts by the former presidential administrations of Laura Chinchilla and Óscar Arias, both PLN members.Araya attended a FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Panama with his campaign manager and the CEO of MECO Construction, who had previously made donations to Chinchilla’s campaign. After returning to Costa Rica, Araya denied traveling on a private jet or traveling with MECO Construction’s CEO.

The owner of the jet, a private business owner, said that Araya had taken several trips on the jet previously. Such trips are in violation of Article 128 of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Costa Rica, which prohibits donations from private companies.

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Gerry Adams

What the hell is happening in Costa Rica? To think that people think Araya should be a mayor of San Jose again is like a dentist giving candy to kids. Araya did not do one dam thing in 22 years as mayor. He is a corupt mayor and everyone knows it. I know so many people that say he made millions every year he held office in San Jose. If Araya becomes mayor again i expect Guns and riots in the street. PLN party said he stole million as he ran for president of Costa Rica that why he is not PLN anymore. Common people in Costa Rica are getting really fed up with these entitled people like Araya and Figueres that think there tax dollars are for there pockets. Araya is very corupt but Figueres is scum.

Figueres I love to consult and hide in Europe
In 2004, Costa Rica’s Attorney General opened official investigations against two other former presidents, for alleged financial misconduct. Both were placed under arrest. Shortly afterwards local media reports claimed Figueres had also received payments from Alcatel. It was reported that Figueres had earned nearly US $ 900 thousand for three years of consultancy work on telecommunications with Alcatel initiated two years after his presidency, and while already working in Europe. Figueres disclosed all his financial affairs and requested the Costa Rican Internal Revenue Service to review his tax returns. Following this review, Figueres amended his tax filings to include income earned outside of Costa Rica, which is not subject to Costa Rican tax, and paid 67.2 million Costa Rican colones in taxes.

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Robert J

Thank you for that information Gerry Adams. I hope the people of Costa Rica are waking up and realizing that this scum bag is trying to become mayor AGAIN. After 22 years, you have to wonder why someone would be so adamant about running San Jose again. This is exactly why we need term limits. It is OBVIOUS that he has a lot to gain, financially of course, by running again.

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