Wednesday 24th April 2024.

April 23, 2024


The presiding judge of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) , Alfredo Juncá, considers that José Raúl Mulino cannot be the candidate for president of the Realizing Goals (RM) and Alianza parties , for three reasons.

Juncá supported four of the five points that the TE approved in the 11-1 Agreement of last March 4, in which Ricardo Martinelli was disqualified from competing as a presidential candidate and deputy for the 8-4 circuit in the elections on the next 5 May, after the Supreme Court of Justice ratified his conviction for money laundering in the New Business case.

The magistrate did not agree with point 2 of the agreement where it was ordered that Mulino appear on the ballot for the position of president of the Republic as a candidate for president for the RM and Alianza parties, without vice president.

This was stated by Juncá when casting a reasoned vote when the TE plenary session ruled to reject an appeal that lawyer Alejandro Pérez presented against the 11-1 Agreement that disqualified Martinelli.

In this way, the president of the TE made clear his opposition to Mulino’s candidacy, contrary to what Judge Eduardo Valdés Escoffery said this weekend to Telemetro Reporta: “ Everyone already knows the position of @tepanama, we consider that he [Mulino] is a substitute for the presidential candidate, therefore he was the one who had the right to go up, upon disqualification – Ricardo Martinelli –.”

‘It is my duty as a Panamanian, lawyer and presiding magistrate of this institution to state that, in relation to point 2, specifically, I ratify my initial position that was described in thesis A within Agreement 11-1 of March 4 of 2024’, he maintained.

Thesis A is based on three reasons why Mulino should not compete in the elections for president of the Republic.

One of those reasons is that “the figure of the substitute is not applicable to that of the vice president.”

This, in light of article 362 of the Electoral Code , which establishes the following: “ If a citizen declared suitable as a candidate loses the status of candidate, his substitute will take the place of the main candidate (…) ”.

On the other hand, thesis B – supported by judges Eduardo Valdés Escoffery and Luis Guerra Morales – says that article 362 does apply to all charges. However, this statement does not have specific legal support in either the Electoral Code or the Constitution .

  1. The figure of the substitute is not applicable to that of the vice president

Thesis A is based on the fact that, unlike the payrolls of mayor, deputy and township representative, who have a substitute on the payroll, it is not possible to apply the solution proposed in article 362 of the Electoral Code to a presidential payroll.

Because? According to the theory of thesis A, unlike the substitute, the vice presidency is a position with functions and powers recognized in article 185 of the Political Constitution.

  1. The payroll must be complete

On this occasion, article 177 of the Constitution is cited, which provides that the President of the Republic will be elected by direct popular suffrage and by the majority of votes, for a period of five years. But it also orders that “With the president of the Republic, a vice president will be elected in the same manner and for the same period, who will replace him in his absence, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution . ”

“The absence of one of the two would cause the incomplete payroll to generate a breach of the constitutional mandate of article 177,” maintains thesis A supported by Juncá.

3. The demand

The lawyer Karisma Etienne Karamañites sued before the Supreme Court of Justice point two of the Plenary Agreement of 11-1 of the TE of March 4, 2024, alleging, among others, that this candidacy was not put to a vote in the primary elections of RM .

The rapporteur of the case is Judge Olmedo Arrocha. On April 19, he concluded the deadline for interested parties to present their arguments on the viability or not of the lawsuit. The Court received at least 60 opinions.

The plenary session of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) made the decision to suspend the process of early voting online after it was reported that the numerical order of the candidates appeared altered on the electronic ballot.

The measure includes nullifying the votes cast on this first date of early voting abroad, and is due to the fact that the ballot presents a different order than that of the presidential candidates on the physical ballot.

Likewise, they announce the beginning of investigations to determine what could have caused said error.

The event has generated various reactions on social networks. Vivian de Torrijos, wife of the presidential candidate for the Popular Party, Martín Torrijos, expressed feeling “insecurity” with the Electoral Court.

The plenary session of the National Assembly today, Tuesday, rejected the minutes of April 16 that sought to give life to bill 1138 , which sought to create the district of Bastimentos and three new townships in Bocas del Toro, an initiative promoted by Benicio Robinson, president of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

It is notable that, in addition to the opposition deputies, there were also members of the ruling PRD bench who voted against or abstained during the Assembly session. Some of them are even part of the powerful National Executive Committee (CEN), the highest body of the PRD.

