February 6, 2002

Costa Rican presidential favorite says running mate out

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) --Favored Costa Rican presidential candidate
Abel Pacheco reiterated Wednesday that his running mate was out of the
picture -- despite the vice presidential candidate's insistence that he hadn't

Pacheco, from the ruling Social Christian Unity Party, announced late Tuesday that
Luis Fishman had dropped off his party's ticket after being told by top officials that
he couldn't serve as the ticket's campaign manager in the months leading up to an
April runoff.

Pacheco also said that Fishman had pressured him to name him his campaign
director for the runoff.

Fishman later held his own news conference to deny that he had resigned, or that he
had put pressure on Pacheco.

But on a local radio program Wednesday morning, Pacheco said if he wins the
country's first-ever presidential runoff April 7 against National Liberation Party
candidate Rolando Araya, he has no intention of bringing Fishman with him.

"I am not going to call someone to the presidential mansion who is capable of such
impertinence," he said, adding, "and after all this he calls me a liar."

Pacheco and Fishman won Sunday's election with 38.5 percent of the vote, just shy
of the 40 percent needed to win the presidency without a second election. Araya
finished second with 30.9 percent.

 Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.