Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 10:46 AM EDT

View Printable Version

Much "Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth" In The PRD

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Since the resounding electoral defeat handed to the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) by Ricardo Martinelli and his "Alliance for Change" eleven days ago, the National Executive Committee(CEN) of that organization has met several times in an attempt to define a future for the party. The most vocal critic of the PRD has been (soon to be) former Mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro, who has recently said he would quit the party if some serious changes are not made. Balbina Herrera, now the President of the PRD and the big loser in the 3 May 2009 elections, has not made any statements to the press recently, saying she has the flu (whoops...) Martin Torrijos, still the most powerful figure within the PRD as the General Secretary of the party, has said they would not be airing their dirty underwear in public. (more)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

It's All About Transition in the Panamanian Government

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Every day there are two or three stories in the Panamanian press, focusing on the preparations being made by the government at all levels to turn power over to the new guys. All of them read the same (so it gets kinda boring) - "Today (the old guy) met with the (new incoming guy) and the Ministry of (wherever) to begin the process of turning over control of the institution." The same thing has been happening at every ministry, the Mayor's Office of Panama City, the Panama Canal, you name it. Ricardo Martinelli, Panama's President-elect, will be sworn in on 1 July 2009, so they will have had less than two months to get oriented and start working. There are a lot of people right now wondering if they will still have a job come 2 July 2009. "Transition" takes on many meanings...

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Martinelli Tells Eisenmann To Put-Up or Shut-Up

PoliticsBy Carlos Estrada Aguilar and José Edwin Sánchez for La Critica - Panama's President-elect Ricardo Martinelli did not try to hide his annoyance yesterday of the people who would criticize his designation of former Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) Lieutenant Gustavo Pérez De La Ossa as the new Director of the National Police. Martinelli pointed out businessman Roberto Eisenmann Jr., for feeding the criticism against the designation, and against a person who still has not formally assumed the position. "If he (Roberto Eisenmann Jr.) wants to be the Director of the National Police then I'll appoint him, but he has to accept the nomination," said the president-elect as he was working to remove political campaign signs from the side of the street, together with Juan Carlos Varela. He asked Eisenmann and all those who question the designation of Perez to let him work towards achieving the goal of returning the security of the streets back to the citizens. "If he won't accept the post then he should let someone else to the job, because what the people want is (improved public) security," said Martinelli. The elect president affirmed his designation of Perez, because he is the person most qualified to return security to the country. "They have to give us a chance to solve the problems in the country, and security is one of those problems. They have to give a vote of confidence to me and to Gustavo," he added. He also said "there are people who spend all of their time criticizing everything who do nothing for the country." He also announced that the current Director of the National Police Francisco Troya will go with him and will form a part of his team in the Presidency of the Republic, but he did not reveal the position he will occupy.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama Pres-Elect Martinelli Picks Businessman As Finance Min

PoliticsWall Street Journal - Panamanian President-elect Ricardo Martinelli picked businessman and politician Alberto Vallarino as his future Finance and Economy Minister, Martinelli's top adviser, Frank De Lima, said Monday. De Lima, who will be Vallarino's deputy, told Dow Jones the new team is already working with the current Finance Ministry to assure a smooth transition. Vallarino, a U.S.-trained engineer, worked with a real-estate firm and with local bank Grupo Banistmo, which was taken over by HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC), according to local newspaper La Prensa. Martinelli, who was elected with about 60% of the votes on May 3, will take power on July 1. During his campaign, the now president-elect, who controls a supermarket chain, said he would carry out market-friendly policies such as imposing a flat tax system and develop infrastructure works in the country. - By Inti Landauro, Dow Jones Newswires
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama president-elect presents key ministers

PoliticsPANAMA CITY, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Panama's President-elect Ricardo Martinelli Sunday announced 14 cabinet ministers and warned them of not committing corruption. Martinelli, who will take office on July 1, warned the ministers at a press conference that his administration will accept errors but not corruption. He named Professor Alma Cortez from the University of Panama as labor minister and Giselle de Calcagno, a dissident from the ruling Revolutionary Democratic Party, as minister for small and medium enterprises. As for foreign minister and first vice-president, Martinelli named 45-year-old Juan Carlos Varela, owner of the Varela Bros, wine business. Varela, leader of the Panama Party, is one of Martinelli's closest allies and a fierce critic of traditional politics. He is also the architect of the 100-dollar payment plan. Martinelli said that he would name the education minister next week, a tough post which has seen four different officials during the outgoing administration of Martin Torrijos. "We are inheriting a world economic crisis and we have less than 60 days to study the budget, discover the truth about our economy and confront the changes we are waiting for," said Martinelli. "In my government you can put your foot in your mouth, but not your hand in the till," he said. "I know what we are facing, and I know it will not be easy," he said. Martinelli's government plans to give 100 U.S. dollars to all over-70s who do not have health insurance, building a metro, boosting housing in working class areas, school grants and a lower cost of living.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Balbina Herrera's Post Election Mental Health Condition (Concerns)

