After making it clear a few weeks ago that he would not run for president in 2014, ex-President José María Figueres presented on Monday the first report of his new political project called “Vía Costarricense,” or “Costa Rican Way.”
The report describes Vía Costarricense as a civic movement that aims to go beyond political parties to include citizen participation in government with a focus on development. According to the report, in four months the project received more than 600 suggestions from citizens on how to improve governance in the country, through the group’s website at www.via.cr.
After 11 years of living in Europe, the former president, who served from 1994-1998, returned to Costa Rica in December 2011. In 2000, Figueres was named executive director of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2004, news media in Costa Rica reported that Figueres had received $900,000 in payments from 2000-2003 for consulting work he did for the then-French-owned telecommunications company Alcatel, which later became involved in a bribery scandal that netted another former president.