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Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 02:17 PM EDT

Torrijos Rating on the Rise in Panama

Canal Expansion (Source: Angus-Reid) More Panamanians are satisfied with Martín Torrijos, according to a poll by Dichter & Neira published in La Prensa. 67.2 per cent of respondents rate the performance of their president as excellent or good, up 2.8 points since May. Torrijos—the son of Omar Torrijos, an army general who ruled Panama from 1968 to 1981—won the May 2004 presidential election as a candidate for the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) with 47.44 per cent of the vote. In April, the Panama Canal’s board of directors presented an expansion plan, which seeks to add a parallel set of locks to allow giant cargo ships to pass through the waterway. The project will cost $5.25 billion U.S. which will be paid entirely by users through a graduated toll system. The expansion can only be enacted in a nationwide referendum, which has been scheduled for Oct. 22. On Aug. 27, Torrijos urged Panamanians to support the project, saying, "We must decide if we expand the canal so that revenue is invested in opportunities and social programs, or if we stay as we are and fail to satisfy the needs of users, and lose the opportunity to generate more funds." (Polling Data follows...)

How would you rate the performance of Martín Torrijos as president?

Sept. 2006 May 2006 Apr. 2006

Excellent / Good 67.2% 64.4% 61.5%

Bad / Very Bad 28.9% 30.3% 30.8%

Source: Dichter & Neira / La Prensa Methodology: Interviews with 1,200 Panamanian adults, conducted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 3, 2006. Margin of error is 2.9 per cent.

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