Two of the PRD deputies who voted against were Crispiano Adames and Alfredo Castillero. Among those who abstained are Ricardo Torres, Leandro Ávila and Melchor Herrera.

Crispiano Adames, first vice president of the PRD, indicated, for example, that this proposed law is not “convenient or legal” and that the Assembly cannot issue laws against the Constitution of the Republic.

In fact, on June 1, 2022, the President of the Republic himself, Laurentino Cortizo , vetoed a similar proposal arguing, among other points, that the proposed district would not have the population required to be established. “It is clear that in its legislative process the requirements established by law were not met,” Cortizo argued in a letter sent at that time to Adames when he presided over the Assembly.

Another of the pro-government deputies who spoke out on the issue was Ricardo Torres , fourth undersecretary of the PRD . In his opinion “it was not the time” to create more townships in the country.

As for the opposition deputies, some like Pedro Torres , from the Panameñista Party , indicated that the National Assembly owes the country an “apology” and that the discussion should revolve around legal initiatives that seek the well-being of citizens.

While Ana Giselle Rosas , deputy of Cambio Democrático , stressed that they must take advantage of these last days of the legislative period to “clean up” the image of the National Assembly.

The Superior Court of Appeals of the First Judicial District confirmed the 50-year prison sentence imposed on Rosendo Anselmo Moses and Juan Carlos Valdés for the murder of the leader of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Wendy Rodríguez, shot to death on March 2 of 2020 in the South corridor.

Through a resolution dated April 18 and signed by judges Fernando Alonso Valdés, Omaira Jaramillo and Adrián Hernández, it was decided to confirm the first instance ruling issued on October 5, 2023, in which The defendants were found guilty of the crime of murder in the form of hitman to the detriment of Rodríguez.

In this case, the acquittal issued in favor of Juan Antonio Cerezo, Tomás Ramón and Eduardo Arias, for whom the prosecution had requested a conviction, was also confirmed.

The Homicide and Femicide Prosecutor’s Office appealed the first instance decision, pointing out the existence of evidence of the participation of the three in the persecution and subsequent murder of Rodríguez.

Two minors who were traveling in Rodríguez’s vehicle were also injured in the incident.

However, the magistrates rejected the prosecution’s request, stating that no reliable evidence was presented of their connection to the fact investigated.

According to the prosecutor’s investigation, the hitmen followed the victim in several vehicles and finally intercepted Rodríguez’s vehicle at the exit of the South Corridor, where she was attacked with firearms.

The guayacán stands majestically in the country’s landscapes, not only as a treasure of biodiversity, but also as a symbol rooted in the history and culture of Panama.

Scientifically known as Handroanthus guayacan , this tree has been the object of admiration thanks to the display of yellow, purple and different shades of pink flowers, announcing the arrival of the rains.

Adrián Jiménez, botanist from the Directorate of Protected Areas and Biodiversity of the Ministry of Environment, explained that guayacán flowers attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds, thus contributing to local biodiversity.

The specialist explained that guayacan trees usually bloom synchronously just after the first rains fall, approximately between the months of March and April.

Although due to climate change it has been noted that the visual spectacle of these trees has been delayed on some occasions over the years.

A few weeks ago we began to see several trees blooming and also covering the ground after the petals fell.

Since ancient times, indigenous communities have used guayacán wood for the construction of homes, boats and tools, taking advantage of its durability and resistance.

In 2023 the guayacán tree was included in Appendix II, a list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Thus, this species is classified as threatened at the national level according to Resolution DM-0657-2016 on threatened species in the country, placing it in the status of Vulnerable (VU).

Distributed mainly in the forests near the Panama Canal, Camino de Cruces National Park and Soberanía National Park, the guayacán is not only a natural treasure of Panama, but also a symbol of the deep connection between nature, history and culture. culture of the country.

As a way to preserve this tree, Jiménez invites Panamanians to acquire a guayacán in any nursery in the country and thus enjoy all the benefits it can bring to the local fauna or its shade when it has grown enough. Not to mention the majesty of its colors when it blooms.

Its preservation not only guarantees the biodiversity of Panamanian ecosystems, but also perpetuates its legacy as a national icon that will endure for future generations.


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