Elections in Panama: these are the presidential candidates

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Next May 5, Panama will have general elections where not only the president will be elected but also mayors, deputies, councilors, among others

Elections in Panama: these are the presidential candidates

In the next general elections of Panama, which will be held on May 5, the majority of the political cabinet will be renewed and those who arrive will be in office from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2024.

Leer en español: Elecciones en Panamá: conozca a los candidatos presidenciales

In a situation of distrust, Panamanians go to the polls. On the one hand, there is former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), who is accused of "alleged illegal wiretapping during his term in office," according to Voa Noticias. On the other, there is the current president Juan Carlos Varela, accused of receiving bribes in the controversial Odebrecht case when he was vice president of the Martinelli government; and of being close to the businessman Ramón Fonseca, "brain of the Mossack-Fonseca firm, used for money laundering and secret reception of funds to evade taxes", according to Cuba Hora.

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The candidates

According to the official website of the Electoral Tribunal, there are seven candidates for the presidency. Get to know them below:

1. Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo

The politician belongs to the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), but in the presidential elections he is a candidate under the alliance of his party with the Molinera party, under the name "Uniting Forces". Cortizo was deputy, president of the Legislative Assembly and Minister of Agricultural Development, and was a presidential candidate in the 2009 elections.

According to the polling firm StratMark Consultores, Cortizo is shaping up as the favorite candidate, since "it captures 51% of the intention of votes", in data collected by EFE. His presidential proposals are based on four pillars:

1. Rule of law
2. Combat poverty and inequality
3. A competitive economy with job creation
4. Good Government

In the first, Cortizo hopes to carry out a reform of the state, with a reliable and efficient justice system to "endow the country with a new constitutional order, " according to the official document. In the second, it proposes to endow the country with an efficient educational system, hand in hand with a health system that can achieve a healthy society. The third seeks to recover the "Panamanian agro", among others. Finally, a good government that complies with its policies, be honest and be "a government with the people".

2. Rómulo Roux

Pertaining to the Cambio Democrático party, and which, under the coalition with the Alianza Party, "United to Awaken", is presented as a candidate. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2012 and 2013. According to polling intentions, he is in second place with 23.1% support.

Their proposals are based on six fundamental pillars:

1. A country that grows economically and creates more and better jobs
2. Citizen security to live in peace
3. Greater transparency in State administration and comprehensive reforms to the constitution
4. Well-being and quality of life
5. Transformation of our education system
6. Social and sustainable development

In this way, the first pillar aims to achieve annual GDP growth of 6% and the generation of around 400,000 new jobs, according to the proposals. The second focuses on the prevention, control, and criminalization of crimes. In the third, he wants the State and its bodies to reflect transparency and institutionality.

The fourth aims to guarantee the improvement of services such as water, electricity, health and the integral transport system. The fifth highlights education as a fundamental pillar for the value of human capital, and seeks to transform, invest, strengthen, among others, the education system. Against the latter, it focuses on the protection of the environment, opportunities for young people, gender equality, among others.


3. José Blandón

The ex-deputy and current mayor of the district of Panama is a candidate under the "Panama We Can" alliance, which is composed of the Panameñista Party and the Popular Party. It is third in the polls with an intention to vote of 9.1%.

Among his proposals is "a new constitution made and for Panamanians", where he proposes that the corrupt will not be able to work for the State and that both education and health will be a right; "A government that more and costs less" where it proposes a reform to the Social Security Fund, "an inclusive economy so that it can reach you" greater generation of jobs; and "a safe country" where there are citizen protection programs.


4. Saúl Méndez Rodríguez

The candidate for the Broad Front for Democracy, and who registers the 1.3% intention of votes, intends to apply an economic policy that guarantees better conditions for Panamanians, decreasing the levels of inequality in order to create decent jobs, reform salaries, guarantee safety. Similarly, it proposes a policy that prioritizes the satisfaction of Panamanians in health, education, culture, and sports, among others.


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5. Ana Matilde Gómez

The independent deputy has a 7.9% intention to vote. Her proposals are based on four pillars: respect for human dignity, education for transformation, a transformation of environmental, economic and social sustainability, and the fight against corruption.


6. Marco Ameglio

The ex-deputy and former president of the National Assembly has 1% of the intention to vote. Among his proposals is the appointment of officials to public office by merit and not by corruption; the education; the creation of independent sub-directions to manage the health issue, among others.


7. Ricardo Lombana

The last of the candidates for Free Postulation has a 5.3% intention to vote. His proposals are focused on three pillars: Constituent, a reform to the State; Education, with an Educational Revolution and an Efficient Government, reducing the size of the government to have "the smallest and most efficient government in the world", according to their proposals.



LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Elecciones en Panamá: conozca a los candidatos presidenciales"

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