On Wednesday, ruling National Liberation Party presidential candidate Johnny Araya bowed out of the campaign leading up to an April 6 runoff. In so doing, he became the first presidential candidate in Costa Rica’s history to make it to a second round only to end his campaign before the vote.
Early Wednesday afternoon, Araya made the announcement at San José’s Hotel Corobicí. Following is a translation of the speech. Araya did not take questions from reporters.
Beyond my aspirations is Costa Rica
Johnny Araya Monge
Candidate to the Presidency of the Republic
National Liberation Party
I would like to thank the citizens who gave the National Liberation Party majority control of the new Legislative Assembly. Equally, I thank the compatriots who, with their votes, honored our presidential ballot. The work of thousands of collaborators made the February 2 results possible. The gratitude of our party, of lawmakers-elect and of me, personally, is immense for all.
After traversing the country, I can perceive the sentiment of Costa Ricans, I’ve listened to their reasons, I’ve paid attention to their judgment. I’ve consulted surveys that measure the currents of public opinion. And I’ve confirmed the existence of a desire that inclines more and more toward the replacement of the party of the current administration. The campaign for the second round of voting has become very difficult and full of obstacles. Resources and time are as limited as immense is the work to reverse that trend. For ethical reasons, it is unacceptable to resort to ignoble tactics in a zeal to change political perceptions.
Politics, which is the science of reality, has its own logic. Good sense shows that now, more than ever, we ponder the elements of reality and act accordingly. For this reason, and with a firmness in spirit, I make known my decision to end today this campaign for the Presidency of the Republic. Beyond my aspirations is Costa Rica. Prudence advises against spending millions of colones on propaganda, meetings and rallies. We will comply with the constitutional norms that apply, but I will abstain from any electoral activity.
Our party, the lawmakers-elect and your humble servant communicate the disposition to participate institutionally in the construction of a National Accord for Production, Equity and Governableness. Without any other consideration than the greater good of Costa Rica, we have decided to support legislation included in the National Accord. It’s necessary to rectify but not replace Costa Rica’s path toward development. The National Accord must be transparent, focus on citizens, and take place under strict vigilance. Beyond the issues of the National Accord, we are prepared to exercise a new, responsible opposition. The historical mission of the National Liberation Party supersedes the battle for the Presidency of the Republic.
Since my infancy and youth I’ve been inclined toward public service, inspired by the example of those who came before me. With this spirit of patriotism, I accepted the challenge of taking up the green, white and green banner. I reaffirm my vocation for public service and my intention of continuing in the political arena. The satisfaction of fulfilling a duty is the compensation for two decades of public service that have left their mark. I will dedicate my best efforts to strengthening the National Liberation Party, renovating its social democratic essence. The adverse conditions require us to reposition ourselves in preparation for new battles for Costa Rica. Soon I will travel the country to embrace our directors, who I shouldn’t expose amid a tiring process that could affect the national soul.
I confess to you that I can’t find the adequate words to express my deep gratitude for all who opened their hearts to me, who shared their intelligence or their muscle and extended me their hand. May God compensate for such generosity. Upon the conclusion of this process, I share with compatriots my unwavering faith in the future of Costa Rica. Without bitterness or frustration, my heart remains true and serene upon serving my country. May Providence illuminate the new rulers, guide us in the opposition, and always bless Costa Rica.
I thank our journalist friends for your understanding during this difficult period that obligates I postpone responding to your questions.
This is not goodbye, but rather, so long for now…
San José, March 5, 2014.