Thursday 24 June 2021

Solís and Araya Meet, First Time Since Election Day

Ministrio de la Presidencia, Melvin Jimenez (left) and former presidential candidate, Johnny Araya (right) give a press conference after a more than two hour long meeting with President Luis Guillermo Solís at Casa Presidencial, Thursday night.
Ministrio de la Presidencia, Melvin Jimenez (left) and former presidential candidate, Johnny Araya (right) give a press conference after a more than two hour long meeting with President Luis Guillermo Solís at Casa Presidencial, Thursday night.

COSTA RICA POLITICS – The last time the two met was at the February 2 mass on election day. After that, Johnny Araya withdrew from the presidential elections, paving the way for Luis Guillermo Solís to take the presidency.

Since that morning meeting at the Catedral Metropolitana the only contact the two had been a congratulatory call by Araya to Solís on April 6. But that all changed Thursday, when the former presidential candidate, alone, paid a visit to the President at Casa Presidencial, in Zapote.

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The more than two-hour long meeting that included the Minsitro de la Presidencia (Chief of Staff), Melvin Jiménez, was to thaw out the frozen relations between two men and their rival parties, the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) and the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC).

Although Araya ruled out being a spokesperson for the 18 PLN legislative candidates, he did say he has the power to exchange messages of their regular meetings.

Both Araya and Solís denied publicly having reached any agreement, Araya did mention the willingness of PLN legislators to extend Teh discussion on the Labour Procedural Code, a bill vetoed by then President Laura Chinchilla and a promise reversal by Solís, made under pressure from the Frente Amplio party. The veto by Chinchilla was because the legislation would legalize strikes in essential public services.

The Araya meeting came after President Sol%s confirmed publicly his intention to meet with former president Oscar Arias, whose views of the PLN party are quite different from those of Araya.

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In what may be seen as earning brownie points with the PLN, Solís honoured Don Pepe Figueres (José María Figueres Ferrer) on the 66th anniversary of the abolition of the army and last week ordered the statue of Figueres to come out of storage and be placed in its original location, in the patio of the Mueso Nacional (National Museum)

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