Saturday 1 April 2023

Presidential candidates got “down and dirty” in debate

Candidates took advantage to point out defects of the other and launch accusations. "I have no experience in stealing," Villalta replied to Figueres in a Channel 36 debate

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QCOSTARICA – In the presidential debate organized by channel 36Tuesday night, the invited candidates, José María Villalta, José María Figueres, Lineth Saborío and Fabricio Alvarado took advantage when they were asked to point out two qualities and two defects of the other.

The debate was recorded on Monday in the auditorium of the Colegio de Bomberos de Costa Rica. In the photo, from left to right, presidential candidates Fabricio Alvarado, Lineth Saborio, Jose Maria Figueres and Jose Maria Villalta. (Photo: Bharley Quirós) You can watch it

For example, Figures, the candidate of the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN), had to refer to the Villalta of the Frente Amplio.

Figueres commented that he sees the Frente Amplio candidate as a “prudent” person, who has been respectful throughout the debates and has given his best effort. He also highlighted that he has a “solid theoretical background” and is “studious” and has shown it in his answers.

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Speaking of the weaknesses, he said: “This country needs to reactivate the economy and generate jobs and Mr. José María (Villalta) has experience in political positions and given he lacks experience with the national productive sector, his proposals are dogmatic and unsuccessful in communist countries”.

Villalta was not supposed to talk about Figueres, but he took advantage of a few minutes of his time to reply to the PLN candidate, “Don José María (Figueres), what I don’t have is experience in breaking down institutions, beating up educators or stealing.”

Figueres was not far behind and although it was not his turn to speak, he told Villalta in a strong tone: “If you want to make an accusation against me, do it before the Courts, do not come here to insinuate things that are not true”.

10 years outside the country

The Nueva República (NR) candidate, Fabricio Alvarado, described the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) candidate, Lineth Saborío, as a “good person”, whom he has known for many years and stressed that she is someone who values ​​her family, a fact that Alvarado said is very important for the political movement.

Regarding her weaknesses, Fabricio said that he has noticed in the campaign “little clarity and ambiguity in her positions” and that Saborío co-governed with President Carlos Alvarado.

Saborío then described Figueres, whom she described as an “observant man” and “persistent”. And added: “If there is something that I would not have, it is the strength to be able to stay out of Costa Rica for 10 years, that is something that I would not be able to do.”

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In addition, she assured that another weakness of the PLN candidate is the “insufficient credibility with the people”.

Again, although Figueres was not supposed to answer, but took his time to tell Saborio, “Doña Lineth, with all due respect, I do not accept that I was out of the country for 10 years, check it out in the migration reports that you should know about. And about my credibility, I respectfully remind you that I am the person who has led all the polls since the campaign began and will win the presidency on February 6.”

Bags of money

Finally, Villalta had to describe Alvarado and ironically told him that as for good qualities he is a “good singer” and “a good speaker” who has good stage management in interventions and political debates.

“As for weaknesses, he has never clarified the serious questions about the financing of his previous political campaign, those bags of dollars that arrived in garbage bags at his campaign headquarters that were never explained and are currently under investigation by the judicial authorities,” he added.

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“He (Alvarado) does not have minimal knowledge of the functioning of the Costa Rican State, we listen to him with proposals without any technical support, ignorance of the legislation, the legal system and the social reality of the country, populist offers,” commented Villalta.

Alvarado took advantage of his time to close the debate to reply to Villalta saying that they have indeed clarified those questions and showed their faces.

“These accusations are nothing more than a dirty campaign against us for several years that have generated growth and will give us victory on February 6. José María (Villalta) talks a lot about the questions against us, but he says nothing about his and his people’s trips to Cuba and Nicaragua to celebrate the Sandinista revolution”.

Election day

The electoral campaign officially closes tomorrow, Thursday, February 3, when all politicking, including paid advertising, must come to an end ahead of election day on Sunday, February 6, 2022.

A historic figure of 25 candidates are vying for the presidential chair. The candidate to obtain the most votes over the minimum of 40% is declared a winner.

In the event, a most likely scenario in 2022, no one candidate meets the minimum, a run-off election between the two candidates with the most votes will be held on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

The new president will be inaugurated on May 8, 2022.

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