Rafale Ortiz
Rafael Ortiz (tallest and balding) is the new president of the Legislative Assenbly for the 2015-2016 session.

QCOSTARICA – The ability of the government to approve new taxes, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gay marriages in this second year was diluted with the election PUSC legislator Rafael Ortiz to chair the Legislative Assembly for the 2015-2016 session.

With Ortiz, the government and the Partido Accion Cuidana (PAC) lose control of the Legislature to a coalition made up of PLN (Partido Liberacion Nacional), ML (Movimiento Libertario) legislators and PUSC (Partio Unidad Social Cristiana).  The PUSC bloc is made of Renovación Costarricense, Alianza Demócrata Cristiana and Restauración Nacional legislators.

The ruling PAC had expected to re-elect Henry Mora after a failed bid by Otton Solis, to lead the Legislature in the second year and overturn the last hour agreement reached by the opposition, which excluded the FA (Frente Amplio).

The opposition was able to form an alliance in the last couple of days, thanks to what can be considered as PAC party infighting led by legislator and former presidential candidate Solis. Thursday night, President Solis confirmed his support for Mora, leaving legislator Solis, who believed he counted with enough party support and legislative votes, at the door.

Loss of control of the Legislature is a tough loss for President Luis Guillermo Solis, and starting his second year with a revamped cabinet.

With the opposition in control of the Legislative Agenda and Legislative Committees, such as the Financial Affairs Committee (Comisión de Asuntos Hacendarios), it will favour greatly oppositors to the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the tough financial budget cuts announced by the government.

“With maturity and patriotism we must take on the challenge. For the PUSC the main thing is a work agenda, which gives Costa Rica direction and in that sense, we will do it with the support of the other parties, ” said Ortiz after being elected.

Control of the Legislative Assembly by the opposition also means a possible stop to the proposals promoting gay marriages and In-Vitro Fertilization.

In his May report to the Legislative Assembly Friday afternoon, President Solis made it clear that for Costa Rica awaits a difficult year as a result of government fiscal imbalance.

The consequences of not solving the gap between revenues and government spending, are a low growth of the economy, a decline in domestic investment and rising unemployment,” said Solis.