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News > Panama

Panamanian Elections Kick Off As Planned

  • Panamanians in an electoral precinct, May 5, 2024.

    Panamanians in an electoral precinct, May 5, 2024. | Photo: X/ @AL24Francais

Published 5 May 2024

"Whatever the results, Panama wins by strengthening its democracy," Electoral Tribunal President Alfredo Junca said.

On Sunday, the Panamanian general elections began with the opening of the 3,035 polling centers to which over 3 million Panamanians are called.


Panamanians Head to General Elections This Sunday

"I invite everyone to go out and vote... Whatever the results, Panama wins by strengthening its democracy," said Alfredo Junca, President of the Panamanian Electoral Tribunal.

"The country can be fully assured that the votes will be properly scrutinized by the citizens who will be at the polling stations," he added.

Junca pointed out that clientelism and misinformation are the enemies to be defeated, which are combated by voting for the best for Panama.

The text reads, "This is the ballot for the presidential elections in Panama taking place today. There are eight candidates. The favorite is Jose Mulino, who is the substitute for the disqualified and convicted former president Ricardo Martinelli. These are the 7th general elections since the U.S. invasion.

On Sunday, Panamanians are being called to the polls to vote for president, vice president, 20 legislators to the Central American Parliament, 71 legislators to the National Assembly, 81 mayors, 701 township representatives, and 11 councilors.

These officials will serve their terms during the constitutional period starting on July 1, 2024, and ending on June 30, 2029. All positions are decided by simple majority, there is no runoff, and voting is not mandatory.

Currently, there are 4,458 votes collected through early voting via the internet for president, a controversial procedure following the initial disorder of the presidential candidates' boxes in the digital version.

Authorities reported that 95 percent of the 3,788 citizens registered in the Register of Overseas Resident Voters (RERE) voted for the presidency between April 23 and May 2.

In addition, 523 out of 670 registered in the Early Voting Registry (REVA) cast their votes within the same period, reaching 78 percent participation.

Authorities set up 40 voting tables to assist elderly voters and 77 voting tables for prisoners to exercise their right to vote. In this electoral contest, there are nine legally constituted parties participating with eight presidential candidates, four of whom have a chance of winning.

These include former Security Minister Jose Mulino, who replaced the disqualified Ricardo Martinelli and ranks first with 37.6 percent of the vote intention, according to the latest survey released by the newspaper La Prensa.

Former President Martin Torrijos, Romulo Roux, and Ricardo Lombana, follow with support of 16.4 percent, 14.9 percent, and 12.7 percent, respectively.

Other candidates competing without options for victory are Jose Carrizo (8.3 percent), Zulay Rodriguez (5.1 percent), Meliton Arrocha (2.4 percent), and Maribel Gordon (1 percent).

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