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Yesterday I had to go to the doctor's office for a checkup. After the doctor and I had finished my medical business, the discussion turned to politics. I opened the discussion with a reference to the election, saying "So, 'Los Locos Somos Mas, eh?" To my complete surprise, the doctor immediately launched into a medical analysis of Balbina Herrera's mental health status, based completely on his genuine concern for her wellbeing. He said "she's obviously been driven to the point of complete mental and physical exhaustion by the rigors of the campaign and her political defeat. Have you heard some of the things she's been saying and the way she's been talking to the press lately? In my opinion she should be medicated and sedated for at least a week - seriously. She needs medication and therapy, and she needs to remove herself completely from the political environment for quite some time. And this is my schooled medical opinion of her current psychological condition, and it has nothing to do with her politics. I'm concerned for her health - she could very well be suicidal." I was absolutely dumbfounded, and at the same time convinced this vastly experienced medical professional had hit it right on the head - he was right. The things Balbina Herrera has been saying to the press this week since the election don't make a lot of sense, apparently for a reason.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

The Act To Officially Proclaim Ricardo Martinelli As The President-Elect

Politics TVN Noticias - Last night political personalities and members of the actual government participated in the a ceremony to officially proclaim Ricardo Martinelli as the President-elect of the Republic of Panama and Juan Carlos Varela as the Vice President-elect. The President of the National Scrutiny Board, Víctor Cucalón, revealed the final number of votes obtained by the winning "Alliance for Change" as 952,333 votes in the national elections on 3 May 2009. The ceremony continued with a speech given by the Archbishop of Panama Jose Dimas Cedeño, in which he praised the "honesty, transparency, and efficiency of the Panamanians who obtained this authentic consolidation of democracy." (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Martinelli Meets With Torrijos To Plan Governmental Transition

Politics By José Edwin Sánchez M for La Critica - The transition process between the members of the government of Martin Torrijos and those of President-elect Ricardo Martinelli began yesterday with an extensive meeting that lasted some six hours and fifteen minutes. Martinelli met first in the Presidential Palace with Torrijos for two and a half hours, and after a joint declaration they called "transparent, efficient, and effective transition," both teams moved to the "bunker" where they met for an additional four hours. Upon leaving the Presidency, Martinelli recognized the advances the country has made under the current administration of Martin Torrijos, and said they share common viewpoints on issues such as the economic growth of the country, health, transportation, internal security, and foreign policy. "I am impressed by what President Torrijos and his government has accomplished," Martinelli said, and clarified that "the political 'switch' has been turned off." (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Bosco Vallarino Officially Proclaimed Mayor-Elect of Panama City

Politics By KEMY LOO PINZÓN for La Prensa - Yesterday afternoon the district (election) board of Panama officially proclaimed Panameñista Bosco Vallarino the new Mayor-elect of Panama City. Vallarino thanked God for the victory and responded to the statements made by his former political adversary Roberto Velasquez, who said the Mayor-elect still faces a process before the Electoral Tribunal. Vallarino responded to Velasquez with the expression “don't cry like a woman, he who could not defend himself like a man." During a press conference yesterday morning - in which Velasquez recognized the triumph of Vallarino - he asked the magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal to continue to address the issue of Vallarino's dual nationality (Panama/US). (more) (See Comments)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

"Recount!" Coming Down To The Wire in Bocas del Toro

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just checked the website of the Electoral Tribunal in Panama, and the race for the Mayor in Bocas del Toro is neck-and-neck. Dr. Jose Anderson has 1,736 votes against Dario Vanhorne who has 1,686 or just 50 votes less. You might remember Dario, he was the guy who was trying to defend his rights to own Wild Cane Key against an attempt by Six Diamonds to take it over (Six Diamonds thought they had bought it legally.) At the time when I was investigating those articles, I spent a lot of time in Dario's boat, going out to take photos of the island to see what was going on. There are still four more tables or 15.38% of the vote remaining to be counted, as well as 208 votes that were counted as blank and another 113 that were counted as null. Since this one is so close, you can expect whoever ends up losing to call for a recount.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Martinelli Announces Cabinet Selections

