New president will discover that there already is a plan

As the days and hours wind down until Sunday’s presidential election, authorities are making some last minute steps before the awaited transition becomes official. Monday the minister of Planificación presented a more sophisticated version of the 2015-2018 national development plan for the benefit of Partido Acción Ciudadana and Partido Liberación Nacional.

The plan is a systemized matrix that outlines a series of broad national objectives with measuring indicators and strategic actions. Roberto Gallardo Núñez, the minister, said the plan and a corresponding budget chart are supposed to serve as guides for the next president’s term in office.

“The national development proposal is an instrument used to serve and guide the new government,” Gallardo said. “We need as much time as possible to completely lay it out.”

The national development plan is not only a framework of advice meant to specify the public needs at a given point in time. It also ties each party’s objectives to its stable system of advice and goals. Although Gallardo did not go into specific goals, he said most parties follow along with the same uniform proposals in focusing on improved education, environment, and health policies. “These are the same basic principles that the country has always accepted,” he said.

On May 8, the heavily favored Luis Guillermo Solís will likely take over Casa Presidencial, barring a monumental surprise. Opposing candidate Johnny Araya Monge suspended his campaign. When the time comes, Solís and his Acción Ciudadana party have 13 stated national objectives. These include a transparent management of finances, more economic opportunities for women, and strengthening the social security system and the pensions from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Gallardo passed out plan guidelines for both parties, as officially the next president is still up in the air. “We have to try to facilitate solutions for either party in the best way we can,” he said.

Once the president is elected, his party will work directly with the Ministerio de Planificación in further sorting out and harmonizing the administration’s goals. The development plan will not officially begin until Jan. 1, 2015, to replace the preceding plan from the Laura Chinchilla administration.

The first edition of the national development plan was released in October.

By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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