Sunday 10 December 2023

PLN assumes third consecutive defeat in national elections

The PLN continue with a majority in the Legislative Assembly

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QCOSTARICA – Sunday’s loss of José María Figueres for the presidency is also the third consecutive for the Partido Liberacío Nacional (PLN).

The PLN’s colors are green and white, in Spanish “verdiblanco”

The head of the PLN legislative faction, María José Corrales, considers that many Costa Ricans voted against a party and not in favor of a political proposal.

PLN legislator, Roberto Thompson, affirms that the political group must make a deep reflection after the defeat

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Former PLN legislator, Ronny Monge, said that the PLN needs to consider changes for the future.

The last time Costa Ricans elected a PLN candidate was in 2010 when Laura Chinchilla became the first woman president.

Following Chinchilla was long-time San Jose mayor Johnny Araya, who was considered a favorite in 2014. But Araya came in second place to Luis Guillermo Solís, who won 30.9% of the vote against Araya’s 29.6%, triggering a second-round vote since neither of the top two candidates obtained the required 40% of the votes.

On 6 March 2014 Araya announced that he would abandon his presidential campaign after polls showed him far behind Luis Guillermo Solís.

In the 2018 elections, Antonio Álvarez Desanti, who was supported by former president Óscar Arias Sánchez, led the party to its second consecutive loss. In the primaries, Desanti took the nomination for the presidential candidate that included Jose Maria Figueres as a contender.

For the 2022 elections, the party chose former president Figueres (1994-1998) from a slate of candidates that included Roberto Thompson, Rolando Araya (brother of the San Jose mayor) and Carlos Benavides, among others.

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José María Figueres Olsen is the son José María Figueres Ferrer, affectionaly known to Costa Ricans as “Don Pepe”, who served as President of Costa Rica on three occasions: 1948–1949, 1953–1958 and 1970–1974.

While the PLN can’t have a president elected, they continue to dominate the legislative assembly with 17 legislators for the current period (2014-2022) and 19 for the next period (2022-2026) when the new crop of legislators take their benches on May 1.

The unicameral legislative branch of the Costa Rican government is made up of 57 legislators, who are elected by direct, universal, popular vote on a closed party list proportional representation basis, by province, for four-year terms, who cannot serve for two successive terms.


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