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Costa Rica Lawmakers Call for Investigation Into President

Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly approved a report on Monday accusing the country’s president, Rodrigo Chaves, of being the intellectual author of irregular financing of the 2021-2022 election campaign.

With 33 votes in favor, 14 against and two abstentions, the deputies determined that the president allegedly devised a parallel system to obtain additional funds for presidential campaign expenses.

That money should have appeared in the financial records of the Social Democratic Progress Party (PPSD) – the party for which Chaves participated as a presidential candidate – and in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal’s (TSE) registry of electoral income. But it did not.

The deputies’ approval of the report does not practically harm Chaves’ activity as president. However, it reveals a situation that lawmakers have asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate.

“It goes without saying that President Chaves was one of the intellectual authors of this parallel financing,” opposition deputy Ariel Robles of the Broad Front said during the legislative session. Speaking in favor of the president, PPSD deputy Pilar Cisneros said that the commission and report were a “politicking circus”.

“He who has nothing to hide, has nothing to fear,” the legislator said. “They were never able to demonstrate or prove a parallel structure in Rodrigo Chaves’s campaign,” Cisneros added.

The deputies recommended that the Prosecutor’s Office lift the banking secrecy of the president, Foreign Minister Arnoldo André and Cisneros herself, who acts as the voice of the ruling party in Congress. The intention is to verify the financial movements during the presidential election campaign.

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