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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 01:39 PM EDT

Labor Minister Threatens To Sue Electoral Tribunal in Washington DC

PoliticsPanama's Labor Minister Alma Cortes, who is also a member of the ruling Democratic Change (CD) political party, said she would travel to Washington DC in the United States to pursue a claim against the Electoral Tribunal (TE). The complaint sustained by Cortez is for "the violation of human rights, and the people's right to choose," referring to the case of the elections at El Bebedero. "This is a persecution against the party and I have to report it," said the minister on the RPC Program Open Debate. "Is this the Electoral Tribunal we want for 2014?" questioned the minister, who then added "no sir! Because what the Electoral Tribunal is doing to us, they can do to anyone." The Minister said she will call the CEN to make the final decision on the complaint.

The Electoral Tribunal is holding an investigation process open for the alleged buying of votes in the elections held on 4 December 2011, where Nidia Cureņa of the CD won the elections. On Friday June 29, the electoral prosecutor of Azuero Dilia Cornejo interviewed 20 people. This questioning would be the last step in the investigation. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Although it's not said in this article, the Minister Cortes said she intends to file a complaint before the International Commission on Human Rights, which has their headquarters in Washington DC. That's where the reference to going to the US comes from. Back in Panama, the Electoral Tribunal is the last (and only) bastion of power held by the PRD political party. This court - which is supposed to be a neutral observer of the election processes in Panama - is so blatantly in the back pocket of the PRD it's practically criminal. I suspect the Supreme Court will eventually act against them. There is already one complaint against the TE for ignoring a ruling of the Supreme Court with regards to another case (CD delegates to the Central American Parliament.) Alma Cortes as assumed the role of "attack dog" for the CD at this point.

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