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Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla withdraws candidacy for IDB presidency

September 3, 2020

The former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, withdrew her candidacy for the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the government announced Thursday.

“Former President Chinchilla informed the Government of the Republic of her reasons for not proceeding with the registration of her candidacy,” the government of President Carlos Alvarado in a statement.

Chinchilla, who was President of Costa Rica between 2014 and 2018, withdrew after failing to reach an agreement to postpone the IDB vote — scheduled for a virtual meeting on September 12-13 — to March 2021.

“I am convinced that holding the election at this time will not help build the climate of cooperation necessary for the IDB to be able to unleash its full potential and foster dialogue and convergence among the nations of our region,” the former president said in Twitter

“To continue with our national aspiration would be equivalent to endorsing a process that I do not consider convenient either for the IDB or for the hemisphere in the present conditions” in context of COVID-19, she added.

The United States and 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean rejected a postponement of the vote, which was interpreted as an endorsement of the candidate nominated by the government of President Donald Trump.

Washington nominated the lawyer of Cuban origin, Mauricio Claver-Carone, currently in charge of Latin American affairs in President Trump’s National Security Council and known for his hard-line positions toward Castro’s Cuba and Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela.

Argentina nominated Gustavo Beliz, Secretary for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency.

The election is to replace Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno as head of the IDB.

Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico supported the postponement of the vote.

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