President Carlos Alvarado has been left standing alone by his two vice presidents, Epsy Campbell and Marvin Rodríguez, who once promised to accompany him and support him in the difficult task of assuming the issues facing the nation.
That promise that Campbell and Rodriguez publicly assumed on October 15, 2017, when Alvarado announced them in his presidential formula, seems to have vanished.
Today, 18 months after taking office, neither the legislators nor political experts can identify the functions and responsibilities of the country’s vice-presidents, except the citizens, who could identify in them only a former unionist in the education sector (Rodriguez) and an ex-legislator who later became chancellor (Campbell), that in less than a year she was forced to leave the position amid accusations of alleged corruption and nepotism.
Opposition legislators and political analysts agree that Campbell and Rodríguez are two absent and distant vice presidents of the country’s problems and that both left President Alvarado alone at a crucial moment in his administration, marked by an economic slowdown, high unemployment, insecurity, and growing social discontent.
Liberationist legislator Franggi Nicolás has been vocal on the matter, saying that her perception is that President Alvarado is “overloaded” given the inaction of his two vice presidents, whom she accuses of only collecting the paycheck every 15 days.
“We are seeing absolutely nothing of their work,” said Nicolás.
Independent legislator Erick Rodríguez Steller said that Campbell and Rodríguez are a ‘mirror reflection’ of this administration, which in his opinion the only thing they do is “sell smoke” and not identify the country’s greatest needs.
Legislators, Erwen Masís of the PUSC and Jonathan Prendas of the Nueva Republica, said two vice-presidents have no link as the main problems of the country and they appear from time to time “so nobody asks.”
Analysts blame Casa Presidencial (Government House).
Political scientists Gustavo Araya and Sergio Araya have their views on why the absenteeism of the two vice presidents. For them, for the almost two years of government, Casa Presidencial has preferred to expose and announce with greater force the actions of President Carlos Alvarado and the first lady, Claudia Doubles; leaving aside what the vice presidents could be doing.
What the VPs are supposed to do
Epsy Campbell and Marvin Rodríguez have different functions, assigned by President Carlos Alvarado.
In the case of Campbell, despite having professional training as an economist, it is not fully linked to a job linked to the critical economic situation that the country is going through. A month after she was forced to leave the post of Foreign Minister, she was assigned 4 tasks listed as “strategic for economic recovery”: the empowerment of women, territorial development, financial education and attention to the Afro-descendant population.
In addition, Campbell is responsible for serving the northern part of the country, in a division of tasks by geographical areas that Alvarado made among his leaders and ministers.
In the case of Rodriguez, his work area is supposed to be social. Despite his closeness to the trade union sector, there has been little participation in the resolution of social conflicts and with unions between public sector officials and the government. In addition, Alvarado assigned him to the attention of the Caribbean area of the country.
But, what is it exactly (or even loosely) that they do?