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Panama Elections 2024: Political Parties, Candidates Etc.

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Rubén Blades posits a transitional government  in 2024


MULTIPLE Grammy Awards winner Ruben Blades may run for president.

Posted 21/02/2022

The singer-songwriter Rubén Blades who wants independent presidential candidates to unite, on Sunday on TVN raised the possibility of closing the National Assembly and installing a transitional government. He suggested that the government that wins the elections of 2024 be one of transition for three years to make the structural changes that, in his opinion, the country requires.

“What you must have are clear arguments, you tell the people, if you win those arguments you present it to the country through a referendum. If the people accept it then you make them into bills and if the Assembly refuses to change the norms that the people themselves have said, then the president has the ability to close the Assembly”, he explained.

In his opinion, to dismantle the “corrupt and patronage State” that exists in Panama, it is necessary to reform the codes and laws, which facilitate or allow impunity for these acts.

“We have to review all the codes. To create a new structure and administrative paradigm, I would eliminate the ministries and create another structure because someone needs to drive the bus, but once you dry up the areas that feed corruption, you create the possibility of founding an efficient system not based on clientelism”, he stressed.

The economist Felippe Argote argued that in order to close the Assembly, it is necessary to comply with the processes that allow democratic continuity. He added that this election scheme where a deputy from one party comes out with 4,000 votes while an independent who got 9,000 votes is left out cannot continue.

For Blades, the best scheme to avoid corruption is to educate the people, who are the ones who vote for politicians. “As long as we don't have that clear offer that really allows people to feel that things will go better without corruption, we will be in the same problem because when [corruption] is allowed and encouraged and people feel that justice doesn't work, they simply take another route, I think that is one of the things that is encouraging this process of corruption in Panama: there are no consequences and there is impunity”, he argued.

The musician, who in recent weeks has been talking about the country's political reality on his website "La Esquina de Rubén Blades", asked himself this Sunday what will happen in 2024? “If we are going to have more of the same because I do not think that this situation (client relations) can continue indefinitely. Laurentino Cortizo and his party, Cambio Democrático and Panameñismo are part of the system, that is why the system must be changed”.

In the debate that arose about a parallel or original constituent assembly, the singer pointed out that the first thing is to present the arguments to the country, since once presented it can be determined if it is mature enough to practice an original or constituent assembly.


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Independents and new party create political waves in Panama


The launch of the Independents Coalition in Parque Urraca.

Posted 07/04/2022

In the   May 2024 elections,  voters tired of the non-delivery of election promises will have the chance to turn to new independent coalitions and new political parties with anti-system, anti-corruption, and "new politics".

In recent days, two different events have shaken the public agenda. On the afternoon of  Tuesday, April 5, a group of young people announced the creation of the Vamos coalition, led by independent deputies Juan Diego Vásquez and Gabriel Silva.

Two days earlier, on Sunday, the movement “Another Path “(Otro Camino) a political party in formation led by former independent presidential candidate Ricardo Lombana, held its first internal elections to elect 313 national leaders.

The signs of change come at a time when the traditional parties are facing disenchantment due to the lack of credibility and trust. According to the Citizenship and Rights 2021 survey, published by the International Center for Political and Social Studies (CIEPS), political parties are among the least credible Panamanian institutions. Only 24.2% of those surveyed value them positively.

"Today a new chapter is being written in the history of independent candidacies in Panama," Silva said during the coalition's presentation at Parque Urracá. He added that they are looking for "decent, honest, hard-working and prepared" people to apply and be part of the coalition.

"We need to take over the National Assembly, we need to take over the local governments and we are going to do it in 2024.".

The current Assembly has an independent bench for the first time in its history made up of Vásquez, Silva, Edison Broce, Raúl Fernandez and Adan Bejerano. It is not ruled out that Broce and Fernández will later join the coalition promoted by Silva and Vásquez.

Critical voices
After the three years of the Cortizo administration, the independent deputies are the main critical voices of the government. The independent caucus, with the marked exception of Bejerano, most of the time, tends to oppose controversial bills, while other opposition caucuses are divided or support the steamroller of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

The political scientist and researcher, Juan Diego Alvarado, told La Prensa the importance of political parties in Panamanian democracy, “They are the building blocks, for better and for worse,” he said. In 2019, although the free candidacies for the Presidency generated more support than ever, as Lombana obtained 18.8% of the total votes, Alvarado explains that free candidacies have always been an option.

