Sunday 19 September 2021

The Women Behind The Candidates

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Each plays a different role in the election campaign of her husband or partner. Some prefer to stay more in the sidelines, while others are fully active in the politicking, attending meetings and going out to get votes.

Whatever their role in the political campaign, the woman behind the winning candidate will be the First Lady of Costa Rica, a figure absent for the last eight years.

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Three women of the top five candidates agreed to chat with journalist Amelia Rueda about their role in the current presidential election.

The wife of Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) candidate, Rodolfo Piza, Ana Eugenia Loría, declined to be interviewed , while the Movimiento Libertario party said that Otto Guevara’s girlfriend, Ileana Alfaro,  is not involved in the electoral campaign.

The wife of front runner, Jose Maria Villalta of the Frente Amplio party, Laura Chinchilla (not to be confused with current president), says she leverages her expertise in communications and audio visual production in the campaign. She also carries out logistical and organizational tasks for some events of the man he has known for the last 16 years. Chinchilla say she doesn’t spend a lot of time on the campaign trail, due to the young age of her eldest son. Chinchilla says she will emphasize environmental issues, reproductive rights and the rights of communications of social organizations, in the role of First Lady.

Mercedes Peña, wife of Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) candidate, Luis Guillermo Solís, preferss to remain on the sidelines of her husband’s work to become president. She told Amelia Rueda that her agenda a executive director of a foundation of municipal development keep her buy and no time to take part in the election campaign, mostly due to her travel throughout Central America and the Dominican Republic.  Peña says she doesn’t see herself in the traditional First Lady role.

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In contrast to the preceding two, Sandra León, wife of Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) candidate, Johnny Araya, has been very active and visible from even before the election campaign became official. León sees herself as a very proactive First Lady, said will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs, if her husband is elected. León has developed the “Caravan of Health”, an initiative to reach communities across the country.

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