Politics By Carlos Estrada Aguilar for La Critica - Just hours after being proclaimed the President Elect of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli presented some possible members of his new cabinet. Yesterday he revealed some of the names of people who would be working for his administration. He confirmed that lawyer Jaime Alemán, the brother of Panameñista José Miguel Alemán, business partner of Aníbal Galindo, and graduate of Duke University in North Carolina, will occupy the position of Panama's Ambassador in Washington DC. In addition, he said the former lieutenant and former regional manager of Security and Protection for the Panama Ports comany, Gustavo Perez De La Ossa, will be the head of the Panamanian National Police. Perez is a graduate of the Citadel Military College in South Carolina and also has taken anti-terrorism courses from the Defense Forces. After Operation Just Cause he was separated from the public forces. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Juan Carlos Navarro Wants Heads To Roll in the PRD

PoliticsBy LEONARDO FLORES for La Prensa - Juan Carlos Navarro, Balbina Herrera's running mate, held responsible the candidate and other high ranking members of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD), for having taken the organization through its worst electoral debacle in the party's history. “I understand that after what has happened, and that since the candidate has taken the party to this electoral disaster, she still feels somewhat resentful and beat up. However, it is not right for her to put her personal aspirations or ambitions above the interests of the country and the party," he said. For this reason, Navarro called upon the party's National Executive Committee, of which he is a member, to call a National Convention in order to call into account and take the necessary actions against the members of the PRD leadership responsible for the broken alliance between him (Navarro) and Balbina Herrera, in which Herrera was to support his run for the Presidency and Herrera was to run for the position of Mayor of Panama City. (more) (See Comments)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ricardo Martinelli wins Panama presidential election

PoliticsBy Chris Kraul May 4, 2009 Reporting from Bogota, Colombia for the Los Angeles Times -- Conservative supermarket magnate Ricardo Martinelli coasted to victory in Panama's presidential election Sunday, bucking the Latin American trend of recent years that has seen leftists take power. Panama's electoral tribunal declared Martinelli the victor after counting 43% of the vote Sunday evening, saying he had an insurmountable lead: 61% to 36% over Balbina Herrera, a former housing minister and ruling party candidate. Herrera's campaign suffered from a worsening economy, rising crime and disenchantment with President Martin Torrijos. "Starting on July 1, a change is coming to Panama," Martinelli told supporters at his campaign headquarters in Panama City. (more)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama's president-elect to push US trade deal

PoliticsBy Mica Rosenberg PANAMA CITY, May 4 (Reuters) - Finalizing a free-trade deal with the United States is a major goal for Panamanian President-elect Ricardo Martinelli, but the supermarket tycoon rejects U.S. accusations that the country is a tax haven. "It will be our number one priority," Martinelli said of the accord on Monday in front of his house after sweeping Sunday's election with over 60 percent of votes. The U.S.-Panama trade pact was signed in June 2007 by Panamanian President Martin Torrijos, but the agreement has been stalled in the U.S. Congress over criticisms that Panama is an offshore tax haven for wealthy foreigners. Panama only collects income tax on money judged to have been earned in the tiny Central American nation. Martinelli's economic team disagrees with U.S. lawmakers who say Panama has failed to deal with tax evasion and needs tougher labor rights standards. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama at the Polls: A Study in Political Weakness

PoliticsBy Kevin Casas-Zamora, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Latin America Initiative, The Brookings Institution - On May the 3rd, 2009, Panama will elect a new President. With less than a week to go, opinion polls show Ricardo Martinelli, the candidate of the Democratic Change Party (PCD), with a comfortable lead over Balbina Herrera of the incumbent Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). If polls prove accurate, the result would come as a rather surprising turnaround. Since 2004, the current PRD administration, of President Martín Torrijos, has scored a series of successes that at some point made its continuity look like a formality (although the President is barred from running for immediate reelection). Economic growth averaged 8.6% in 2004-2008, reaching nearly 12% in 2007. In October 2006, Torrijos achieved a major political victory when Panamanian voters overwhelmingly supported in a national referendum his plan to expand the Panama Canal, one of the largest investment projects in Latin America, to the tune of $5.2 billion. In the past 5 years, poverty rates have gone down by about 5% to about 28% of the population, and even income distribution seems to have improved marginally, while remaining very inequitable. All things considered, there was, until recently, the perception, both in the country and abroad, that the PRD had done a very good job of unleashing Panama’s potential as a regional commercial and financial hub, a kind of Latin American Singapore. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Pedro Miguel Gonzalez "On The Ropes" In The 9-3 Circuit