However, 2019 also showed the limitations that candidacies have to organize. For Alvarado, this will be one of the main challenges of the independent candidacies, to be able to permeate other sectors of the population, far from the capital city, urban areas, and university or academic circles.

“Both (Vamos Coalition and Otro Camino) are manifestations of the tension that exists between people's disaffection with the parties and the articulation of an independent political identity with the structural imperatives that force you to organize yourself to achieve better electoral results,” Alvarado said.

The creation of the political party Movimiento Otro Camino Panamá has generated criticism. Although Lombana received historic support in the 2019 elections, as he capitalized on the discontent that existed over the handling of public affairs by traditional parties, he argues that he created the party to compete "on equal terms." Promotional videos, detail that a party "is the most appropriate vehicle to establish democratic leadership throughout the country and to establish the principles that unite us."


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RM Party seeks to provide armor for its founder


Posted 26/04/2022

Fights, claims, and brawls were the scenario, at the internal elections of the Realizing Goals (RM) party on  Sunday, April 24  reports La Prensa.

RM is a party founded by former President Ricardo Martinelli, and on Sunday held elections to choose its authorities from the Women's and Youth Secretariats.

Until Monday afternoon there was no official report of who were the winners. Mariela Jiménez, candidate for the Secretariat for Women, and Oliver Dawkins, candidate for the Secretariat for Youth, in a statement, assured that due to the "seriousness of the irregularities and inconsistencies," it is "obvious" that "new elections must be held in a significant number of places.

“There is no question of this need. The president of the Elections Commission (Alma Cortés) has expressed that over 25.000 people could not vote”, said the note.

 Cortés assured that some 25,000 people could not vote because the tables were not ready. Candidates for the different positions stated that personnel related to the payroll occupied space inside the voting centers, which is not allowed by law.

On Monday at noon, at the party's headquarters in Plaza Carolina, a place that previously housed the Cambio Democrático party, also founded by Martinelli, there was no one. Outside there were remains of garbage and the iron doors of the premises were closed with a padlock.

Dodging trial
The new elections proposed by RM would extend Martinelli's criminal electoral jurisdiction, and in turn would allow him to avoid the hearing for the New Business case, scheduled for May 19. The third liquidator judge of criminal cases, Baloisa Marquínez, was forced to suspend the procedure because Martinelli invoked the electoral jurisdiction, and then asked the Electoral Court (TE) to remove the armor, but the magistrates Heriberto Araúz, and Alfredo Juncá denied this petition alleging that Martinelli is protected by the principle of specialty.

Both Martinelli and Cortés had already asked the TE to postpone the elections. This would allow them to lengthen the electoral calendar and, therefore, extend the jurisdiction.


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Suspicions over Martinelli party ‘irregularity’ claims

Posted 26/04/2022

The electoral process carried out by Ricardo Martinelli's party – in which there are complaints of alleged irregularities – has aroused suspicions at a time when the boss of that group faces calls for trials in which he prefers not to be present, for which he uses of the electoral jurisdiction, a tool that allows him to be away from the courts of justice that has been of great benefit to him.

Political analysts are beginning to suspect that the denunciations of alleged acts against the election process this weekend in Realizing Goals is just a distraction, in order to extend the period of electoral jurisdiction, in this case, in favor of Martinelli, and thus delaying the legal proceedings in which he is involved. If this were so – that everything is part of a strategy – the electoral jurisdiction must be reviewed once again to avoid, precisely, this type of use, since it is increasingly delegitimized, and constitutes a clear abuse of justice, something that the Electoral Court should not allow, although lately it seems complicit in this type of use of jurisdiction. The least that these theses deserve is a thorough investigation, which clarifies what many think about what happened – LA PRENSA, Apr. 26


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Two independent lawmakers will not seek reelection


Silva and Vasquez

Posted 08/06/2022

The independent deputies Juan Diego Vásquez and Gabriel Silva announced on Tuesday, June 7, that they will live up to their campaign promise and not seek reelection.

In a joint statement, they stressed that in the 2019 campaign one of their promises was precisely not to seek re-election.

Although they were clear that they will not return to the Assembly, neither of them ruled out the possibility of continuing their political careers outside of it, in local or municipal government positions reports La Prensa.

"The decision was not easy," Silva said. "We know the particular moment that the country is going through and we know that in 2024 they are going to be essential elections," he added.

"We want to show that the word continues to carry weight, especially when it has to do with public affairs, with politics," Silva said.

