Tuesday 3 October 2023

PRN closes doors on Melvin Núñez for not getting vaccinated

The Head of the legislative party bench confirmed that they made the decision ‘for the good of all’ and waiting for the TSE to issue a criterion on mandatory vaccination

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QCOSTARICA – While the Board of the Legislative Assembly evaluate whether it can force legislator Melvin Núñez Piña, of the Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN), to get the covid-19 vaccine, his own legislative party bench closed the doors on him of its weekly meeting until he gets vaccinated.

Floria Segreda, head of the PRN legislative party bench, says that every time Melvin Núñez sits next to her, in the plenary, she fumigates him with alcohol and recommends that he be vaccinated. Photo Graciela Solis

Núñez is the only legislator who has not been vaccinated and was recently hospitalized due to the virus. Despite the call for him to vaccinate, the legislator who returned to work this past Monday refuses to vaccinate.

Barring Núñez from party meetings was confirmed by the legislator and party whip, Floria Segreda Sagot, who indicated that they cannot have him in the meeting with the six remaining legislators, “until he is vaccinated, for the well-being of all.”

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Read more: Does mandatory vaccination apply to Costa Rica’s legislators?

Segreda explained that neither she nor the rest of the PRN fraction share the opinion of Núñez against inoculation and said that she, who occupies the seat next to Núñez, tells him every day he sit next to her: ” You have to get vaccinated ”.

“That is a personal opinion of his, because the PRN agrees with vaccination; it is very important to reduce infections,” she indicated.

Nuñes was absent from the committees and plenary session on Wednesday and Thursday, requesting permission to be absent Wednesday, but not for the day following.

Núñez has not spoken to the media since the decision was announced to challenge his refusal to vaccinate.

The legislator from Puntarenas, even after testing positive for covid-19 and hospitalized first in the Punaternas hospital that a San Jose hospital as his condition worsened, alleges that the vaccine is an experiment and he does not believe in its effectiveness.

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The legislative president, Silvia Hernández, made it public this week that she has consulted the TSE (elections tribunal) and the Directorate of Legal Affairs of Congress about the possibility of requiring the vaccine compulsorily for legislators.

On Tuesday, September 28, the Ministry of Health, announced the mandatory vaccination of all public sector employees starting October 15 and that private-sector employers can do the same with respect to their workers.

“It was agreed to ask the administration for all technical-legal support for the implementation of the mandatory measure of the vaccine by the Ministry of Health, for officials and legislators. In the latter case, through consultation with the TSE,” indicated Hernández.

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