President Luis Guillermo Solís (left) and legislator Ottón Solís (right).
President Luis Guillermo Solís (left) and legislator Ottón Solís (right).

COSTA RICA NEWS — The high command of the Partido Acción Cuidadana(PAC) may want to send a memo to the nation’s President, Luis Guillermo Solis, and its powerful congressional leader Otton Solis: “Hey, fellas! Put a sock on it. The party’s gettin’ rough!”

In the latest dust-up, the PAC’s two most powerful figures, both surnamed Solis (no relation to each other), became locked in an acrimonious controversy when, on a TV political news program Sunday, lawmaker Solis referred to the President using “sicarios,” that is, Spanish for hitmen or hired killers.

Quite naturally, the President called for a public apology from his party’s gadfly legislator only to be snubbed. During the show, moderator Alpizar noted that DIS director Mariano Figueres and renegade PAC legislator Victor Morales have been “rough on Solis.”

That was when the abrasive lawmaker Solis dropped the bomb. “I’d like to think that they aren’t hitmen of don Luis Guillermo or anyone else but are acting of their own free will.” the legislator replied. The program is call “Noche sin tregua” or “Evening without ceasefire” but it was probable that the moderator was not expecting such a reply.

Lawmaker Solis refused to back off, explaining that he was referring to politicos who use others to attack a foe. Although journalists like to stir up the water for increased readership or higher TV ratings, Alpizar did not seem to be trolling to put his program in the middle of a high profile squabble.

The President sent a stiff note to legislator Solis’s office, stating, “You must understand my surprise at such statements which are not only false but offend the dignity of high functionaries of the government as well as the President of the Republic.”

Other than pointing out that he had not called the President a hitman, he refused to back up a step. The lawmaker said he hoped only for the success of the Administration, the first PAC one since the party’s founding in 2000. “I’m a day laborer of the government,” he said.

Lawmaker Solis is a party founder who increased already high tensions between himself and the President when he proposed ¢305 billion colon cuts in the 2015 national budget. Lawmaker Morales is a Presidential loyalist but has ethics issues with PAC. Mariano Figures is head of an agency Solis would like to eliminate.

Commentary: Before the election, we observed that nothing changes a party more than winning an election. Obviously, that has happened to PAC, but what effects this will have on the Administration is yet to be seen. The two main figures are like oil and water — the President a pragmatist and lawmaker an idealistic crusader.

Obviously the gloves are off between the two. But it is puzzling to us that the party political council has not sat the two down for a “now, see here.” session. Use of a word like “hitmen” in the usual political minuet, especially inside a party, is terribly “un-Costa Rican,”

Article by, with editing by the Q! – reposted with permission

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