Vásquez stated that they will continue to work in the Assembly until June 30, 2024, when the period for which they were elected ends.

New coalition
On April 5, Vásquez and Silva starred in an event in which they announced the launch and creation of the Vamos coalition, which aims to train, support and promote pre-candidates and eventually candidates who aspire to deputy and local government positions for free application.

Currently, they are in the stage of choosing those who showed interest in being part of the coalition. Vásquez reported that by mid-July he expects to have a preliminary list of people who will be trained for the beginning of the collection of supporting signatures.

“We are going to show that people can enter the Assembly independently, do a good job and leave after five years,” said Vásquez.

They added that they will work and strive to support coalition candidates. "We are not going to lose that independent seat," Silva said in reference to the seat he occupies in his circuit. "We even believe that we can have more independents," he said.


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Former finance minister resigns from PRD


Posted 23/06/2022

Fernando Aramburú Porras, former Minister of Economy and Finance during the government administration of former President Ernesto Pérez Balladares, resigned Thursday from the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

The announcement was made by Aramburú Porras himself on his twitter account: "Today I submitted my resignation from the Democratic Revolutionary Party of which I was a founder in 1979, for not identifying myself with the ideals and values that its leadership has manifested for some time, having become a clientelistic party without a north".

Aramburú Porras was the first Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Panama in 1999, for which he was in charge of merging the Ministries of Finance and Planning and Economic Policy; He previously served as General Director of Revenue and General Director of the Institute of Hydraulic Resources and Electrification (IRHE), from which he led the restructuring and privatization of the electricity sector.

In addition, he was a member of the Banking Commission (currently the Superintendency of Banks) and General Manager of important companies and entities in the energy and industrial sectors, such as Petro-Terminal de Panamá, the Transístmico Pipeline, and Azucarera Nacional SA

The resignation of the PRD of Aranburú Porras joins the one already announced a few months ago by the former Minister of Youth, Children and the Family, Leonor Calderón, and that of the economic adviser in the Ministry of the Presidency, David Saied Torrijos, who a few days he was removed from office after questioning the actions of some PRD leaders.  At the time, Calderón stated that the evolution that our political system has taken in recent years led him to the conviction that it is necessary to seek new spaces to participate and contribute to the strengthening of the country and move towards the construction of a welfare state. , at the service of each and every one of the Panamanians. "I feel that there is an exhaustion of these traditional spaces and I believe it is imperative to oxygenate our political system," he said.


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RM Party leader Martinelli plans to run for president as independent


Posted 29/07/2022

Former president, Ricardo Martinelli who heads his own party (RM) presented on Thursday, July 28 to the Electoral Court (TE) his candidacy for president in the 2024 elections. "I have presented all my papers to run as an independent presidential candidate because I plan to be the candidate of all independent Panamanians and supporters. Martinelli wrote on his Twitter. "As long as we have the executive body pressing judges, prosecutors, and magistrates as they have done, among others, in the Electoral Court, we will not have an impartial democracy and we will continue to be the mockery of the world’’ wrote the man facing money laundering charges in the New Business and Odebrecht cases and corruption cases in Spain.

To date there are 15 candidates who have submitted their application to the Electoral Organization Directorate to be recognized as pre-candidates for the Presidency.These are: Francisco Manuel Pitty Carreira, Dimitri Flores, Gerardo Barroso, José Luis Galloway Logan, Ziruela Del Carmen Gómez, Eduardo Quiroz, Maria Vanessa Ford, Germán Torres, Manuel Salvador Ábrego, Marcelina Bradley, Marta Roa, José Nieto and Zulay Rodríguez Loo. , Roberto Ruiz Diaz and Irving Centeno Sanson.

Applicants have until July 31, to submit their application to be recognized as pre-candidates.


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Martinelli backs off presidential bid as independent – will run for RM


Posted 30/07/2022

  After an avalanche of criticism former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) withdrew his candidacy for president as an independent in the 2024 elections,  just one day after presenting his papers to the Electoral Tribunal (TE)."

I decided to withdraw my candidacy as an independent because there is a loophole in the law and I do not trust the magistrates of the electoral court," he wrote on Twitter.

Martinelli granted legal power to his lawyer Alma Cortés to make the request to the Directorate of the National Electoral Organization for the return of all the documentation that he presented on Thursday, July He also announced that he will run for the post as leader of the  Realizing Goals party (RM).


