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So much for dialogue and consensus: Legislative Assembly snubs President Solís’ 100-day report

August 20, 2014

President Luis Guillermo Solís probably didn’t expect a “Kumbaya” moment at the Legislative Assembly when he requested an audience with lawmakers to present his administration’s much-anticipated 100-day report, but he thought they’d at least let him show up to the campfire.

On Monday evening, hours after the president requested an hour Thursday afternoon to present his assessment of the government as he found it after President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) left office in May, the heads of the fractious political parties refused to give him the floor. Solís blamed the National Liberation Party (PLN) for the delay in the report, which would be a first of its kind in Costa Rica.

“This is not an attempt to generate arbitrary judgments — that belongs to other government bodies — but an opportunity to speak frankly, with respect, and deeply about [the fact that] today the decision-making process of the Costa Rican government has become dysfunctional and to highlight the poor practices that have taken root in public administration,” Solís said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“This country needs political dialogue. It was a good-faith attempt to propose it,” he added.

The president said that his team could not wait any longer to present the report, which would help guide the direction of his government’s public policy, including the upcoming National Development Plan, expected in November. Solís said the report would be presented to the public, including social and business leaders, as well as any lawmakers who choose to attend on Thursday, Aug. 28, at Teatro Melico Salazar at 7 p.m.

While Solís has struggled to work through his government’s differences with his own Citizen Action Party in the legislature, he reserved his harshest criticisms for the PLN, which controlled the presidency from 2006 to 2014.

“I get the impression that there is concern in the National Liberation Party over what this report says; second, that this report could set a precedent to review the state of the government … ; third, I see in National Liberation that they don’t what to support the normal, natural management of the government,” the president said, pausing to choose his words.

PLN lawmaker Juan Luis Jiménez released a statement Tuesday saying that there was still a chance for the president to present the 100-day report at the Assembly, but that he would have to respond to questions from lawmakers.

Casa Presidencial has not commented on the possibility of presenting the report to the legislature again.

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