Another effort is emerging to deny Johnny Araya Monge the presidency.
A group of political activists is proposing a coalition of political parties other than Liberación Nacional to elect a president in 2014. The example, the group said in an emailed statement is the way the smaller parties united to win the leadership of the legislature 18 months ago.
Both Araya, the current San José mayor, and Rodrigo Arias Sánchez, the former president’s brother, are candidates for the Liberación nomination. The coalition group are not fans of the Arias brothers either.
The group lists problems such as poverty, citizen security, the quality of public health and education, highway conditions and corruption as reasons why the electorate needs an alternative.
The coalition announcement said that Liberación has used its power to penetrate all the institutional fabric of the country and promotes fraudulent electoral practices and threatens those who would oppose it. This has caused the credibility of politicians to deteriorate and causes voters to stay away from the ballot boxes, it said.
The coalition said that it would only field presidential and vice presidential candidates. The parties that agree to join the coalition will continue to give voters their slates of legislators.
A specific requirement of a suitable presidential candidate would be someone who has not been involved with Liberación for at least five years, said the statement. The group proposes a national convention to pick the candidate. Many political figures have been Liberación members in the past, including Ottón Solís, the leader of the Partido Acción Ciudadana.
The group calls itself Hacia La Coalición 2014 and has set Saturday for an open meeting to discuss the proposal. The 9 a.m. session will be at the Federación de Organizaciones Voluntarias in Barrio Tournón in north San José.
Among those signing the statement are Freddy Pacheco León, a Universidad Nacional professor, and Rosa Masis Martinez, a lawyer.
The coalition is the latest in a series of political movements that appear to be designed to advance certain individuals outside the normal party framework.
Part of the reason appears to be because many believe that Araya has the Liberación nomination sewed up.