Monday 6th May 2024.

May 6, 2024


“Mission accomplished, damn!”   This is how José Raúl Mulino began his first speech to the country on the night of this Sunday, May 5, from a room at the Sheraton hotel, shortly after receiving the call from the Electoral Tribunal (TE) in which he was informed that he is the elected president. and that he will take office on July 1.

Mulino said that his will be a government of unity, that he does not want confrontations, that political persecution is “over” and that he will respect freedom of expression. But he also maintains that he has won the election, “it hurts whoever it hurts!”, and criticized those who “cowardly tried, with tricks, manipulations and blackmail, to twist the popular will and have a supreme court appoint the next president of the Republic ”.

The president-elect acknowledged that “I did not imagine this scenario” when Ricardo Martinelli asked him if he wanted to be his candidate for the vice presidency of the Republic, in October 2023, “but it was my turn and I assumed it with enormous responsibility and humility.” Previously, Martinelli had appointed his wife Marta, who he accepted and then unexpectedly declined.

Mulino was in charge of the payroll of Realando Metas (RM) and Alianza on March 4, when the TE disqualified Martinelli for having been sentenced to 128 months in prison for money laundering in the New Business case . Mulino’s appointment was later challenged as unconstitutional, nearly putting him out of the presidential race. Finally, two days ago, the Supreme Court of Justice declared that his candidacy was not unconstitutional, although it admitted that the TE’s actions were wrong.

Martinelli is now at the Nicaraguan embassy in Panama , to avoid capture and imprisonment.

“A hug to Ricardo until there,” said Mulino, who went to the diplomatic headquarters this Sunday morning to have coffee with his friend. Although physically absent, the presence of the former president was omnipresent. The public shouted his name and Marta Linares de Martinelli was even on stage with the entire Mulino family and the president of the Alianza party, José Muñoz.

He also said he had received congratulatory calls from President Laurentino Cortizo and his rival and presidential candidate of Cambio Democrático (CD) and the Panameñista, Rómulo Roux . CD is the party that Martinelli founded in the 90s and in which Mulino also once participated.

“Roux acknowledged his defeat and I told him that, as president of a party in democracy, I will summon him and the other presidents and representatives of unions and organizations in the first days of my government to lay the foundations for national unity, which It does not mean distributing positions.

The independents have overturned the National Assembly . According to unofficial results, they would be achieving 19 seats so far, more than in 2019 when only five were elected.

The Vamos coalition, led by current independent deputies Juan Diego Vásquez and Gabriel Silva and supported by Rubén Blades , has the majority of those deputies.

In San Miguelito (circuit 8-2) three would be starting: Eduardo Gaitán, Luis Lucho Duke and Alexandra ‘Ale’ Brenes.

In circuit 8-3 (Ancón, Bella Vista, Bethania, Calidonia, Curundú, El Chorrillo, Pueblo Nuevo, San Felipe, Santa Ana) Walkiria Chandler and Paulette Thomas would start.

In circuit 8-4 (Don Bosco, Juan Díaz, Parque Lefevre, Río Abajo, San Francisco) Roberto Zúñiga and Roberto Bloise would win a seat.

Meanwhile, in the 8-5 (Alcalde Díaz, Caimitillo, Chilibre, Ernesto Córdoba, Las Cumbres) Neftalí Zamora and Jorge González would win. At 8-6 (December 24, Las Garzas, Mañanitas, Pacora, Pedregal, San Martín, Tocumen) there would be Manuel Bebo Samaniego.

At 9-1 (Santiago) there would be Janine Prado and Miguel Ángel Campos. In the 4-1, Augusto Tuto Palacios and Carlos Calitín Saldaña would achieve a seat. At 4-5 Jonathan Vega won.

In the 3-1 (Colón) Yamireliz Chong won. In the 13-1 (Arraiján) Lenin Ulate and Manuel Chen Peñalba would be winning a seat.

Betserai Richards, who is not from Vamos, but is independent, would achieve a seat in the 8-6.

The PRD member Zulay Rodríguez, who was also running for the Presidency of the Republic and for the Mayor’s Office, would also be on the ballot through free nomination.

The free candidate Serena Vamvas is emerging as the elected representative of the town of San Francisco, after achieving a little more than 8,642 votes with 87.76% of the tables counted in the early hours of this Monday, May 6.

Vamvas, 33 years old and also nominated by the Otro Camino Movement (Moca), leads Narciso Arellano, from the Vamos movement, who obtained 5,197 votes at around 4:30 am

Far behind was the current representative Carlos Pérez Herrera, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , with 2,376 votes. Even the independent candidate Ido Karisi had a slight lead with 3,075 votes.

Vamvas has a degree in Law and Political Science, an environmental consultant and activist, lecturer and writer. She is founder and executive director of the Mi Mar environmental foundation.

Of the 60 deputies seeking reelection this May 5, 2024, only 13 managed to repeat (21%), according to the unofficial results released early this Monday, May 6.

