Guanacaste’s Elected Legislators Talk About the Future

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Guanacaste has now identified its four legislators after the manual count of the vote by the Supreme Election Tribunal (TSE – Tribunal Supremo de las Elecciones). Juan Marin Quiros and Marta Arauz of the National Liberation Party (PLN– Partido Liberación Nacional), Ronal Vargas of the Broad Front (FA – Frente Amplio) and Johnny Leiva of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC– Partido Unidad Social Cristiana) are the four representatives that Guanacaste will have in the Legislative Assembly for the 2014-2018 term.

Juan Marin Quiros, 50 years old, is an Hojancha native and one of the most experienced – not only for his age, but also for his political career. He was president of the Municipal Promotion and Consultation Institute (IFAM– Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal), the mayor of Hojancha, Minister of Decentralization in the current government and has held many other public offices.

Marin, after being elected, toured neighborhoods in Santa Cruz, thanking residents for their support. He committed himself to various projects in those communities. In the Tulita area, the importance of having a soccer field in their neighborhood was presented, and Marin committed to the young athletes, declaring, “Because we believe in the strength of youths as the engine that drives communal development, we are committed to forming a team to work together.”

In addition, Marin promised a lot of work in partnership with the communities: “We can’t solve things with a magic wand here; our commitment is to work shoulder to shoulder with clear and defined objectives.”

For his part, Ronal Vargas Araya, a 46 year-old ex-priest who lives in Liberia, sees the results of the national election as positive for his party, the Broad Front (Frente Amplio). “True democracy is achieved not when there is a majority from one party that imposes its will, but when there are different parties that discuss, debate, contribute and arrive at a consensus. This will be the most democratic Legislative Assembly in the history of Costa Rica. It is the Assembly where agreements will have to be made thanks to understanding and consensus and in pluralist accord,” he explained.

Another candidate who was also elected is Johnny Leiva Badilla, a 37 year-old businessman from Liberia. Leiva has high expectations for his work in Congress: “As legislator, I will fight for greater autonomy for Guanacaste. Guanacaste’s decisions should be made in the province and not on Second Avenue in San Jose, where they don’t even know what bothers us. For that reason I will open an office in Guanacaste to attend to the needs of my people,” he said.

Another person elected to hold one of the 57 seats in the Legislative Assembly for PLN is Nicoyan Marta Arauz, known as an important promoter of Guanacaste’s culture, supporting artists, which will be one of her priorities in Congress.

It should be noted that this time the four Guanacaste legislators will be well-accompanied in the Legislative Assembly: there will be 18 legislators from the PLN, FA will have nine, and the Social Christian Unity Party eight, which means that the four Guanacaste representatives will have a good team with which to work.