CD and Electoral Tribunal Clash Over Electoral Role Database Scandal

Tuesday, March 18 2014 @ 09:01 am EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

Spokesmen for the ruling Democratic Change political party insist that the database being used by their presidential candidate Josť Domingo Arias to attract voters was created using data provided to them by the Electoral Tribunal.

"It comes from the electoral roll administered by the Electoral Tribunal at the request of all political parties, and we have even seen in the news how they even rent the data to private companies and institutions," said the Minister of the Presidency Roberto Henriquez on Telemetro yesterday.

Electoral Tribunal judge Erasmo Pinilla explained that while the institution does provide some information to certain companies, information regarding political affiliations and family trees, which appears on the Arias website, is restricted. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: And, there you have it. The Electoral Tribunal made the database available to the Cambio Democratico party, and they used it. Yesterday when questioned about this issue, president Martinelli said simply "we got the information from the Electoral Tribunal, so they should investigate themselves." So maybe the information regarding political affiliations and family tree data was supposed to be restricted, the Electoral Tribunal apparently let the cat out of the bag. This scandal is over a website created by people who are supporting the election campaign of the CD's Jose Domingo Arias. They can log on to a website to view information on practically any Panamanian by using their cedula number. It shows political party registration, date of birth, address, and "family tree" information such as sons, daughters, wives, brothers and sisters, etc. By having all of this information at their fingertips, supporters can "target" specific individuals in small areas or groups, who they think can most likely be convinced to vote for their guy. And of course that "convincing" will include underhanded elements of coercion - like "we will fire your son if you don't vote for..." - stuff like that. Martinelli plays hardball politics, and he's going to win in May.

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