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The May 2019 General Elections (including Presidential)

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Imprisoned Martinelli’s political ambitions

Martinelli courtroom political harangue
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Panama’s ex-president Ricardo Martinelli’s political ambitions remain undimmed while he spends Christmas behind bars in El Renacer prison awaiting trial after a failed attempt to spend the holiday in a private hospital.

He is  facing trial for the illegal wiretapping of at least 150 people while in office with  a  dozen corruption investigations waiting in the wings and  he recently boasted he could buy off   half a dozen Supreme Court judges for less than victims had called for during plea bargaining,

When constitutionalists warned that he could not be a vice president running mate of  CD presidential candidate Rómulo Roux for the May 5, 2019,  elections, Martinelli lowered his sights and announced that he was declining that role and would concentrate on his candidacies. for the Mayor’s Office of Panama and for deputy for the circuit 8-8.

But, with less than five months to the elections, La Prensa reports a fresh controversy over whether or not he can run for the positions, taking into account Article 153 of the Constitution ruling that one of the requirements to be a deputy is to be a resident of the corresponding electoral circuit. at least one year before the application. Article 291 of the Electoral Code also contemplates that same requirement to be mayor.

Martinelli arrived in Panama on June 11, extradited from the United States to face the wiretapping case.

In August, the presiding magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal, Heriberto Araúz, told La Prensa that the electoral residence is not about the physical location where the person lived last year, but the one registered in the last voter registry.

An electoral decree establishes a difference between the concept of residence of the elector and that of the candidate.

For the elector, the norm states that he must stay at least four nights of the week in the area where he wants to vote. On the other hand, for a candidate, it is broader: it is valid if he was educated in the area or if he has business in it, for example.

Expert in electoral law Javier Odinola maintains that Martinelli would have no impediment to being a candidate.. However, he says that there is a concept of residence for the elector and another for the candidate, which are completely distant, “would be unconstitutional”, because, in his opinion, there should not be privileges or privileges. The issue, he adds, is that the decree has not been sued.

Others believe that if that rule is the subject of a lawsuit, What is meant by residence? If you live personally here or have business here. That is a for the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice, but for that, it is necessary to present action of unconstitutionality. But the Electoral Tribunal has the first option. If no one challenges, the application remains firm.



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Judas dolls carry message for lawmakers

Members of the National Assembly carrying "no to re-election" signs, President Varela ,and candidates to replace him, were the central figures of the end of year display of “Judas” effigies created by artisans of the of Bejuco, community in Chame, Panamá Oeste. The effigies were burned at midnight to introduce the New Year, and a hoped-for farewell to the featured lawmakers.


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Jailed Martinelli registered as Panama mayoralty candidate

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Panama’s ever bewildering political scene took another turn on Monday, January 14  when ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli was registered as Cambio Democrático (CD) candidate for Mayor of Panama City.

Martinelli is currently detained in El Renacer Pprison awaiting trial in an illegal wiretapping case in which the prosecutor has called for a 21-year jail term.  Dozens of supporters headed by the former First Lady, Marta Linares de Martinelli and failed vice-presidential runner danced and sang as they arrived at the party headquarters in Plaza Carolina.

Deputy Sergio Gálvez, the self-proclaimed sexual buffalo will be his running mate for the candidacy for mayor of Panama.

Linares de Martinelli and Gálvez arrived at the CD offices accompanied by a delegation composed of Mayín Correa, the deputy Diego Lombana, the ex-deputy Marcos González and the model Génesis Arjona.

Inside the headquarters, this group met with the president of the CD, Rómulo Roux , and the general secretary and deputy Yanibel Ábrego.

“With the nomination of Martinelli we showed that Cambio Democrático is united, we are calm and confident that we will win the elections on May 5,” Roux said.

The event took place on the day that the PRD confirmed their mayoralty candidate and running mate.



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Martinelli  Drops Out Of Mayoralty Race


Martinelli and Galvez during previous admistration

Posted 06/02/2019
Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, in El Renacer prison awaiting trial for illegal wiretapping, while in office with the prosecution calling for a 21- jail term has withdrawn his bid to run as an independent candidate for Mayor of Panama with self-proclaimed “sexual buffalo” Sergio  Garcia Gálvez.as his running mate.

He has been denied bail on five occasions in the US and Panama and seems finally to have had a reality check after his political team picked up a little more than 45000  signatures, to support his run.

He sent a note to the Electoral Tribunal (TE) , on January 11, that he was withdrawing from the candidacy along with his deputy, Sergio Chello Galvez "We are convinced that Panama needs to wake up again, and that is achieved by consolidating an electoral force that represents the Democratic Change party together with its ally the Alliance party," Martinelli said in the note. 

"We do not want to end, without first thanking the more than 46,000 Panamanians who signed our books with force and zeal, thank you," he added.



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Interesting to see that our Diputada (Athenas) has been abandonded by the PRD in favour of Manolo(sp?) Ruiz.  She is now running for the Allianza party, according to the Panama News.

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IIRC, Mr. Ruiz was the CD candidate in the last election and lost after a revote by about 200 votes.

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Judge analyzing lawsuit against Martinelli election bid

Posted 08/02/2019
A lawsuit against t Ricardo Martinelli’s candidacy for 8-8 deputy and mayor of Panama is was in the hands of Judge Monica Guardia, of the Second Electoral Court.  In the next few days to analyze the judge must analyze the lawsuit and decide whether or not to admit it.

The lawyer Jorge Hernán Rubio his appeal against the president, on February 2. 

In the complaint, Rubio argues that Martinelli "voluntarily" left Panama in January 2015, set up his residence in Miami, returned extradited to Panama in June 2018 and is being held in El Renacer prison, located in the village of Cristóbal, Colón.

