Much-awaited political debate scheduled tonight at 7 o’clock

The second of two presidential debates takes place tonight starting at 8 o’clock. This is the one that matches frontrunner Johnny Araya with José María Villalta Florez-Estrada, who may be the main opponent.

The debate will be presented on Canal 13, the Sistema Nacional de Radio y Televisión.

All 13 candidates have been invited, and six were invited for Sunday night.  Only Otto Guevara of Movimiento Libertario and Luis Guillermo Solís of Partido Acción Ciudadana have any chance of winning, although all the candidates hope to attract enough votes to put members of their party in the legislature.

The election is Feb. 2, and January is the month with most of the campaigning.

The encounter tonight pits center left Partido Liberación Nacional candidate Araya against the man who is being called a Communist. Araya is the former San José mayor. Villalta is an opponent of privatization and the free trade treaty with the United States. Advertising for other parties claims he wants to turn Costa Rica into a Cuba or Venezuela.

Another debate is scheduled closer to the election.

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