Leadership battle showdown coming down to the wire

There is the possibility of an impasse if opposition parties take control of the Asamblea Legislativa Sunday.

President Laura Chinchilla has promised to scrutinize any legislation that is the product of the new regime.

The five opposition parties claim that they have 31 votes, two more than necessary to elect the legislative leadership. This is an annual event on May 1 each year. In the past, the Partido Liberación Nacional has forged alliances with minority parties to keep control.

This year it seems that Liberación can count on just 26 votes, 24 from its own party and one each from two evangelical parties. Although leaders of Liberación said they are confident that they can retain control, the mathematics seems to work against them.

The opposition parties include some who oppose the free trade treaty with the United States and others who want to deny the United States landing rights for ships on anti-drug patrol. Nearly all the opposition lawmakers oppose the president’s tax proposals.

The philosophical makeup of the opposition parties ranges from the libertarian right to the far left, so it seems unlikely that together they can create a consistent policy. And that certainly is one of the arguments that Liberación leaders are using in private meetings with opposition lawmakers.

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