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Panama’s Supreme Court is on permanent session

Panama, May 1 (Prensa Latina) Four days before general elections, the extraordinary plenary session of Panama's Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) declared itself on permanent session on Tuesday to decide on the controversial presidential candidacy of Jose Raul Mulino.

The institution, headed by Maria Eugenia Lopez, will assess in three days the unconstitutionality lawsuit against the Electoral Tribunal (TE)’s Plenary Agreement 11-1 of March 4, 2024, which disqualified former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) as presidential candidate from the “Realizando Metas” and “Alianza” political parties, and appointed Mulino in his place.

Last week, the magistrate who is the rapporteur in the case, Olmedo Arrocha, explained that on April 23 he asked the TE for information that, according to his perspective, was necessary to complete the draft ruling that he circulated to the rest of the members of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Arrocha admitted the unconstitutionality lawsuit filed by lawyer Karisma Karamañites against the second item of the TE’s Plenary Agreement 11-1 on March 4, which disqualifies former President Martinelli’s presidential and congressional candidacies.

The authority also explained that 88 pleadings were received, 17 people thought it should be declared unconstitutional and 71 thought it should be constitutional.

The lawsuit claims that Mulino is running in this process without a vice president, which violates constitutional articles, and that he was not elected in the primaries by the party that supports him (RM).

Mulino, who leads several polls on voting intentions, has publicly said that if he were to reach the “Palacio de las Garzas” (seat of the executive branch) he would help Martinelli, who took asylum in the Nicaraguan Embassy in this capital on February 7.