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Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:11 PM UTC

Herrera, Martinelli Still Popular in Panama

Politics (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - One-in-four Panamanian adults would cast a ballot for housing minister Balbina Herrera in next year’s presidential election, according to a poll by Dichter & Neira published in La Prensa. 25.1 per cent of respondents would vote for the ruling Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) member. Ricardo Martinelli of the opposition Democratic Change (CD) is second with 20.3 per cent, followed by PRD member Juan Carlos Navarro with 13.2 per cent. Support is lower for Alberto Vallarino and Juan Carlos Varela of the Panameñista Party (PPA), and former president Guillermo Endara of the Moral Vanguard of the Homeland (VMP). (more)

Editor's Comment: The political scene continues to take shape. In the next four months both the PRD and the Panamanistas will hold their primary elections and we will know exactly who will be running against who in the national election. The opposition is talking about forming some kind of an alliance, and Ricardo Martinelli is hoping to be the most popular opposition figure and to be able to eclipse the power of the Panamanistas (formerly Arnulfistas of Mireya Moscoso) to lead the opposition. Within the PRD the choices are Balbina Herrera, Juan Carlos Navarro, and now "Jaunita River" the transvestite comedian who is (actually, no kidding) running in the PRD primaries for president.

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PRD member Martín Torrijos—the son of Omar Torrijos, an army general who ruled Panama from 1968 to 1981—won the May 2004 presidential election with 47.44 per cent of the vote. Torrijos’ tenure has been marked by his support for an ambitious plan to expand the Panama Canal with an investment of $5.25 billion U.S. In October 2006, the proposal was ratified in a nationwide referendum.

On Apr. 9, Martinelli vowed to bring down energy costs, saying, "The high price of electricity is making Panamanian businesses less competitive, and they are being directly affected in the purchasing power of most of their users."

The next presidential election is scheduled for May 3, 2009.

Polling Data

Who would you vote for in the next presidential election?

Apr. 2008

Jul. 2007 Balbina Herrera (PRD) 25.1% 17.4% Ricardo Martinelli (CD) 20.3% 22.7% Juan Carlos Navarro (PRD) 13.2% 12.7% Juan Carlos Varela (PPA) 6.5% 2.5% Alberto Vallarino (PPA) 6.5% 2.0% Guillermo Endara (VMP) 1.6% 8.5% Ernesto Pérez Balladares (PRD) -- 3.8% Samuel Lewis (PRD) n.a. 0.7% None of these 24.7% 23.9%

Source: Dichter & Neira / La Prensa Methodology: Interviews with 1,217 Panamanian adults, conducted from Apr. 11 to Apr. 13, 2008. Margin of error is 2.9 per cent.

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