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Cañas Quits PAC, Party He Founded

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012 – QNews Costa Rica | Source: Fijatevos

Intellectual, writer, diplomat and sometimes caustic political analyst Alberto Cañas quit the Citizen Action Party (PAC) last weekend, a party he helped found, in a dispute with PAC hierarchy’s intent to hold a national convention.

Meanwhile, National Liberation Party candidate for presidential nomination Fernando Berrocal released to television still another attention-grabbing campaign ad, this one linking his weight loss with “will power” the nation needs.

As usual, Cañas pulled no punches as he termed the use of a convention to choose a presidential candidate as “stupidity.” Although he resigned PAC he discounted the possibility of his returning to the Liberation party which he abandoned two decades ago.

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Cañas claimed that an open convention in which other parties could present candidates would assure that they would present weak candidates easily defeated in the 2014 national elections.

He likened the move to inviting the enemy into the PAC camp. But the 92-year-old writer and commentator said he would vote in 2014, but for the first time in his adult life would be without a party.

But PAC secretary general Margarita Bolaños denied that other parties would be allowed to choose the PAC standard bearer. She said those who signed up would be asked for economic support for the campaign.

Both she and party leader Otton Solis lamented losing Cañas who had been a powerful voice in the early years of the party. Solis said he would talk with Cañas but would not back down from the national convention stance.

The resignation of Cañas underscored the recent internal discord within PAC, which during its first years showed remarkable harmony. Solis himself distanced himself from the party steering board during several clashes several months ago.

Discord was further stimulated when the Supreme Elections Tribunal filed a criminal complaint against the party for allegedly fraudulent claims to reimbursement for 2010 campaign expenses. (See previous articles.)

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Meanwhile, the Berrocal campaign for Liberation nomination again raised memories of the quixotic campaign for the presidency during the last century of colorful candidate G. W. Villalobos, who toured the stump on horseback and took quirky positions on the issues.

This time, Berrocal claimed the country needed will power, and the chubby candidate vowed dedicated himself to being the symbol with his own weight loss program. “The only thing I have to lose,” he proclaimed, “is weight.”

A month ago, Berrocal hit national television with a series of ads that seemed to take on deficiencies of his own National Liberation party The ads were controversial and, if their main intent was to attract attention, they succeeded handily.

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