Thursday 9th May 2024.

May 8, 2024


At 4:25 in the afternoon of this Wednesday, May 8, the Unofficial Results Transmission System (TER) showed a change of direction, leaving PRD deputy Zulay Rodríguez unofficially without a seat that would guarantee her re-election in the National Assembly , which he hoped to reach through the free nomination for San Miguelito.

Rodríguez would have been unseated by Omar Ortega, from Realizing Goals (RM), to whom 17,057 votes have been counted.

In circuit 8-2 (San Miguelito) seven seats are distributed. Until the last report, these spaces would be occupied by four candidates from the Vamos Coalition: Eduardo Gaitán, Alexandra Brenes and Luis Duke, all selected by quotient. Ángel Ortega González , also from Vamos, would be selected by remainder.

Vamos’ candidates have been the most voted. Gaitán obtained 64,869; Duke has been computed 63,085; while 61,950 votes have been registered for Brenes and 61,181 votes for Ortega González.

In addition, Raúl Pineda, of the PRD, would be re-elected with 15,201 votes (half quotient) and Luis Eduardo Camacho, of RM, with 18,480 (quotient).

With a campaign marked by austerity, challenging party conventions and spending that did not exceed $ 10,000, Neftalí Zamora emerged as a figure in local politics, becoming the youngest deputy to enter the National Assembly . He is 24 years old.

Before being elected on May 5 in the general elections, his activism was essential to revive the construction of Parque Norte, in the district of Chilibre , which had been suspended by the current administration of the Municipality of Panama.

Zamora, who is part of the Vamos Coalition , personifies a new generation of political leaders, redefining the paradigms of traditional politics. In conversation with La Prensa he made it clear what his priorities will be in the National Assembly.

I think consistency, staying on the street every day walking without stopping, in a way that is a little bit obsessive. Staying from house to house, car to car, leaving from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm I believe it is achieved with a lot of discipline. Beyond what we have to do as deputies to talk about proposals, I think what people liked the most was seeing us on the street, seeing a nearby candidate for deputy… And that was achieved through discipline, through point of sleeping little and walking a lot.

I spent a maximum of $10 thousand dollars. Also, a small billboard I had in La Cabima, which quite a few people saw, which cost me $2 thousand. The rest were administrative expenses, my maintenance for 3 months, and walking, walking, walking.

Two things are priority. One, to be able to demonstrate that being the youngest deputy in the Assembly is not a problem, but a benefit for the voter, to be able to show them that being young you can do things well, renounce all privileges, renounce all that way of doing things. policy that has us disappointed. The second thing is to promote reforms to the internal regulations and from there begin to work with a good Assembly.

Since last May 6, former president Ricardo Martinelli has said that they want to “steal” the seat from Alejandro Pérez , the candidate for deputy in the 8-4 circuit of the Realizing Goals (RM) party.

He has even called on his co-partisans to go to the circuit counting board to monitor the vote counting. But this Wednesday, he went one step further: he published in

“There are already more than 20 identical reports full of irregularities. “Alejandro Pérez will not allow himself to be robbed of that seat that belongs to RM,” the former president wrote at 1:17 p.m.

Almost an hour later, at 2:13 pm, Grace Hernández , the candidate of the Otro Camino Movement (Moca) , responded to Martinelli, also via X, showing minute 3606, with its due corrections .

“I think it is clear who wants to mess up the scrutiny… We invite you to come personally to review them and witness the truth,” Hernández wrote.

Minutes before, Jorge Bloise , candidate for deputy of the Vamos coalition , had made the same statement as Hernández.

It is unlikely that Martinelli will attend the scrutiny board, which is installed in Atlapa . For almost two months, he has not left the Nicaraguan embassy in Panama, located in La Alameda, in an attempt to evade his sentence of 128 months in prison for money laundering in the New Business case . That sentence became enforceable on March 4 and on the 7th of that month he took refuge in the embassy. Since then he hasn’t left there. If he does, he will be captured and taken into custody to the prison system.

