Sunday 24 September 2023

Eduardo Cruickshank: the pastor passionate about politics elected new president of Legislative Assembly

The new president of Congress, according to his wife, also leans heavily on his brothers, despite the ideological differences between them.

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Eduardo Cruickshank was elected president of the Legislative Assembly for the coming year, as part of the political process every May 1.

Eduardo Cruickshank, becomes the first Afro-descendant to be president of the Legislative Assembly

Eduardo Newton Cruickshank Smith has been interested in politics since he was a young man, when he studied Law at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). However, about five years ago, he was not planning to become a deputy in his plans.

But it wasn’t until 2018 when he decided to leave behind the pulpit for the ‘curul’ (legislative bench), and now at the center of Costa Rica’s Legislative power.

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Before entering politics, Cruickshank was a pastor in the Colina de su Gloria church, in his native Limón, when he received an invitation from Carlos Avendaño to join the National Restoration Party (PRN), facing the 2018 elections.

His wife, Jeannette Edwards, says that the decision was not an easy one.

“He did not want to accept immediately, he consulted with his family, with God, with his brothers who know about politics, to see what they thought. However, he was very hesitant, saying: “I am going to see that God gives me some sign,” said Jeannette Edwards, a professional in Law and former candidate for mayor of Limón.

Despite his initial apprehension, on May 1, 2018, Cruickshank assumed his seat at Cuesta de Moras. Two years later, on the same date and now 62 years old, he was elected to the presidency of the Legislative Assembly.

Jeannette Edwards says that her husband, Eduardo Cruickshank (right), tries to spend as much time as possible with his family in Limón. The legislator poses here during the wedding of one of his children. Photo: Courtesy of Eduardo Cruickshank’s family.

His appointment is framed as the first time that an Afro-descendant person reaches the high office. Since he began his legislative role, Cruickshank has been characterized for including in his work the denunciation of racism.

The new leader of Congress has been married for 37 years, has two children and is a grandfather. In addition, he is the youngest of eight brothers, one of whom is Clinton Cruickshank Smith, a former legislator and former presidential candidate of the National Liberation Party (PLN).

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He did primary school at the General Tomás Guardia School in Limón. Later, he moved to San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San José, where he attended the Liceo José Joaquín Vargas Calvo school. He is a graduate  of law at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

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