With Luis Guillermo Solis throwing his hat into the ring as the Accion Ciudadana (Citizen Action) party’s presidential candidate, which makes ten candidates aspiring to the presidential seat for the upcoming elections on February 2nd.
Interestingly after the government of Laura Chinchilla Miranda, no women are running for the presidency of the Republic. The only female candidate who had announced intentions to run was former legislator Epsy Campbell, but she finished third in the PAC convention on Sunday.
The predominant party, Liberacion Nacional (National Liberation), will be led by the former mayor of San José, Johnny Araya Monge, who dedicated himself fully to his position after leaving the office that he held for more than 20 years in the Municipality of San José.
The secondary head of the “bipartisan beast,” the Unidad Social Cristiana (Christian Social Unity) party, will have as candidate the former director of the National Children’s Hospital, Rodolfo Hernandez, who has already raised early doubts by requesting a salary of 7.5 million colones ($15,000) for being a presidential candidate.
José Miguel Corrales returns to the political arena with the Patria Nueva (New Fatherland) party. Corrales was a presidential candidate for the Liberacion Nacional party in the 1998-2002 campaign, losing to Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
The extreme rightist party is already making its first promotional ads hand for its founding leader, Otto Guevara, who aspires to the presidency of the Republic for the third time. Guevara has cases pending against him for financial irregularities in the last campaign.
Another returning candidate is the “owner” of the Accesibilidad sin Exclusión (Accessibility Without Exclusion) party, former legislator Oscar Lopez, who already marked his own turf and will be a candidate on two ballots, also as the leading candidate for legislator of San Jose.
The Christian politician, Justo Orozco, will make his rejection of homosexuals his platform banner as he aspires to the presidency again for his party, the Renovación Costarricense (Costa Rican Renovation).
The main leftist representative will be the Frente Amplio (Ample Front) legislator, Jose Maria Villalta, political heir of former legislator Jose Merino del Rio. Villalta has managed to do somewhat well in the opinion polls, considering that leftist candidates are never well received by the polling agencies.
The Trotskyists aspire to the presidency through ex-syndic Hector Monestel, who will be candidate for the Trabajadores (Workers) party.
Another repeating contender is the former legislator and former Crucitas mining defendant, Jose Manuel Echandi, which premieres for the Avance Nacional (National Advancement) party.
The last one invited to the table would be political scientist and university professor Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, upon confirmation by a manual count of the result that was already announced by the Internal Court of PAC.
The number of contenders could increase since Centro Democratico y Social (Social and Democratic Center), a party founded by Social Christian dissidents, might present its candidate in the coming days.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some groups are making efforts to build a political coalition, which would include at least PAC, Patria Nueva and Alianza Patriótica. The latter party announced that it will not have a presidential candidate in order to contribute to the coalition effort.
Presidential candidates for the upcoming elections:
Acción Ciudadana: Luis Guillermo Solís
Patria Nueva: Jose Miguel Corrales
Movimiento Libertario: Otto Guevara
Liberación Nacional: Johnny Araya
Unidad Social Cristiana: Rodolfo Hernandez
Accesibilidad sin Exclusión: Oscar Lopez
Partido Avance Nacional: Jose Manuel Echandi
Renovación Costarricense: Justo Orozco
Frente Amplio: Jose Maria Villalta
De los Trabajadores: Hector Monestel