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New players with a cause arrive on political stage


Posted 09/08/2022

After months of interviews and planning, the Vamos coalition and its pre-candidates debuted yesterday, Monday, August 8, in front of the headquarters of the Electoral Court (TE), in Ancón, where it announced the offer it will present in the 2024 elections.

It includes a varied list that adds up to107 pre-candidates. There are lawyers, engineers, doctors, ranchers, athletes and teachers who will seek to "recover" the National Assembly and local governments.

Of that total, 46 aspire to be deputies, 14 to be mayors and 47 to be representatives of corregimientos. These citizens who, for the most part, will venture into politics for the first time, committed themselves, among other things, to “transparency”.

Vamos was created in April by independent deputies Juan Diego Vásquez, Gabriel Silva, and alternate deputy Walkiria Chandler, who dedicated themselves, along with volunteers, to training Panamanian leaders in their communities who were willing to hold elected positions.

“We bring 107 truly independent candidates, who come to do good politics, to change the way of seeing things, to put the interests of the country above their personal interests. They come as a team to renounce the criminal electoral jurisdiction, and that from the spaces in the Assembly, mayors' offices and community boards, they are going to give this country the governors and political leaders they deserve, "said Deputy Vásquez.

The promoters of this movement have said that all their pre-candidates signed "non-negotiable" commitments. Yesterday, Monday, August 8, the pre-candidates, according to Vásquez, promised to publish a declaration of conflict of interest and not to use unnecessary privileges of the position. Like, for example, for a deputy: vehicle exemption, cell phone paid by the Assembly and escort lights. Publish a management report every six months

In addition, the criminal electoral jurisdiction will be removed once they achieve the candidacy. The Electoral Code states in its article 306, that the candidates by free application will have this prerogative “ from the moment they are recognized as candidates and until the day after the execution of the proclamation in the election in which they participate ”.

On July 31, the application process for the applicants for the free application was completed. The TE reported that 1,696 people submitted applications to be recognized as candidates for the 2024 elections.


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Attempt to muzzle media earns more coverage


Posted 26/08/2022

An attempt by an independent pre-presidential candidate to muzzle a Panama newspaper has backfired as the paper responded with a front-page story, a photograph, and a strongly worded editorial.

On Thursday, Dimitri Flores wrote via WhatsApp: “I prohibit the newspaper La Prensa and its journalists from using my face and image in any news about me. And any malicious news that damages my image will be denounced and sued before the corresponding instances. In a few words, you do not have any authorization from me to promote either for or against my image

This, after a journalist, requested statements about a conviction against him, dated June 28, 2022, which implies 60 months in prison and the payment of a fine for the crime of fraud. The process in question refers to events that occurred in 2011, reported La Prensa.

The pre-candidate, who in the 2019 elections unsuccessfully tried to reach one of the three presidential candidacies for free candidacy, said that it is a "rigged process" and described it as a "hoax".

In his sentence, the Second Criminal Cases Liquidator Court of the First Judicial Circuit details that Flores, “Will be disqualified from exercising public functions for three years, once the main sentence has been served."

Flores also sent three voice messages in which he replied about why La Prensa intends to publish on a topic that another media outlet had already disclosed "Now you want to stir up something that was already there... a public statement was even made... I do not understand why or for what, "he questioned.

Conviction appealed
Regarding the conviction against him, Flores announced, both in his voice messages and in an "explanatory note", that he will make use of the legal resources to which he is entitled. "It was appealed and the corresponding instances are being followed... It is following its course as it should be," he said. “That is not firm,” he added.

He also questioned why La Prensa  did not publish anything about the helicopter accident that he suffered last month, along with five other people, when the aircraft fell in a mountainous area in the province of Chiriquí. Everyone on board survived the impact. Flores, and the other passengers, suffered injuries.

At the time, on August 10, La Prensa covered the events, as it initially reported the accident and then disclosed the details of the rescue of the passengers.


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Independent pre-candidate murdered in carwash cafe


Posted 18/09/2022

The independent pre-candidate Elvis Omar Pérez Barahona, who aspired to be a deputy, was gunned down in a restaurant in the Las Margaritas de Chepo sector on Saturday night, September 17.

According to preliminary reports, Pérez was in a cafe restaurant - car wash, when he was surprised by hooded armed  men, who arrived at the premises and fired  multiple l shots at him.

The gunmen left the body of the pre-candidate stretched out and fled. The authorities cordoned off the crime scene to preserve evidence and begin.

