Former president José María Figueres confirmed Saturday what everyone already knew. He will be a candidate for the country’s top office in 2018.
His announcement came as he resigned the presidency of the Partido Liberación Nacional, a requirement for candidacy.
The announcement also signals the beginning of a political brawl among those seeking to be the party’s nominee. Former president Óscar Arias Sánchez is known to be interested in making another run for the office.
Figueres, the son of the former president and revolutionary, José Figueres Ferrer, served as president from 1995 to 1998.
He is considered the favorite of the business community because of his capitalistic leanings.
Figueres is not without baggage. He served as an advisor for several years to Alcatel, the French firm that was involved in a major bribery scandal, but no charges ever were brought against him. He said he received $900,000 for three year’s work.
Figueres is the son of an American woman, Karen Olsen, who took up Costa Rican nationality and is a politician in her own right.
Figueres was graduated by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and his online biography said that he successfully completed the U.S. Army Ranger course. He also has a master’s degree in administration.