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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 02:50 AM EDT

Mitchell Doens Announces His Candidacy For Secretary General of the PRD

Mitchell Doens - PRD Politician - Running For Reelection as Secretary General of the PRD
Mitchell Doens - PRD Politician - Running For Reelection as Secretary General of the PRD
The former Minister of Labor, Mitchell Doens, officially announced on Wednesday June 13 his candidacy for the General Secretariat of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), a collective with 480,666 enrolled members. At the Sheraton Hotel, Doens, who is currently the Secretary General of the opposition PRD party, formalized his intentions to be reelected to that position, after his nomination was launched on Sunday 11 March 2012 in Santiago de Veraguas during the celebration of the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the PRD political party. Doens has the backing of former presidents Ernesto Perez Balladares and Martin Torrijos, who accompanied him during this political event.

Doens, who is supported by the group All Against Martinelli (Tocoma) seeks to make opposition against the administration of Martinelli and those who are in elected positions that are not running for leadership positions in the PRD to maintain independence. Precisely the Tocoma group, which accompanied the former presidential candidate Balbina Herrera, the former vice president of Torrijos, Samuel Lewis, the former Minister Laurentino Cortizo and current president of the PRD, Francisco Sanchez Cardenas, plus supporters.

The presidential candidate Anel "Bolo" Flores, creator of Tocoma, was notably absent and the businessman has publicly supported the candidacy of Ernesto Perez Balladares, who has not yet stated he is running.

"Winning the government without giving up the party" is Doens' motto, who is running against the former Mayor of Panama City Juan Carlos Navarro, the other candidate for the General Secretariat PRD. Doens' motto reveals a dig at Navarro, who is accused by Doens of running a "soft" opposition against Martinelli.

Navarro, who wants to be elected as the General Secretary of the PRD and eventually reach the presidency, officially launched his candidacy in the event "A New PRD for a New Panama", Sunday March 25, 2012 in a full Roberto Duran arena. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: The first step for the PRD will be to elect the members and party leadership of their National Executive Committee (CEN). The most important position is that of General Secretary of the PRD, a position held by Martin Torrijos while he was the President of Panama. The PRD still has not fully recovered from the embarrassing defeat of Balbina Herrera at the polls in May 2009. Many political observers believe Navarro actually won the primary election last time around, but it was stolen from him and handed over to Balbina Herrera, who had produced much more money (bribes and kickbacks) as the Minister of Housing during the construction boom years in Panama City. As a consolation prize Navarro was made Balbina Herrera's running mate, and then they both went down in flames. Now Navarro is still trying to take the party over from the old "dinosaurs" - most of whom date back to the years of Omar Torrijos and Manuel Antonio Noriega. So it's the old buzzards vs. the new young guys, and what matters most is that the PRD is still broken, divided, and nowhere near as strong as they once were.

Look At The Numbers: Today there are 480,666 people in the PRD political party. In May 2009 a total of 1,586,427 Panamanians voted in the national general election. Therefore today just 30.2% of likely voters are PRD members. The worst possible scenario for the PRD would be if they once again steal the elections from Navarro and force Balbina Herrera again as a candidate. That move (a repeat of what they did last time around) would guarantee a win for the CD candidate (whoever that turns out to be.) A PRD win in 2014 is a long shot, no matter what candidate they put forward. But if they remain divided then their chances for a win are diminished even further.

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