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Wednesday, August 27 2014 @ 11:19 PM EDT

Sergio Galvez Says There's Plenty Of Time For Electoral Reforms

Law & Lawyers
Sergio Gálvez - President of Panama's National Assembly
Sergio Gálvez - President of Panama's National Assembly
"One citizen, one vote," said Sergio Galvez, the President of the National Assembly, in relation to the issue of the "sheet vote" included in the Electoral Code reforms. Galvez said there are two years before the next elections, and that's being used as an excuse to not discuss the electoral reforms. He added there is a "conspiracy of the authorities, including the Electoral Court judges." According to the President of the Assembly, the judges want to interfere in the minds of the Deputies. About the issue of the "sheet vote," Galvez said it is a "political ripoff" because it is immoral for one vote to choose more than one deputy. "One Deputy, one vote," he said. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: During Panamanian national elections they use a mechanism called the "voto en plancha." A "plancha" literally translates to things that are flat. Like a steam iron is a "plancha." A sheet of plywood is a "plancha." A flat griddle or a grill is a "plancha." In terms of this discussion regarding a "sheet vote" - during the elections on the ballot there is a box where a voter can simply select one political party, and all of their votes are cast for all of the candidates for all positions from that one party. Voters have a choice when actually casting ballots. They can use the "selective" vote and cast their votes for each and every individual, or they can select the "sheet vote" and just vote for all candidates from that one party with just one box checked. This is what the CD and Sergio Galvez wants to eliminate from the Electoral Code. In the past few years a whole lot of Deputies in the National Assembly have changed from one political party to join the Cambio Democratico. They might have been elected as members of the PRD from San Miguelito for example, but now they have changed to the Cambio Democratico. They might be doing a great job, but in the next election they would appear on the ballot as being from the CD party and not the PRD - so any "sheet votes" for the PRD candidates would potentially take votes away from them. So, obviously, the CD wants all voting to be selective. This "sheet voting" thing was invented by the PRD as a way for them to get as many Deputies in the National Assembly as possible, and now the CD wants to tear it down.

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