Politics By Eyra Rodríguez for El Siglo - The goal in the 9-3 Electoral Circuit corresponding to the districts of Santa Fe, Cañazas, and San Francisco was to defeat Pedro Miguel González who has been in the National Assembly for the past ten years. For this situation the opposition decided to put forward one single candidate, Francisco “Pancho” Brea, a key man of the Panameñista political party. Late last night, Pedro Miguel Gonzalez was against the ropes. Unofficially, Brea was winning with 10,387 votes or 55.58% of the vote, compared to 8,387 for Gonzalez, or 44.42% of the vote. A coalition formed to achieve the objective. The Molirena, Cambio Democrático, Unión Patriótica and Panameñista political parties all united with the single purpose of defeating Pedro Miguel Gonzalez. The voting in the 9-3 district occurred completely normally, and there were no incidents to report. Pedro Miguel Gonzalez voted in the school at Santa Fe, and Brea voted in the school at Cañazas. (more, don't miss...)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ricardo Martinelli - Still the King in Panama (El Siglo Reporting)

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Panama's El Siglo newspaper did a good job of capturing the most important headlines from this morning; Ricardo Martinelli is still the king in Panama. According to the unofficial election results being published by the Electoral Tribunal through their website, the political parties representing the "Alliance for Change" have already won 33 seats in the National Assembly (Cambio Democrático, Panameñista, Molirena and Unión Patriótica) while the PRD has won just 23 seats. There are still an additional 15 seats that have to be decided and all results have to become official. Bosco Vallarino will be the next Mayor of Panama City. And, Balbina Herrera is already trying to position herself as the "leader of the opposition." There's another way to put that - "unemployed."

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ricardo Martinelli Thinking About His Cabinet Picks

Politics By Getzalette Reyes for La Prensa - Panama's President Elect Ricardo Martinelli left his residence at 9:50 this morning and spoke to the media. He mentioned a few names of people who he might select to serve on his cabinet. Martinelli reiterated he will work with the best people, even if they are independents or members of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico. He said TVN television personality Lucy Molinar might be a minister in his new government, but added "I haven't been able to talk to her about it yet." Panamanian President Martin Torrijos and the president elect Ricardo Martinelli agreed to meet tomorrow to talk about the transition. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Fitch: Presidential Election Result Neutral for Panama's Ratings

PoliticsNEW YORK, May 04, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Fitch Ratings says Panama's recent Presidential election result will not immediately affect ratings for the country. According to Panama's Electoral Tribunal, conservative candidate Ricardo Martinelli of the opposition Alliance for Change has won the presidential election. With 63% of the votes counted, Marinelli had 61% of the votes against 37% for the ruling party candidate Balbina Herrera. 'Although Panama's key credit metrics have strengthened in recent years, Martinelli will enter office during a challenging period for Panama,' said Theresa Paiz Fredel, Senior Director in Fitch's Sovereign Ratings group. According to Fitch, the new president will have to guide Panama through the international financial crisis, which Fitch expects to result in the country's worst cyclical downturn since 2001/2002. Additionally, the US$5.3 billion expansion of the Canal to increase its capacity and accommodate larger ships will also be a key priority. Continued growth momentum and resilience of Panama's macroeconomic policy framework in the context of the current global economic and financial crisis could be positive for creditworthiness. Given the small size of Panama's economy, its vulnerability to external shocks and rigidity in public finances, a sustained reduction in the government's debt burden could also benefit creditworthiness. Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site. SOURCE: Fitch Ratings
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ricardo Martinelli Wins in Panama

PoliticsPANAMA CITY (AP) — A conservative supermarket magnate was favored to win presidential elections Sunday that will determine who oversees expansion of the Panama Canal, the nation's economic engine. Ricardo Martinelli, of the opposition Alliance for Change, had a double-digit lead in the polls over former Housing Minister Balbina Herrera of Panama's governing coalition, which is led by the Democratic Revolutionary Party. The winner, whose term ends in 2014, will have to guide Panama through the world economic crisis and the $5.25 billion expansion of the canal to increase its capacity and accommodate larger ships. (more)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Supermarket magnate wins Panama presidential vote

PoliticsBy KATHIA MARTINEZ – PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama's Electoral Tribunal says conservative supermarket magnate Ricardo Martinelli has won the Central American nation's presidential elections. Tribunal President Erasmo Pinilla says that with 44 percent of the votes counted Martinelli is the "indisputable winner" of Sunday's voting. Martinelli, of the opposition Alliance for Change, topped former Housing Minister Balbina Herrera of Panama's governing coalition, which is led by the Democratic Revolutionary Party. Pinilla said he telephoned Martinelli to inform him of his victory. The winner, whose term ends in 2014, will have to guide Panama through the world economic crisis and the $5.25 billion expansion of the canal to increase its capacity and accommodate larger ships.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Conservative Wins Election in Panama