Elvis  Pérez was looking for signatures to become an independent candidate for deputy for the 8-1 circuit, which includes the districts of Balboa, Chepo, Chimán, and Taboga.


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$30,000 was paid to assassinate a candidate for deputy


Posted 07/10/2022

Two men in their early twenties were paid $30,000  to murder Elvis Omar Pérez,  a candidate for election as a deputy in Chepo.

The subjects of 22 and 24 years known by the aliases of "Chivito" and "Chimbo", were charged and arrested for the murder of the accountant and candidate for deputy for Chepo.

The guarantee judge, Mike Zúñiga Rodríguez, decreed their provisional detention measure for aggravated intentional homicide and illicit association to commit a crime.

At the hearing, it was revealed that a third subject paid the sum of $30,000 for the homicide perpetrated on September 17 at the car wash and Café 21 properties, located in Las Margaritas de Chepo.

The payment was made a day after the shooting homicide took place.

Although "Chivito" and "Chimbo" were wearing balaclavas at the time of committing the crime, their faces were later revealed as they fled and were identified by protected witnesses.

Alias "Chivito" was serving a sentence with community service in Pacora.

During the hearing, it was revealed that the murder could have been motivated by expressions that Pérez had launched in his campaign to collect signatures, to end drug trafficking through areas of Chepo.

The authorities are searching for another suspect who was discharged from Senafront.

Pérez, 62, was an auditor, and leader of the Coleo Association and had a chain of refreshment outlets in the East Panama sector.


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In spite of prosecutions, Martinelli could run for president  in 2024


Posted 09/11/2022

Former President Ricardo Martinelli would not have any legal impediment to being the presidential standard-bearer of his Realizing Goals (RM) party, in the general elections of 2024, according to jurists' reports La Estrella.

The third criminal judge of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama, Baloisa Marquínez, summoned 36 people charged with the crime of money laundering, for the Odebrecht case, including former President Martinelli, to trial, and considering that the plenary hearing date would be from August 1 to 18, 2023, and the alternate date from September 27 to October 17, 2023, the times, according to some jurists, would not allow for the former ruler to be disqualified with a final sentence and duly executed against him, issued before the general elections of May 5, 2024.

While the preliminary hearing for the New Business case, in which the former president is also named, is scheduled to take place on November 29.In accordance with article 180 of the Political Constitution of Panama: “Anyone who has been convicted of an intentional crime with a custodial sentence of five years or more may not be elected president or vice president of the Republic, through an enforceable sentence issued by a court. of Justice".

In this sense, the lawyer Ernesto Cedeño stated that, constitutionally, neither former president Martinelli nor any of the others linked to the Odebrecht case who meet the requirements would have impediments to be presidential candidates.

Even, Cedeño pointed out, if a ruling is made against them, they can appeal to the Superior Court of Appeals, and if a decision is made against them, they would surely go to appeal. "Many cases of this type can last for months and even years," he said.

He stated that already in the middle of the hearing, the 2024 general elections would be just around the corner, although he specified that he could not launch a hypothesis as to whether Martinelli will be a candidate or not. “It would be necessary to see how quickly the processes are carried out. In all trials, evidence is practiced and the judge has a term to rule. It seems that the times are very tight, but it is not impossible; The time it takes for judges to rule has a lot to do with this,” he said

University professor and lawyer Miguel Antonio Bernal pointed out that the procedural times are not enough for them to disqualify former President Martinelli. "This is so because the legal remedies that will undoubtedly be filed will not allow him to be disqualified, except for an illegitimate action by the government," Bernal said.

Political animal
The former vice president of the National Bar Association (CNA) Alfonso Fraguela stated that when setting dates of the hearings by the Judicial Branch in the cases of Odebrecht and New Business, he perceives that the times allow former president Ricardo Martinelli to run to aspire to the presidential seat. I have no doubt that the former president will do what he has to do, to run, ”said Fraguela. He stated that anyone who thinks that this will not happen is unaware that Ricardo Martinelli is a political animal.


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Fight for free candidacy spot in presidential race tightens


Posted 25/12/2022

The fight for the third place for the presidential candidacy for free nomination continues to be hard-fought between the pre-candidates Francisco Carreira and Eduardo Quiros who have already achieved 100% of the necessary signatures required by the Electoral Code to be on the May 5 ballot 2024.

