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Costa Rica’s New President Breaks with Traditional Politics, Seeks Transparency and Accountability

LADB Article ID: 79313
Category/Department: Costa Rica
Date: 2014-05-22
By: George Rodríguez

In a surprising request during his inauguration speech, Costa Rica’s new President Luis Guillermo Solís asked the people to repudiate him should he fail to fulfill his duties. He also stressed the need for scrutiny by the people as well as transparency and accountability in public office, turning the government into a "crystal house." As part of the transparency promoted by the new head of state, the incoming ministers signed, before being sworn in, an ethical-commitment document covering items ranging from expenses to access for the media. Some of Solís' first actions since taking office on May 8 for the 2014-2018 period have been signals in this direction, including personal contact with people, removing metal security barriers from around the Casa Presidencial—the seat of this Central American nation’s government—as well as the thick bushes that for years had grown high on the building’s front fence.

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