The majority are from the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) : 9 in total.

In fact, this bench headed the list of candidates seeking to reach the Legislature again: 32 of the 35 who currently occupy a seat ran.

These are: Benicio Robinson, Jairo Salazar, Nelson Jackson, Jaime Vargas, Marcos Castillero, Raúl Pineda, Crispiano Adames, Francisco Sucre and Arquesio Arias.

Alaín Cedeño, who was Democratic Change and changed to Realizing Goals (RM), is also re-elected. Sergio Gálvez and Lilia Batista, also from RM, were also re-elected.

PRD deputy Zulay Rodríguez was also re-elected, after running as a free candidate.

The Other Path Movement (Moca) , led by former presidential candidate Ricardo Lombana, will provide a total of four deputies to the new National Assembly , which begins next July 1.

These candidates were Ernesto Cedeño , Grace Hernández , José Pérez and Víctor Carles .

Cedeño won a seat in the 8-4 by a half quotient, achieving 13,215 votes, while Hernández appears in the same circuit with 11,588 votes and remainder.

Likewise, Pérez came out 8-3 by half a quotient, adding 11,138 votes. Carles is the representative in the interior of the country, leaving by remainder in the 2-1 circuit

It is worth mentioning that 8-4 includes the townships of Río Abajo , San Francisco , Parque Lefevre , Juan Díaz and Don Bosco . Circuit 8-3 represents San Felipe, El Chorrillo, Santa Ana, Calidonia, Curundú, Ancón, Bella Vista, Betania and Pueblo Nuevo. The 2-1 is from Penonomé.

Moca has been recognized by the Electoral Tribunal of Panama since June 29, 2022, under the leadership of Lombana, who finished in second position in the presidential elections from 2024 to 2019.

The candidate Diógenes Galván (Free Nomination) obtained an important victory by taking the victory in the Mayor’s Office of Colón after defeating Alex Lee , current mayor and candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

At the time of 80.21% of the tables being counted, Galván had a resounding victory by accumulating 30.87% of the votes, with a difference of 10,911 over Luz Omaira (Realizing Goals/Partido Alianza), her closest pursuer.

Galván accumulated 28,105 votes, while Omaira received 17,194 (18.88%). Meanwhile, Lee trailed in third place with 11,036 (12.49%).

Lee had won the previous election with 21,301 votes for 22.37%.

Stefany Dayan Peñalba, a free candidate for the Popular Party, is vastly ahead of the current mayor of Arraiján, Rollyns Tropa Rodríguez, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

This Monday, May 6, with 81% of the votes counted, Peñalba (28.7%) was projected as the winner, carrying more than 13 thousand votes (11 percentage points) above second place, the candidate for the Realizing Goals Party, Mily Palma (17.07%).The mayor’s office of Arraiján is the third district with the highest electoral weight in the country with 193,289 voters, being surpassed only by Panamá (732,022) and San Miguelito (257,567).

The Mayor’s Office of Panama did not escape the avalanche of changes in the different popularly elected positions, with a clear victory for Mayer Mizrachi .

Mizrachi , nominated by the Popular Party and who faces a process for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering, for a case related to the contracting of the Criptex platform , dominated with a difference of six points (32.86%) over his closest pursuer Edison Broce , Libre Postulado and MOCA, (26.88%), while Willie Bermúdez , Cambio Democrático and Partido Panameñista, was relegated with 18.62%.

Irma Hernández Berrío , independent candidate of the Vamos coalition, became the virtual elected mayor of San Miguelito this Monday, May 6, defeating the current PRD deputy Zulay Rodríguez by about 15 percentage points.

With nearly 68% of the tables counted, Hernández scored 48% and Rodríguez 32%.

The deputy and president of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Benicio Robinson, fights this Monday, May 6, a close battle for one of the two seats in the 1-1 circuit in Bocas del Toro.

With 79% of the tables counted at 2:35 am, the first seat would be assigned to the current mayor of Changuinola, Yesica Romero, from Cambio Democrático.

Robinson had just over 11,000 votes while his closest rival, Panamanian Ubaldo Vallejos, registered about 10,700.

Robinson, 65 years old, was a deputy for the PRD between 1985 and 1994. He returned to the Assembly in 1999 and has been re-elected consecutively since then. From the National Assembly he controls the powerful Budget Commission.

Representative Kayra Harding and the former director of Ifarhu (Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources), Bernardo Nando Meneses , both from the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), did not obtain the necessary votes to represent the 13-1 circuit (Arraiján, Panamá Oeste) in the National Assembly.

With 90.34% of the tables counted, Harding had only received 9,096 votes, while Meneses obtained more support with 14,339.

The new deputies for that circuit are Lenín Alberto Ulate (Free Postulation) won the half quotient with 19,974 votes, Cheng (Free Postulation) took the remainder with 18,504 votes and Castañedas from Realizing Goals was awarded the half quotient with 17,223 votes.



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