• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Women elected to 5 of 6 leadership roles in Costa Rica’s new legislature

May 1, 2018

The newly elected members of Costa Rica’s 2018-2022 Legislative Assembly began work Tuesday with a clear initial priority: achieving fiscal reform so the country can deal with its massive deficit. The Assembly also elected its six-person legislative directorate, with five women and one man selected for the leadership roles.

In their first session, legislators chose Carolina Hidalgo, from the governing Citizen Action Party (PAC, center left), as president of the assembly. The 35-year-old lawyer is the first woman to preside over the Congress since 2000 and emphasized the importance that the fiscal agenda will have under her management.

She will be joined by legislative vice president María Inés Solís (Social Christian Unity Party, or PUSC),  first sectretary Luis Fernando Chacón (National Liberation Party, or PLN), second secretary Ivonne Acuña (National Restoration Party, or PRN), with Yorleny León (PLN) and Shirley Díaz (PUSC) as assistant secretaries.

Hidalgo said that she plans to “listen to all the sectors of the civil society and build a consensus to move the fiscal reform forward, which is a priority for the country.”

Costa Rican Legislative Assembly President Carolina Hidalgo
Carolina Hidalgo is a 35-year-old lawyer from Alajuela. Legislative Assembly via Facebook

Costa Rica has a deficit of 6.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The last four legislatures failed to approve a fiscal reform to address the deficit.

Meanwhile, thousands of workers from the public sector marched on May 1 in opposition to tax reform, which, according to unions, threatens their labor stability.

“Today, May 1, we say no to the fiscal combo,” read one of the posters during the march rejecting the packet of four projects in discussion to reduce public spending, reducing government hiring and raise taxes.

The new assembly is historic in several ways. It has 14 evangelical legislators among its 57 members, unprecedented in this Catholic country; it has the most women in any congress in the country’s history, with 26 out of 57 members; and now, it has five women on its leadership team.

The evangelical legislators represent the National Restoration Party (PRN), a group that increased its presence in the legislature thanks to the support that evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado’s presidential candidature garnered, although he ultimately lost to the PAC’s Carlos Alvarado.

 

During the election of the new legislative directorate, PRN legislators refused to join a multiparty agreement behind Hidalgo. Instead, the PRN legislators pushed for their founder, Carlos Avendaño, to run the assembly.

You may be interested

‘Worst nightmare’: Costa Rica ICUs saturated with Covid patients
Costa Rica
6 views
Costa Rica
6 views

‘Worst nightmare’: Costa Rica ICUs saturated with Covid patients

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 9, 2021

Costa Rica's public-hospital system says it can no longer offer all critical patients the attention they require due to a…

A month after crossing river into US, immigrants face harsh reality
immigration
4 views
immigration
4 views

A month after crossing river into US, immigrants face harsh reality

AFP - May 9, 2021

They crossed the Rio Grande into the United States without papers and clutching their young children. Now, thousands of Central…

Government to discuss pandemic response with private sector
Costa Rica
11 views
Costa Rica
11 views

Government to discuss pandemic response with private sector

The Tico Times - May 8, 2021

Government officials will discuss Costa Rica's pandemic response with representatives of other sectors, in context of new records in hospitalizations…