• Costa Rica Real Estate

Zelaya: Rivas was quiet, uninterested in work

January 11, 2011

In January 2000, electoral magistrate Roberto Rivas was named the new president of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) as a product of the nascent power-sharing pact between Daniel Ortega and then-President Arnoldo Alemán.

Outgoing CSE president Rosa Marina Zelaya said Rivas’ candidacy was proposed as an “impartial” compromise by his godfather, Roman Catholic Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, who was acting as a witness and facilitator to the birth of El Pacto.

But Rivas’ promotion was not necessarily a reward for his exemplary work  as a magistrate, Zelaya says.

Asked what she remembers of Rivas’ performance as an electoral magistrate, Zelaya said: “He came to the meetings. He was very quiet. He didn’t participate much, but he was aware of what was going on. He traveled a lot outside of the country to attend to his businesses in Miami.

She added, “He didn’t demonstrate any enthusiasm to learn about the job, but he did make known his desire to become president of the CSE; he said that a lot.”

Zelaya said Rivas, whom the Sandinistas are currently trying to reelect as president of the CSE, brought that same mediocrity to the job of chief magistrate.

The CSE he inherited in 2000, she said, was one that had undergone a great process of professionalization. And with the support of the international community, the CSE had state-of-the-art technology and was well-advanced on issuing state identification cards (cédulas) to all citizens.

“We had state-of-the-art vote-mapping machinery from Canada – the same technology they used in Canada. We had state-of-the-art machines from Spain to manufacture cédulas. And the U.S. gave us top-of-the-line machines to print all our own ballots and voting materials,” Zelaya said. “But don’t ask me what happened to those machines. They were never used and instead left to deteriorate somewhere in a warehouse.”

Zelaya said Nicaragua should have the technology in place now to give final election results at 7:30 p.m. on election day. And instead of struggling to issue cédulas to the long list of Nicaraguans who still don’t have their voter-I.D. cards 10 months before the elections, the CSE should be in the process of issuing cédulas to Nicaraguans living abroad – something that hasn’t even started.

“All these institutional deteriorations occur when an institution is not managed well,” Zelaya said. “There’s a lack of will to do things better  and a lack of professional capacity; the CSE fired all its administrative staff between 2000 and 2003 and has dismantled everything under Roberto Rivas.”

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s magical Río Celeste
Pic of the Day
34 views
Pic of the Day
34 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s magical Río Celeste

The Tico Times - December 8, 2019

It's called Río Celeste for a reason. Tenorio Volcano National Park is home to this stunning waterfall and vivid blue…

Soccer Saturday: Navas makes impressive save vs. Nantes; Herediano takes lead in Costa Rican final
Keylor Navas
41 views
Keylor Navas
41 views

Soccer Saturday: Navas makes impressive save vs. Nantes; Herediano takes lead in Costa Rican final

Alejandro Zúñiga - December 7, 2019

It has been at least a week since we shared a Keylor Navas highlight, and we're here to rectify that…

Wind and rain prompt yellow, green alerts throughout Costa Rica
Costa Rica
850 views
Costa Rica
850 views

Wind and rain prompt yellow, green alerts throughout Costa Rica

The Tico Times - December 6, 2019

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Friday issued yellow and green alerts throughout most of Costa Rica due to rains…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!