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Candidacy of San José Mayor Questioned Over Residency

September 24, 2010

The head of the Supreme Elections Tribunal, Luis Antonio Sobrado, said Wednesday that authorities will conclude their investigation into the re-election candidacy of San José Mayor Johnny Araya in the coming weeks.

Araya’s candidacy has been questioned because he lives outside of San José and, according to the elections code, mayors must live within the municipalities they serve.

Araya tried to block the application of the law by filing a challenge before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV). The challenge was recently rejected, giving the Supreme Elections Tribunal a green light to make a decision.

“Verifying the claims against candidates all over the country has been a priority for us,” Sobrado said, as the country prepares for municipal elections on Dec. 5. “Not just in the Central Valley, but all over the country. We expect to reach a consensus on this case soon.”

Araya, who moved to Escazú in 1998, now says he lives in a building near La Sabana Park, at the western edge of San José.

The law requires “effective residency,” but Sobrado would not define what that meant, saying it would be determined in the pending decision.

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