QCOSTARICA – Blame it on the other guy. Former presidential candidate Johnny Araya spoke out on Wednesday on the four year ban imposed on him by the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) on Tuesday, for throwing in the towel in the 2014 election campaign on March 5, a month before the presidential runoff.
Araya blames the punishment due to his differences with former minister of the Presidency, Rodrigo Arias and president of the PLN party, Bernal Jiménez.
In 2013, Arias bowed out of the PLN presidential candidate nomintation to pave the way for a Araya candidacy.
“Me lo están cobrando (they’re making me pay for it). There are people in the party who wanted to take advantage of this to create a political lynching, to see how to remove me completely from the political scene,” Araya told La Nacion reporter Esteban Mata, from his home in Rohrmoser.
Araya said that Bernal and Arias have been very ‘hostile’ with him and been following up on the party Ethics board to take their vengeance.
Both Bernal and Arias deny the accusations by Araya.
The former mayor of San José assures that both were not happy with his style of leadership and plans to rejuvenate the party.
For now it is unknown if Araya will appeal the decision. What is clear is that if the decision stands, Araya will not be able to make a bid for the upcoming San José mayorship or the presidential nomination for the 2018 election as part of the PLN party.
“I am not a political corpse,” insists Araya.
Araya has a long history in the PLN party. His brother, Rolando Araya, was a presidential candidate in 2002 and a high ranking PLN party official, including being president of the party. Araya is also the nephew of former president Luis Alberto Monge ().