(QCOSTARICA) “Only dictators cling to power, or Jose Maria nor I are not,” were the words spoken by former president Oscar Arias during his meeting with former president Jose Maria Figueres, at the Balcon Verde, the Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN) headquarters located in La Sabana.
Both are “committed democrats”, Don Oscar stressed.
The two former presidents are waging a personal pre-battle for the PLN party leadership for the 2018 presidential elections.
Neither Figueres, nor Arias have made a final decision, for now testing the waters of what either will do. For Figueres it would be his second mandate (1994-1998); for Arias 1986-1990 & 2006-2010) is third.
The meeting, some say, was Arias’ plan to deter Figueres from seeking the leadership. In 2006, Figueres stepped aside when Arias announced his candidacy. This time around it may not be so, without even a flinch, Figueres said he is committed to lead the country in 2018 on a path to recovery.
With a Figueres run at the party leadership Arias could step aside, prompting a suggestiton byArias that both neither run leaving the field open to the younger generation.
For his part, Figueres said that young leaders have always had a voice in the party and that if he is not chosen as the candidate, his support will be behind whomever the party does choose, “because the country has been in better times with the ‘verdiblancos’ (green and white, the party colours)”.
After the meeting, Arias said he would have to sleep on it (the decision to run), adding that what is certain of is that neither he nor Figueres are dictators.