Court reports 163 complaints for invocation of religious motives.
As a precautionary measure, the magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) ordered the National Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance Federation to abstain from disseminating public manifestos that represent a call to vote or not for certain parties, after a complaint filed. by a citizen against both organizations.
According to the TSE’s political advisor, Gustavo Román, this precautionary measure was adopted with the purpose of avoiding further damage while the appeal for protection by the fund is being assessed.
“It is an interlocutory resolution in an appeal for amparo. In other words, this is not the final resolution of this appeal. The TSE is admitting for study by the merits that appeal for protection and for that it will be necessary to listen to the denounced parties, receive evidence to make a final decision. In this process, there is the possibility of adopting precautionary measures to avoid further damage or the continuation of damage while assessing the merits of what is being presented in an amparo appeal so that what is ultimately resolved is not without interest ” Roman pointed out.
The appeal for electoral protection was filed by a citizen named Vargas Sibaja, on Monday, January 22; while the interlocutory resolution was released by the TSE on Wednesday afternoon.
The Court also ordered both entities to teach priests or pastors about the prohibition of using the pulpit, prayer places or liturgical ceremonies to induce the vote of their parishioners.
Currently, the TSE reports 163 complaints for the invocation of religious motives, of which 96 are against the National Restoration Party (PRN), 34 for National Liberation (PLN) and 9 for Costa Rican Renovation (PRC); while 5 correspond to National Integration (PIN), 2 for Christian Democratic Alliance (ADC) and 1 for New Generation (PNG).
Román also pointed out that the TSE does not have a deadline to resolve these complaints and that by their nature, they require an analysis and the imposition of a financial fine.
“Article 297 of the Electoral Code obliges the court to carry out an administrative sanctioning procedure. This is a formal procedure that has first a preliminary investigation, charges, hearings for both parties, evidence is received, it is resolved in the first instance, there is the right to second instance. The very processing of a complaint makes it materially impossible to resolve those complaints and to impose fines before the end of the elections, ”said the official.