Although both achieved the first objective, to reach the corresponding signatures, only one can become an official candidate in July 2023.

Carrerira, until  December 25 at 6:00 am, had 40,734 accepted signatures, while his closest rival, Quiros, accumulated 39,946, only a difference of 788 signatures.

However, the pre-candidate and former representative Katleen Levy follows these two closely, although she will have to make a greater effort if she wants to be in the fight for the last place that would put her in the race to reach the Presidential Palace says TVN.

Levy , until this last count, has collected 30,826 signatures, 78.45%, followed by Maribel Gordón with 28,321 (72.07%.)

While, in the first place, the representative of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Zulay Rodríguez, remains firm with 64,936 accepted signatures.

Melitón Arrocha is established in second place with 59,286 collected entries.

Rodríguez, Arrocha, and Carreira must keep up the pace of collecting signatures, until July 31, if they want to be the ones on the 2024 presidential ballot.


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9 political parties are able to field candidates in 2024


Posted 02/01/2023

Nine political parties are able to nominate candidates in the general election of May 5, 2024. They are the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) with 724,540 adherents, Cambio Democrático (CD) with 316,616; the Panameñista Party with 240,236 adherents; Realizing Goals (RM) with 204,847 adherents; the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena) 85,023 the Another Way Movement(MOCA), with 38,120 adherents; the Alianza Party with 24,710 adherents; the PAIS Party with 23,490 adherents and the Popular Party (PP) with 17,853 members.


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Three PRD members have presidential ambitions


Posted 05/01/2023

There are three members of the ruling Democratic Party (PRD) eying a run for the presidency. They are Vice President, José Gabriel Carrizo; the President of the Assembly, Crispiano Adames, and former President Martín Torrijos.

The one who would have the greatest support within the PRD, according to Minister of Housing and second vice president of the National Executive Committee (CEN) of the PRD, Rogelio Paredes, would be Carrizo, although he announced that to obtain the presidential candidacy, "he must win the primaries."

Paredes declared that he is willing to support Carrizo and that he is not the only one: several "influential" PRD deputies, such as Benicio Robinson and Raúl Pineda, are also with the vice president. Representatives of the corregimiento with whom he has had contact would be added to that list, although Paredes did not provide their names.

In addition to the support that deputies and other government officials can give him, Carrizo has the backing of President Laurentino Cortizo.

“It is the first time that an outgoing president is handing over the coast [sic] to the one who can replace him. There has never been a situation like that.”

While former President Torrijos would be that "alternative" that the former PRD Secretary General, Pedro Miguel González, has mentioned stopping Carrizo's candidacy.

Between February 27 and March 8, 2023, the PRD will open the application period to participate in the primaries. Before this, on January 22, the party will update its statute, "to be in accordance with the electoral norm." So far it is unknown what aspects will be reformed.


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Declared corrupt Ex-president plans to run again


Ricardo Martinelli waits to receive his sons after their deportation from the US.

Posted 27/01/2023

Despite a declaration by the US  State Department that former president  Ricardo Martinelli participated in “significant acts of corruption” by accepting bribes in exchange for government contracts, he remains undeterred in his intention to run for a return to office in the 2024 elections.

your-man-in-panama.jpgThe designation includes members of his immediate family who will be barred from entering the United States. recently arrived ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte, said that "it will not be the last designation in Panama."

Martinelli is the first Panamanian to be publicly described as a corrupt official. The Department of State based the action on section 7031(c) of the Department of State Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2023, which allows the Secretary of State to take the action when he has credible information of direct or indirect involvement in acts of significant corruption.

On Wednesday, when Martinelli was reunited with his children who served time in New York after pleading to money laundering to hide $28 million in bribes from Odebrecht. The money was transferred to Panama at the behest of their father they told the court.

Their reunion, in spite of carefully crafted Twitter messages by the former president and First Lady, must have been a tense affair.


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Gabby Carizo announces bid for president


Posted 05/02/2023

As already planned,  José Gabby  Carrizo Jaén made his announcement to be a presidential candidate for the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)  in the upcoming elections, in his homeland, Penonomé on Sunday, February 5.

The announcement surprised no one as in recent weeks the vice president has been flashing his trademark molars at a ribbon-cutting marathon.

In the Damas Unidas Penonomeñas club, he said: “I need everyone's support today I come to tell you from the land of the Zaratí river, from the land of the devotees of the Virgin Immaculate, I tell you that I will seek the PRD candidacy to become the next president of Panama.

