Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Panama: Vote counting begins in general elections

Panama City, May 5 (Prensa Latina) The Electoral Tribunal (TE) of Panama activated today the Unofficial Transmission of Results (TER) system, after the closure of the more than three thousand voting centers in general elections.

The spaces in which 7,577 voting tables are enabled from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time to select 885 public officials in a complex democratic process where victory is won by a simple majority and there will be no second round, will be able wait for the people who remain in the ranks to finish exercising that right.

According to TE authorities and international observers, the election day passed calmly as there were no serious incidents, except for some irregularities detected in time such as ballots marked in advance, which were immediately withdrawn.

In these votes, they elect the new president and vice president of the country, 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament and 71 deputies to the National Assembly.

They will also choose 81 mayors, 701 township representatives and 11 councilors, all with their respective substitutes for the period from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2029.

In this consultation, seven candidates compete for the Presidency of the Republic, of which four make the difference in voting intention, according to surveys, with José Raúl Mulino, from Realizing Goals and Alliance, appearing as the favorite, who replaced former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009 -2024) sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for money laundering and now asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy. Also notable are former president Martín Torrijos (2004-2009) of the Popular Party; Ricardo Lombana, from the Another Path Movement; and Rómulo Roux, from the Cambio Democrático Partido Panameñista.

Whoever is elected and has the responsibility of taking the reins of the isthmus, according to analysts, will have to face challenges such as a weak economy with million-dollar public debt, necessary reforms to the Constitution, the debacle of the Social Security Fund, water crisis in the Canal, rampant irregular migration and high cost of living, among other problems.