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Guevara snubbed for Friday forum with leading union and other presidential candidates

April 8, 2014

Three of the candidates leading the polls in Costa Rica’s presidential race will participate Friday in a forum organized by the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP).

But despite a strong showing in polls, Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara wasn’t invited.

“Costa Rica’s next president will be at our forum tomorrow,” ANEP Secretary General Albino Vargas said, referring to the decision not to include most of the 13 presidential candidates.

Vargas said Guevara was not invited “because his government proposals would clearly detract from the rights of public employees.”

Unlike the debate format in previous events, Johnny Araya of the National Liberation Party, Luis Guillermo Solís of the Citizen Action Party and José María Villalta of the Broad Front Party will have one hour each to present their platforms and take questions from the audience, which will be composed of mostly union members.

ANEP asked the candidates to discuss three topics: labor legislation, the Social Security System and tax legislation.

Solís will take the stage first, from 9:45-10:45 a.m.,  followed by Araya, from 10:45-11:45, and Villalta, from 12-1 p.m.

The forum will be held at the Costa Rica Tennis Club, southwest of San José, and according to Vargas, as of Thursday some 800 union members planned on attending.

Libertarian Movement Party spokeswoman Shatsee Calvo on Thursday said Guevara “would not address the issue at this time,” but would issue a statement on Friday.

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