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Minister of the Presidency and symbol of national unity resigns

July 30, 2019

The Minister of the Presidency of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Piza, announced on Monday his resignation after just over a year in office.

Piza had been a symbol of national unity under the administration of President Carlos Alvarado.

“I leave the ship when I am convinced that the goal will be reached,” Piza said in announcing his resignation at Casa Presidencial.

Piza, a member of the traditional Christian Social Unity Party (PUSC), an opposition party, sought the presidency during last February’s elections, in which he finished in fourth place.

The now former minister backed Alvarado in the second round of elections, in April 2018, when the current president faced former evangelical deputy Fabricio Alvarado.

Piza’s support was considered one of the principal factors leading to Alvarado’s victory. In his resignation speech, the former minister announced that he will continue to support the government.

“From other trenches I will continue to help democracy in our region. I will continue to help the country always, with you, Mr. President, and with those who come,” Piza said.

After announcing his resignation, the outgoing minister said he accepted the position of coordinator of the Observatory of Democracy and Development of the Organization of American States (OAS), at the invitation of the secretary general of that entity, Luis Almagro.

Before assuming power on May 8, 2018, Alvarado announced Piza as the head of his cabinet, in a government experiment made up of people from different political parties.

Piza, a 60-year-old lawyer, faced criticism for not appearing publicly during difficult times for the government, such as the recent protests of unions and students against the entry into force of the new Value Added Tax.

He was also criticized for having little contact with the deputies of the Legislative Assembly, including with the deputies of his party, the PUSC.

President Alvarado defended the management of Piza and assured that the a government of national unity will continue.

“The Minister of the Presidency presented his resignation letter. I appreciate his hard work and commitment. The Government of National Unity continues. We have people from all political stores with a common agenda,” Alvarado published on Twitter.

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