Thursday 16 September 2021

Former “Menos Malo” Backs Johnny Araya

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Veteran politician Luis Fishman who parted ways last November with the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) – Social Christian Unity Party – with who he had been long associated, is wholeheartedly backing Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN) presidential nominee Johnny Araya.

Billboard from 2010 presidential elections

The association is one of advisor to Araya.

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Fishman, who ran in the 200 presidential elections as the “el menos ma” (least bad) as the PUSC candidate,  is currently finishing up his last months as a Legislative Assembly deputy and has a long history not only as a legislator and former chief of the assembly, but as a former minister as well. He served three terms as deputy.

The legislator told the leading Spanish-language newspaper La Nacion that he felt more comfortable with Araya’s political philosophy than with any of the other candidates for president, including three of his fellow deputies and that of the Unity party who is a political novice hand-picked by former President Rafael Angel Calderon.

In 2009-10, Fishman took over the campaign of Calderon when the ex-president was indicted on corruption charges. The hasty transfer left Fishman with precious little time to get his viewpoints over to voters and his gesture was viewed more as one of loyalty to his party than a serious run.

Despite his loss to President Laura Chinchilla, Fishman did win a deputy slot and became floor leader for his party until he left in November. The loss of Fishman was a blow to the Unity hopefuls for 2014. Araya admitted Fishman’s prestige, although not a Liberation Party member.

Fishman said he and Araya have not talked of any posts he might take in a possible Araya Administration since he still has to finish out his term in congress. In the past, Fishman did serve as Security Minister.

Araya himself met Friday with his candidates for deputy to try to avoid a split such as happened between adherents of ex-President Oscar Arias and loyalists of Chinchilla early in this term. “We have a program known as ‘more deputies for governing’ to try to convince Costa Ricans not only to give us a vote to win the presidency but also to win an absolute majority in congress,” said Araya.

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The last few presidents have had difficulties in getting bills through the Legislative Assembly due to a split vote among six or more parties. This, as well as some lessening of party discipline, has weakened their hand.

In other political news, the new Worker’s Party with Hector Monestel as presidential candidate elected its deputy aspirants this week. The party is far left and definitely hostile to business, offering a clear alternative to business friendly administrations of Oscar Arias and Laura Chinchilla.

However, political pundits give it little chance at the polls in 2014.

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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