He also said that in Miami Martinelli acquired three luxury cars, and set up a mansion in Coral Gables, at 6919 Sunrise Terrace, to which he is linked. There he was arrested on June 12, 2017.

Martinelli was nominated as a candidate for deputy of the 8-8 circuit, and to the Mayor's Office of Panama for the Alianza party, of José Muñoz, and for Cambio Democrático.  (CD) The CD party, funded and funded by Martinelli to further his political ambitions, has nominated several candidates for the upcoming election who have unresolved corruption charges hanging over their heads.



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On 2/7/2019 at 8:48 AM, JohnF13 said:

Interesting to see that our Diputada (Athenas) has been abandonded by the PRD in favour of Manolo(sp?) Ruiz.  She is now running for the Allianza party, according to the Panama News.

Here come the knives for Manolo.

Manolo Ruiz Impugned ..Heats Up Dispute in Circuit 4-5



The dispute over the only seat of circuit 4-5 (Boquete, Dolega, Gualaca) has become the closest thing to a battle between Spartans and Athenians, after it was known about the challenge to the candidacy of Manolo Ruiz, nominated by the alliance 'Uniting Forces' that make up the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena).

Lawyer Yeira Navarro, on behalf of Evelcio Guerra, filed the appeal with the Regional Office of Electoral Organization in the province of Chiriquí, after alleging that Ruiz was sentenced to 6 months in prison by the Criminal Electoral Judge of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro for the crime of using state assets to politically proselytize in the last elections, as well as being disqualified for one year.

Given this fact, the deputy of the PRD, Athenas Athanasiades, to whom the CEN of her party cut off her aspiration to be reelected in 4-5, forcing her to run in the Alianza party, which has a government agreement with CD, collective in which Ruiz militates, said to feel 'surprised' in addition that assured that she is not the author of the impeachment.

The curious thing is that the complainant Guerra, is one of the PRD that supports the deputy Athanasiades and that is in disagreement with his party has given the space to Ruiz. "The collective should have taken into consideration the bases to make a decision on who was our own candidate, so I support her because I think she is the one with the votes," he said.

On the other hand, Ruiz described the impugnation as reckless. 'What happens is that they are afraid of me, they are not able to look for their votes, they look for it like me. This comes from Athenas, that's not going anywhere. That is called fear and we will win at the polls, "Ruiz added.


5 May

Before that date, the TE must resolve the challenge to Ruiz's 6-month jail sentence. Otherwise, it would be beneficial, then to win, his deputy would occupy the seat for one year, while the disqualification lasts.


Manolo Ruiz was nominated by the Molirena-PRD despite the fact that he is Cambio Democrático (CD). Juan Manuel Torres, of the Electoral Committee of Molirena, said that the appeal could not be valid, since it was presented at a time when Ruiz's candidacy was not finalized under the Electoral Bulletin, "the time to contest is not in force. , he is still our candidate for deputy until the verdict of the TE, "he said.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 12:13 a.m.

Lucy Garcés Évila lucy.garces@elsiglo.com.pa


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The seven presidential candidates of Panama are measured in their first debate

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 16:14


The seven candidates for the Presidency of Panama will measure themselves on Wednesday in their first debate in the lead-up to the general elections on May 5, with the topics of health, education, food, and constitutional reforms as the discussion basis.

This first debate, which will be broadcast on national television and radio as indicated by the electoral law, has generated expectations among analysts who ask politicians for a clear and understandable language for the majority of the population, as well as concrete proposals.

The event will take place on Wednesday night in the dome of the State University of Panama, a facility with 1,200 people capacity that reached full capacity due to invitations to rectors, diplomatic staff and representatives of parties, and civil society, according to the official information.

In this "ideological dispute for the projection of proposals and ideas", as the Electoral Tribunal has defined it, the presidential standard-bearers of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo; of the Democratic Change (CD), Romulo Roux; and the Broad Front for Democracy (FAC), Saul Mendez.

Also, the ruling Panameñista Party presidential candidate, Jose Blandon; and the independent candidates Ana Matilde Gomez; Ricardo Lombana and Marco Ameglio.

The candidates must address issues such as the transformation of education; food security and sovereignty; health and human development; and a new constitutional order.

In this context, the constitutional reforms issue is expected to grab the attention of the political and economic sectors, after it was one of the campaign's promises of the current president, Juan Carlos Varela, who finally addressed the issue at the end of last year without any support in Parliament.

Panamanian analyst and constitutional expert Ernesto Cedeño told ACAN-EFE on Tuesday that he expects candidates to be able to communicate their ideas in a language that most Panamanians understand, and especially "the 800,000 young people of the country."

Cedeño said he hopes that the electoral authorities will explain to the public that in another national debate, scheduled for next April, other issues that generate interest in Panamanian society will be addressed and that candidates will also be able to confront ideas in other forums than those organized by the entity of elections.

The analyst and former minister Renato Pereira also told ACAN-EFE on Tuesday that the presidential candidates should use a language with "less academia, fewer promises of long-term projects," and with more "concrete proposals" on issues of society's concern, among which he highlighted public safety and the environment.

According to the electoral timetable, the second presidential debate organized by the Electoral Tribunal, which will also be broadcast on national radio and television, will take place on April 10 at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), based on issues yet to be defined.

Last week the election body held a draw that determined the order of participation in the Wednesday debate, in which each candidate will have a minute and a half to express their ideas and proposals in a first round, an additional minute in two later, and another minute to address a topic of their choice.

More than 2.7 million voters are summoned to the polls on May 5 to elect a president and vice president, deputies to the National Assembly and the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), mayors, corregimiento representatives, and councilors.

The proselytizing campaign for the elections will officially begin on March 4.



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