Former Panamanian President: “Where I Said I Say I Say Diego”

Former Panamanian President: “Where I Said I Say I Say Diego”

In the face of the 2024 general election, the former president acted in line with the popular adage “Where I said, I say, I say Diego” to justify what he described as a “political and not a legal strategy”, alluding to the hearing, in which he has to appear on September 12 because of the corruption case in connection with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

The talk of the media and other pre-candidates running for vacant positions in popular elections is the move by Martinelli and other fellow parties classifying as “play alive,” a local qualifier speaking of people adept at taking charge evade and disobey the laws with various arguments.

Less than 24 hours before the deadline for registering independent pre-candidates before the Electoral Tribunal (TE), MP from the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Zulay Rodríguez, also submitted her papers to seek the presidential seat within two years

He assured that he would not give up his political organization as the electoral regulations allow it.

According to TE, there are currently 15 pre-candidates for the free application. But only three will be able to opt for the Palacio de las Garzas, those with the most of the 39,236 signatures (2.0 percent of the valid votes cast in the 2019 consultation) whose support is required and whose compilation ends on July 15 , 2023.

In 2019, the free candidacies were supported by around 1.2 million citizens, who even brought five MPs to the National Assembly (parliament) for the first time, who were able to form an independent parliamentary group. In that poll, only independent candidates Ricardo Lombana and Ana Matilde Gómez had almost 500,000 support votes.

In this regard, another pre-candidate for the presidency via the independent route, Eduardo Quirós, told the press that the weakness of electoral laws in Panama allows a candidate to use the “legalized piece live”.

For Quirós, the intention of Martinelli and Rodríguez once again reveals “the broken state of Panamanian politics”.

“The desperation of political parties to oust truly independent candidates is depriving Panamanians of real options,” he said.

This action was also opposed by candidate for president of the republic, Francisco Carreira, who pointed out that Martinelli and Rodríguez “have nothing as independents”.

While Ricardo Lombana, former presidential candidate running for a free bid in May 2019, expressed that it would be “naïve” to think that the parties would leave the way open to 2024 for citizens who really aspire to it, without patronage, free demand .

“If 2019 was messy, 2024 will be worse. Certainly we will see candidates from political parties, especially the big ones, who will use their machinery and their means and, without abandoning the parties, will register as independent pre-candidates,” he noted.

For activists like Cristián Ábrego of the group Citizen Consciousness, who registered as an independent candidate for the MPs list in 2024, party members should be banned from appearing on ballots through free candidacy.

He also questioned that political organizations have huge budgets to pay for the election race, while independents have to pay for all registration procedures out of their own pockets.

On May 5, 2024, elections will see Panamanians choose the country’s new president and vice president, 20 deputies of the Central American Parliament, 71 deputies of the National Assembly, 81 mayors, 701 corregimiento deputies and 11 mayors, all with their respective deputies. , for the period from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2029.