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Despite Corruption Case, Calderón Eyes Presidency

March 9, 2007

Ex-President Rafael Angel Calderón, Jr. (1990-1994) appears ready to run for President again, despite the corruption allegations hanging over his head.

Luis Fishman, president of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), told the daily Al Día recently that Calderón plans to run again and will soon make the official announcement of his presidential aspirations.

He has received “great popular pressure” to run again and “won’t be defined by the Prosecutor’s Office,” which is investigating the allegations.

Calderón is accused of masterminding the distribution of millions of dollars in kickbacks related to a medical equipment purchase made with funds from the government of Finland. After the allegations surfaced in 2004, Calderón was arrested and placed in preventive detention, both at his home and in a penitentiary, for approximately one year. He is now out on bail.

Fishman criticized the Chief Prosecutor’s Office for failing to place any formal charges against the former President after more than two years of investigation.

Calderón has been called as a witness in the proceedings against another public official accused of corruption, former Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) board member Hernan Bravo (TT, Feb. 9).

The PUSC president, who served as Vice-President during Abel Pacheco’s term in Casa Presidencial (2002-2006), said he wouldn’t consider a role as Calderón’s vicepresident because he’s “cured” of that desire. He became estranged from Pacheco during the election and held onto his office for most of the four-year term without any official functions.

 

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