Thursday 16 September 2021

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What started out as a demonstration of democracy has become a constitutional crisis and you can´t tell the players without a program.

A never used constitutional rule was exercised by the Legislative Assembly (Congress) and 38 of the 57 members voted out of office a supreme court judge (Sala IV) named Frederico Cruz.

The national and indeed international furor over this act has been overwhelming including other judges from all courts, lawyers, the bar association as well as legal staff dressing in black and holding a vigil in an attempt to restore Cruz to the bench or to modify the constitution; but nobody is talking about that.

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The 38 deputies who voted the good judge out really are not sure why, but they followed a party line lead by the ruling Liberación party who recruited a few more deputies from other political parties making this thing look like a coalition of intelligence.

Almost all the politicos are in on the act and have been mentioned, one way or another, as participants in a coup d’état possibly handed down by none other than the president’s office, Laura Chinchilla and orchestrated by the Arias brothers.

Why?

Well, so far none of the 38 deputies came up with a reason for the ousting of Cruz but this is the same judge who did a thumbs down on the Arias supported Crucitas Mine Project and that alone starts to make some sense.

According to the Costa Rican Constitution, judges serve for a period of eight consecutive years. Judge Cruz´s term was up October 15, 2012. Unless there is a vote by the assembly to negate his mandate, a judge´s term is automatically renewed for another eight years. However, in this case, like most everything else, the vote was late; it was extemporaneous and not made until mid-November.

Meanwhile, the judge was under the assumption that his mandate was automatically renewed better than a month ago.

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Judge Cruz was back on the bench on Monday without resentment or bitterness.

In fact, Judge Cruz is not going to recognize the vote, which by the way, has dropped from 38 to 26 and once again nobody seems to understand how nor why. Judge Cruz returned on the bench, so to speak,  on Monday morning.

The other members of the Supreme Court are in support of his return and as Costa Rica would have it those very same judicial members will decide “in” or “out” because that is the court that will rule on the constitutionality of the original vote against Cruz. As an added feature the Court has indicated it might take up to 16 months for that decision to be made.

It is incredulous, that the constitution permits politicians to vote in or out Supreme Court judges or any other members of the judicial staff. (Ratifying is one thing, voting is another!)

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Just when we all thought the semi-nude You Tube and photo shoot of Karina Bolaños was the end all of embarrassment, along comes this constitutional crisis that is literally incomprehensible and the heads keep nodding towards the office of the president.

The number of politicos involved is absurd, especially if we include the original 38 voting deputies, plus the executive branch, plus the legal departments, plus all the lawyers who deservedly should dress each and every day in black and carry candles at midnight.
“Pura Vida”, and have another cold Imperial beer but not in public since that is against the law along with smoking and publishing political secrets.

Programs, with names, numbers and stats are available by emailing Editor@Qcostarica.com

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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