Four candidates share the chances of victory in the Panama elections

Four candidates share the chances of victory in the Panama elections
Four candidates share the chances of victory in the Panama elections

Panama City, May 4 (EFE).- A former Minister of Security with the mark of a hard man, a former president, son of the general who managed to get the United States to return the Panama Canal, a successful lawyer and prolific father of seven children, and another lawyer anti-system and enemy of corruption, are the four presidential candidates with the best chances of victory in the May 5 elections.

According to the latest polls, at the head of these candidates is the former Minister of Security José Raúl Mulino, the dolphin and substitute candidate at the last moment of the disqualified former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

Lawyer and former minister of several portfolios, he has been nicknamed ‘Stalin Mulino’ for his physical resemblance to the Soviet dictator, as well as ‘Silver Fox’ for a patch of gray hair that splits his symmetrical and groomed hair in two.

Last March, Mulino became the presidential candidate of the Realizing Goals (RM) party after the Electoral Court (TE) disqualified Martinelli as a candidate for the Executive after being sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for money laundering, but he did not It was until this Friday that his application became firm after being endorsed as constitutional by the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

A man of few words and a firm character, Martinelli’s standard bearer, sheltered in the Nicaraguan Embassy, ​​shows himself with the “capacity” and “will” so that with his Government the economic boom and the “chen chen” return, as stated. They refer to “money in the pockets” for Panamanians.

“Panama will shine again economically as we did in the Martinelli Government,” he repeated in the campaign.

Second in voting intentions, his figure is indisputably linked to that of his father, General Omar Torrijos (1929-1981), who on October 11, 1968, as lieutenant colonel, was part of a military coup that overthrew Arnulfo. Arias, three times president and defenestrated three times.

The politics of Omar Torrijos, creator of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), was characterized by a marked nationalism, his greatest success being the signing in 1977 of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties that sealed the transfer by the US of the interoceanic canal in 1999.

Openly ‘Torrijista’, Martín Torrijos assured in a recent interview with EFE that “there is no way” not to feel proud of “what he is”, of the last name he carries and of the legacy of his father, who led a Panamanian revolution that governed facto between 1968 and 1981, the year in which he died in a plane crash.

Now, distant and critical of the PRD, which he abandoned at the beginning of 2024, he is a candidate to once again occupy the presidency for the minority and Christian Democratic Popular Party (PP), with a government plan with which he hopes to take the country out of “structural and moral crisis” in which it is immersed.

At 35 years of age, he ran for the country’s Presidency for the first time in 1999, but was defeated by Arnulfo Arias’ widow, Mireya Moscoso. In 2004, at the age of 40, he became President of the Republic for the first time in the May 2004 elections with 47.4% of the votes at the head of the PRD.

Former Chancellor and Doctor of Law, he offers to promote a constitutional change that will eliminate corruption in Panama, where he also plans to create half a million jobs during his five-year term if he is elected president, a position that narrowly escaped him five years ago.

Roux, presidential candidate of the Democratic Change party (CD) and the Panameñista Party (Ppa), is a skilled horseback rider, a discipline with which he represented Panama in the 2022 Bolivarian Games.

Married to Victoria Heurtematte and father of seven children, Roux entered politics when he was appointed Minister for Canal Affairs in 2009 and president of the board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), by then-president Martinelli, of whom He was also Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He assures that he is not a politician by profession, nor does he live off the system or its donors, which gives him ground to promote a change to the Magna Carta through a constituent assembly, in order to “give the country a new legal framework that eliminates a system that today is made to shield criminals, to shield corruption.”

Narrowly defeated in the 2019 election by Laurentino Cortizo, the outgoing president, Roux recalls that he always said that he “had doubts about whether the official result reflected the will of the voters.”

Lombana seeks to surprise in these elections with his firm anti-corruption and anti-system speech, because if in the 2019 elections he achieved an unexpected third place being an unknown, now his campaign team is sure that he will also surpass the polls to become the next president of Panama.

Lawyer, journalist and diplomat, Lombana, from the Other Path Movement (Moca), insistently repeats his “relentless stance against corruption.”

He advocates for a pact to “recover Panama”, a looted country, and promised to recover for the population around 4,000 million dollars that they lose due to these corrupt acts, mismanagement or “poor tax collection.”

“Let us dream of a Panama in which the dignity of Panamanians is respected, let us all dream of a Panama in which it is not your last name, nor political contact that defines your value as a person and as a human being,” he said in his closing. campaign emulating Martin Luther King, whose image sometimes accompanies him during interviews. EFE


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