"I give thanks for the opportunity to be in the trench to defend the life, stability and social peace of the nation,"

He stated that he will continue touring the entire country, with organization and discipline, to win the opportunity to be president of the Republic. "Panama needs and deserves to accompany economic growth with human development. We have demonstrated with facts that we have the capacity to turn that aspiration into reality," he said.

“It was a PRD government, led by President Pérez Balladares that implemented a visionary policy of modernization of the State that allowed laying the foundations for the development and economic and social growth of our country. A model that illuminated the region” said Carrizo.

It was a PRD government, led by Torrijos, that expanded the Canal and handed over the economic fruits of that expansion to the following governments.

“It is a PRD government, led by President Cortizo, which has laid the foundations for the fight against poverty and inequality by specifying specific public policies such as the Colmen Plan, the State's agri-food policy, which for the first time in history gives stability and does justice to the national agricultural sector.

“A PRD government has saved lives, has rescued and expanded the national hospital network, and t has executed the most successful vaccination program in Latin America. This PRD government lends a hand to those who have less with the Panama Solidario program, the candidate asserted.


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Martinelli formalizes bid for the presidency


Posted 27/02/2023

Former President, Ricardo Martinelli, made official his candidacy for the primary elections of the Realizando Metas (RM) party, after having delivered his credentials on Monday, February 27.

“I thank the Cambio Democrático (CD) party for all the support it has given me as well as the Panamanian people. The country has regressed in the last 10 years and we cannot allow the candidacies in Panama to continue deteriorating. I thank you all of the RM party. I hope that in the next elections, they will also favor me," Martinelli said after the protocol ceremony.

When asked about how his relationship with the United States will affect him, in case of victory, Martinelli stated: "Relations with the United States and my presidency will be excellent. I am running for the Panamanian people, they will decide who will be the rulers.".


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 Third runner for PRD presidential candidacy


Posted 06/03/2023

The former secretary general of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Pedro Miguel González presented Sunday his candidacy for the Presidency for the political group that must choose its presidential standard-bearer in the primary elections on June 11.

With González, Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo and the deputy and president of the National Assembly, Crispiano Adames, there are now three confirmed presidential candidates in the internal contest of the PRD.

"We came to present our candidacy for the Presidency for the party that Omar Torrijos founded, because this country needs a new course and that course of social transformation can be given by the party that Omar founded, but with a different leadership from the one that we have in the government and the one we currently have in the party," González said.

“Today we begin to build the new future of Panama. We are going to achieve that alliance to transform it into a welfare society and leave behind the social inequity that we live in.”


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Martin Torrijos will run for presidency of country “in crisis”


Posted 07/03/2023

Former President Martín Torrijos, son of Democratic Revolutionary Party(PRD) founder  Omar Torrijos announced  Tuesday, March 7, his presidential aspirations for the May 2024 elections, but his candidacy will not be within the PRD, with which he governed between 2004 and 2009.

I intend to be a presidential candidate in the May 2024 elections. I will not stay on the sidelines; Panama is in crisis, and we all have to build to its solution; we must rescue Panama and then the PRD. I will never give up my status as a torrijista. Let it be very clear, my candidacy will not be within the PRD," Torrijos said in a message issued on the YouTube social network that lasted 6 minutes and 28 seconds.

Information in development...


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A clear message from a former president


Posted 08/03/2023

In not pretending to favor or disqualify his aspirations, former President Martín Torrijos –in the speech released yesterday to announce his presidential candidacy– leaves us several phrases that are an invitation to reflection. He has recognized many evils of the government management and of his own party, the PRD. He admits that the country is in crisis and that the solution cannot come from the origin of the problem: the politicians, among whom are, precisely, those of the PRD itself. The crisis can be resolved if there is commitment, but with the participation of society, since all of us –except the politicians who enjoy power– suffer from insecurity; Corruption corrodes the institutions and has created castes of officials who steal with full hands, while clientelism guarantees this perverse regime, buying votes –thus delegitimizing the elections– and subduing wills at the point of money. The leadership of the PRD promotes the corruption of a society that for years has been learning to repeat "what's up for me." That is why they kidnapped the PRD and seized power. Torrijos shows the rottenness of his party by announcing that he will seek the presidency of the Republic away from the PRD since he himself admits that even its internal elections are a mockery. You can say higher, but not clearer. – LA PRENSA, Mar. 8.


