Run off election official gets underway today.
Run off election official gets underway today.

Partido Accion Cuidadana (PAC)candidate for President, Luis Guillermo Solis, accused his runoff election adversary, Partido Liberacion Nacional’s Johnny Araya, of mounting a smear campaign.

He directly accused Araya of planting fear among voters by painting PAC as an extreme left wing party.  Solis made the accusation Thursday morning on a broadcast of radio station ADN-FM.

“The principal spokesman for this fear campaign is don Johnny (Araya), accusing PAC of being a radical left political party,” said Solis, “returning to place the subject of abortion center stage and generating the feeling of government by inexpert and inept people.”

Solis beat Araya in the general election by a bare 1.36% and failed to achieve the 40% of the vote that would have made him the outright winner.

Araya had made the usual politician’s prediction of attaining 40% of the vote before the election.
The PAC candidate vowed to take the high road but did not absolutely guarantee it if Araya did not desist. “The people don’t care for attacks,”  Solis said, “but (want) proposals.”

But, he said sternly, if people begin to make false accusations, that damage PAC’s credibility or a future government, “I plan to solve that.”

PAC has never won an election but has many intellectuals and deserters from other parties who have flocked to the standard through the three decades of the party’s existence.

Solis refused to specify exactly who he would name to his cabinet but emphasized that members would have leadership, decency, problem solving capacity and representative of all sectors of the country.

Commentary: PAC is left of center but, then so is Liberation thanks to Araya returning the party to its tradition. Whether Araya is trying to restore the campaign waged against the Broad Front Party, labeling it as extreme left is unknown.

But PAC, although left of center, is in no way extreme. Broad Front was much farther left. As for being pro-choice on the abortion topic, some of its legislators are — but so are some of the voters.

Araya has been cozying up to the Catholic Church recently so this may be a ploy to tap the religious issue. On the other hand, Solis may be making a big thing of the attacks in order to woo the sympathies of the Broad Front voters who were stung by the extremist slur during the regular campaign.

But that is the trap of political reporting. One begins to doubt that politicians say what they mean and mean what they say…

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