Therefore, it would not be in their plans to move to Atlapa.

Officials with jurisdiction and command have two months to present their asset declaration, given the change in public management scheduled for July 1, with the arrival of José Raúl Mulino.

This was warned by the Comptroller General of the Republic , which announced this Wednesday, May 8, the obligation to present an authenticated copy of your sworn declaration of asset status.

According to the provisions of article 1 of Law 59 of 1999, this procedure must be carried out once the functions end on June 30, 2024.

In accordance with the norm, President Laurentino Cortizo; and Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo, who lost the elections as an official candidate, must meet this requirement.

Also the ministers and vice ministers, the comptroller general himself, Gerardo Solís; the president of the National Assembly, Jaime Vargas, re-elected in Darién. The comptroller leaves his position in December, when he must make the report.

Asset declarations are not disclosed, so citizens will not be able to compare the difference in the assets of officials when they entered and left office.

The standard applies to rectors and vice-chancellors of official universities, general directors, and managers or heads of autonomous entities.

Those who leave their positions must say what their assets are and also those who take up their new positions.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor ‘s Office of the Public Ministry will make another attempt to get Odebrecht to pay the money owed by the State. He requested a new hearing before a compliance judge, which was scheduled for August 12.

Sources from the Public Ministry explained to this medium that at the hearing Odebrecht will be required to comply with the payment of the annual fee for 2023, which amounts to $18.3 million, plus another $916,666 corresponding to the payment of an additional 5% as interest.

In the last hearing held on January 10, guarantee judge James Corró decreed that the Brazilian company failed to pay the installments of the $220 million fine agreed in 2017 for the payment of bribes to obtain contracts. with the state.

The prosecution insists that Odebrecht must seek the resources to comply with the annual quotas set for the cancellation of the fine, but the company claims to have no funds, since it currently does not maintain income from works it is carrying out in the country.

So far, Odebrecht has only paid $71.35 million of the $220 million that it agreed to pay as a fine applied by the Second Liquidation Court for Criminal Cases, which is carrying out a process against 25 people for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering.

According to the prosecutor’s office, since 2019, Odebrecht has been behind in the annual disbursements that it promised to make.

The Second Settlement Court for Criminal Cases plans to hold the trial of the Odebrecht case, from November 12 to December 19, after having postponed it on two occasions, one of them waiting for international assistance and the second for an appeal of the evidence presented by several defense attorneys.

Among those charged in this case are former Panamanian presidents Juan Carlos Varela and Ricardo Martinelli.

After the conclusion of the general elections on May 5, Susana Malcorro, head of the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) , addressed the Panamanian population, offering a message and sharing the report detailed observations made during the electoral process.

Malcorro took the opportunity to extend congratulations on behalf of the OAS to the president-elect, José Raúl Mulino, as well as to the new deputies of the National Assembly and local authorities. Furthermore, he highlighted and praised the Electoral Tribunal (TE) for the rapid presentation of the preliminary results.

“I recognize the enormous participation of women and young people in different roles during election day, which contributed to the success of the process, as well as all the citizens who were part of the voting tables,” said Malcorro.

According to the MOE’s preliminary report, the elections in Panama took place calmly, with notable civic commitment on the part of citizens who waited patiently in the long lines at various voting centers throughout the country. However, several findings were identified, including technological aspects related to early and electronic voting, the latter ultimately suspended.

The general elections in Panama in 2024 were characterized by being “unprecedented”, as recognized by the MOE report, due to various unprecedented situations, such as the case of the candidacy of Realizing Goals (RM), which was resolved just two days before. of the May 5 elections.

The EOM/OAS was made up of 70 observers of 19 nationalities, who monitored the elections in all the provinces of Panama and 2 regions. The mission analyzed different aspects of the elections, such as electoral organization, electoral technology, political financing, electoral justice, political participation of women, political participation of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples and campaigns, media and digital communication. Likewise, its specialists followed up on the recommendations issued by previous OAS missions.

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