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Fractured PRD marks 44 years with hopes of retaining power


Posted 11/03/2023

The Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) celebrates 44 years of foundation in the midst of divisions, struggles, accusations of kidnapping, and drug politics, and with the hope of repeating in power, but with a very low level of popular acceptance.

The one that everyone calls Omar's party, has lost great founding figures of the collective and militants who for years defended the way of addressing the collective, but in recent years have said that the " Torrijistas" ideals are no longer followed says TVN.

It is the largest party in the country, with more than 700 thousand adherents, however, the big question that many ask themselves is: will they help them win the 2024 elections?

FIGUREHEADS                                                                                                                                                                               Its figures are a deputy of the National Assembly, Crispiano Adames, who in his speeches from the chamber has pointed out the actions of the Executive and the Judiciary, pondering and supporting those of the body of which he is President.

A vice president, José Gabriel Carrizo, who from very early on it was known that he would be the one anointed to lead the party in the next elections, who was singled out for alleged corruption scandals during the pandemic and who bears the political wear and tear of the current government. And a former deputy, Pedro Miguel González, who after losing the elections of the National Executive Committee (CEN), has made strong accusations against the leadership of the party, demonstrating against the reservation of candidacies for popular election arguing that it violates the decrees collective democrats.

The mayor of the capital José Luis Fábrega was one of the members of the party who reacted to the celebration on his Twitter account and posted: “our will is as firm as the first day. The homeland needs our contribution to take on the challenges we face… because this city is PRD!"

González said that "On this 44th anniversary we must reaffirm our convictions to make the PRD the instrument of transformation that Panama needs."

One of the signs of the deep crisis within the collective is the actions of the former president, MARTIN TORRIJOS, who, after years in silence, has returned to the fore to directly point out negative situations that, occur within the party. Among his assertions is the kidnapping by a faction that "does not care if they are the government or not, only their interests," and the infiltration of drug trafficking, in addition to saying that the ideals of his father are not followed.

Torrijos announced last week his aspirations for the Presidency, but outside the PRD.


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Former president Torrijos will run again as PP candidate


Posted 24/03/2023

On July 16 former president, Martín Torrijos will be nominated as the presidential candidate for the Popular  Party (PP) confirmed the national secretary of the party,  Rafael Pino Pinto.

Recently, the former president announced that he would be seeking a presidential candidacy, but outside of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) of which he is a member.

Torrijos will be present on Saturday, March 25, at the extraordinary congress of reforms to its statutes of the PP, and will address the 320 delegates of the group and, will be presented with a report prepared by a group that was established by the political commission of the collective, with results of previous conversations that they held with the former president.

Pino Pinto added that in order to formalize the candidacy of former president Torrijos, they first have to comply with a series of formalities, among which the approval of the political commission, the board of directors, and the nomination congress.

"President Martín Torrijos enjoys sympathy because we have already worked with him and we know his capacity," he said.

In the same congress, in addition to the reforms to the statutes, the creation of the disability secretary will be discussed, and, the code of ethics will be strengthened and the protocol for the prevention, care, and eradication of violence against women will be adopted.

On March 7, Torrijos shared his decision to be a candidate outside the PRD in the May 2024 elections, through a video posted on his social networks.

“I propose to build an open, pluralistic, convergent, and patriotic candidacy," said the former president.

According to  Torrijos, his decision responds to his "convictions" and the "responsibility" he has with Panama.

He also referred to  organized crime, and drug trafficking  that advances and defies the authorities,  the corruption that permeates the Government and part of society, the discredit of the  National Assembly, and the conduct of some  deputies  who "play with the rules and the laws."


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Former president Torrijos calls for unity and decency


Posted 26/03/2023

"Unity and decency “  were the themes of an address by former president Martin Torrijos at the Extraordinary National Congress, held by the Popular Party in Panama City on Saturday, March 25.

“It is Panama that summons us, it is the Panamanian families that demand effort, work, commitment and patriotism from us In addition, I express that all the political, social, cultural, and economic forces are needed, with the same channel, a rebirth, with hope, with real changes and with a future more in line with their efforts.

Torrijos affirmed that for the 2024 elections, it is a crucial appointment. "We will go to it with the certainty that a new stage will begin there, solidarity and detachment, with transparency and principles (...) a new policy that generates confidence and optimism."

The former president stressed that with the Popular Party, the hope of all Panamanians will be recovered. "We are going with optimism, with our people, and with all the social forces to recover our Panama."


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