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Facing backlash, Costa Rica’s OECD representative resigns

The new representative of Costa Rica to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Ottón Solís, resigned from his position eight days after taking office due to backlash from Congress and business associations.

Solís had been elected by the Governing Council on July 6. However, six of the seven parliamentary groups that make up Congress signed a statement stating that “much dialogue and agreements were put at risk” for what remains of President Carlos Alvarado’s term.

Lawmakers said that if Solís didn’t resign, they would block approval of the $1.778 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), fundamental in the Executive’s strategy to clean up public finances.

Costa Rica became the 38th member of the OECD on May 25, after an accession process that began in 2010.

One of the main arguments of Solís’s detractors is that the official originally opposed Costa Rica’s accession to the OECD; however, he denies that allegation.

The appointment of Solís was proposed by President Carlos Alvarado himself. However, the law of adhesion to the OECD says that the representative should be nominated by the Ministry of Foreign Trade before the Governing Council.

“I hope that this decision, which I make thinking exclusively for the good of Costa Rica (…), will exterminate their excuses, make them drop their threats and proceed to vote favorably and quickly on the loan from the IMF and other important bills awaiting legislative process,” Solís said in his resignation letter.

On Monday, 40 of 51 Costa Rican lawmakers had asked to reverse the appointment of Solís, who previously served as Costa Rica’s representative at the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).

Solís’ appointment also encountered opposition from important business groups, such as the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprise (Uccaep) and the Costa Rican North American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).

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