Luis Guillermo Solis, presidential candidate for the Citizen’s Action Party (PAC – Partido Acción Ciudadana), returned to Guanacaste during his “Route of Joy” campaign, looking towards the decisive second round of elections on April 6.
Solis spent Friday, February 28 in Nicoya,he appeared before some 300 people in PAC’s clubhouse. Solis gave The Voice his personal analysis of results from the first round of elections, condemned the repressive actions of the Public Force during the TECOCOS protest in Chomes, discussed his expectations and feelings on the second round, and explained why Guanacastecos shouldnot worry about not having a congressional representative from PAC in the next Legislative Assembly.
The Voice: In the last interview, you told us that you believed in polls but not in those who publish the results. Your perception was proven true during the first round of elections…
I have said on many occasions that polls are no longer the best way to gauge the country’s reality. We were using smaller and more continuous methods, which were giving more precise results regarding the elections, and I believe that’s a factor because today Costa Rican politics aren’t that predictable. For example, there were a large number of undecided voters, which stayed around 40%, until two weeks before the elections took place and that can’t be accounted for in the polls.
The Voice: In Guanacaste, National Liberation (PLN – Partido Liberación Nacional) won 40% of the vote, against 14% for PAC. Even in Nicoya PAC only won 2,800 votes in the last round. How do you think you can change those numbers?
That has been PAC’s historic situation in the coastal provinces and it is very worrying that it is that way. We have made an effort to strengthen territorial teams, we are using more campaign resources, we are participating in stronger ways; I had never done a four-day trip to Guanacaste. And we have been receiving the support of people from other parties that aren’t from PAC, who for this second round will join our organization, which would allow us to raise those numbers.
The Voice: In the first elections, PAC did not have a single congressmen elected for Guanacaste. Some Guanacastecos feel that, in the eventuality of a PAC victory, Guanacaste would be forgotten in the next Legislative Assembly. Whatmessage do youhaveforthose Guanacastecos?
I would have also preferred to have a PAC congressman representing Guanacaste in the Legislative Assembly but every cloud has a silver lining. They’ll now have 13 congressmen because the PAC congressmen (elect) are going to fill that gap and they’re going to do so with a lot of enthusiasm.
The Voice: What is your opinion of the events that happened in Chomes during the TECOCOS protest of February 24, in which the Public Force used tear gas, attacked demonstrators and entered a restaurant to attack people?
[It was]terrible because that is exactly what we do not want. This is what we have been looking to prevent with the TECOCOS law – that people living along the coasts do not feel that they’re being arbitrarily removed from their workplaces and homes with an arbitrary enforcement of laws. People are worried because they don’t know where to go.
The Voice: Are you in favor of the TECOCOS law?
Of course. It is a project that has had a lot of time for to mature and for negotiation; it is entirely fair and it seems necessary to me that we ensure it is approved.
The Voice: Otto Guevara has said in other places that PAC is a weaker version of the Broad Front (FrenteAmplio). What do you think about that?
That it’s don Otto’s opinion, and like many others, he is mistaken.
The Voice: Would you make any alliances?
Morethan alliances with parties, I’m looking for alliances with the people of Costa Rica, the productive areas, and with social and communal organizations.