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Monday, September 24 2018 @ 05:41 AM UTC

Larger Advantage for Martinelli in Panama

Politics (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Ricardo Martinelli seems poised to become Panama’s next president, according to a poll by Unimer published in La Prensa. 43.1 per cent of respondents would vote for the candidate of the opposition Democratic Change (CD) in this year’s ballot, up 6.9 points since November. Balbina Herrera of the governing Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) is second with 25.4 per cent—down 5.4 points since December—followed by Juan Carlos Varela of the Panameñista Party (PPA) with 14.9 per cent, and former president Guillermo Endara of the Moral Vanguard of the Homeland (VMP) with 0.9 per cent. 13.8 per cent of respondents remain undecided. 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. His tenure included 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. Martinelli, the owner of a major supermarket chain, portrays himself as a political outsider. Herrera served as housing minister in the current government. On Jan. 12, Herrera referred to Martinelli as a "wolf in sheep’s clothing", adding, "People’s conscience and dignity cannot be bought in supermarkets." The presidential election in Panama is scheduled for May 3. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: This appears to be a rehash of the same polling data from 3-5 January 2009 released last week. Now, the news outlets and polling organizations in Panama are going to begin releasing polling data every week, starting with this coming Tuesday 20 January 2009.

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