PoliticsPANAMA (Reuters) — Ricardo Martinelli, a multimillionaire supermarket chain owner, won Panama’s presidential election on Sunday, defying a trend of left-wing political victories in Latin America. Panama’s electoral authority said Mr. Martinelli, a pro-business conservative, was the clear victor over his rival, Balbina Herrera of the governing center-left Revolutionary Democratic Party, whose government has struggled with crime and high prices. Mr. Martinelli’s business experience appeared to have swayed voters worried about their livelihoods in a global recession. A self-made businessman who owns the dominant Super 99 supermarket chain, Mr. Martinelli, 57, wants to build ports, highways and a Panama City subway.
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

The Monday Morning Post-Election Hangover in Panama

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I'm about to start running through the local and international news reporting on the Panamanian elections yesterday, and at this point it looks like 100% of what I reported last night was right on the money. Bosco Vallarino will be the next Mayor of Panama City (so, who's going to pay me my $500 bucks?) Ricardo Martinelli's "Alliance for Change" will end up with about 37 seats in the National Assembly, or two seats more than half of the 71 Deputies, meaning they have political control over the lawmaking body. Pedro Miguel Gonzalez did lose his seat, and he turn back into just another random dirtbag walking the streets on 1 July 2009 (I can almost hear the sounds of the rotor blades right now). And already this morning the people who were the closest to Martin Torrijos, and who enjoyed incredible levels of political protection, are starting to get very, very nervous. In the post-dictatorship era Panamanian voters have never re-elected either the PRD or the opposition - they get their chance, screw it up, and then get thrown out on their ass in the next election. The greatest challenge for Ricardo Martinelli and his coalition will be to actually follow through on all of their campaign promises, so that when voters return to the polls on Sunday, 4 May 2014, they might have a chance of pulling another first - actually staying in power for more than one term, a feat no other group of Panamanian politicians have been able to pull off since democracy was returned to the country in 1989. Now, let's see what the world has to say about the elections.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Martinelli Wins Majority in National Assembly, Pedro Miguel Gonzalez Loses His Seat

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - According to Frank De Lima, one of Ricardo Martinelli's top economic advisors, the "Alliance for Change" has gained a controlling majority in Panama's National Assembly lawmaking body in today's elections. "We don't have all of the details yet, but we understand we've won a majority in the Assembly," de Lima said this evening at the Marriott hotel in Panama City, the headquarters of the Martinelli campaign. When I asked specifically about Pedro Miguel Gonzalez who has been indicted as a terrorist by the United States in the 1992 murder of US Army Sergeant Zak Hernandez, he said "he lost his seat." The really nice part about that is as of 1 July 2009 Pedro Miguel Gonzalez will lose all diplomatic immunity as a sitting Panamanian lawmaker and he will turn back into regular old "Mr. Gonzalez." Frank de Lima said, "that's right - he could be picked up anywhere. And, we would help..." I told him to be careful, because someone might just take him up on that offer in the not too distant future. Panama Guide's next prediction - Pedro Miguel Gonzalez flies to Cuba on 30 June 2009. De Lima also said Bosco Vallarino was "up by 10 points the last I heard."

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Bosco Vallarino Says "Estamos Arriba, Hermano..."

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - At 8:26 pm, I just spoke via cell phone to the opposition candidate for the Mayorship of Panama City, Bosco Vallarino. He's in the Marriott hotel, basically trying to do the same thing I'm doing, to get some solid election results. He told me "so far we are ahead, but I don't have anything solid or official. Right now we're going to go out and go to some schools where the votes are still being counted and it's very close. Later we will probably return here to the Marriott or maybe we will go to the El Panama Hotel, I don't know yet. Call me in about an hour and a half and I'll know a lot more." OK, will do. He sounded very optimistic for an eventual win, but they are still very much in the fight.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama-Guide Predicts Balbina Herrera and PRD Win in 2014

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - There are several undeniable trends that have developed in Panamanian politics. First of all, the PRD and the opposition take turns at the helm, and this has held true since the election of Guillermo Endara in 1989 (opposition.) He was followed in 1994 by Ernesto Perez Balladares (PRD), then the opposition returned in 1999 with Mireya Moscoso, followed by Martin Torrijos in 2004 (PRD). And now, as predicted by the trend, Ricardo Martinelli and the opposition in 2009. So, since 1989, it's gone opposition, PRD, opposition, PRD, opposition. Therefore, according to the trend, there is a very strong indication the PRD should return to power in 2014. Another strong trend is "run once and lose, run the second time and win." Ernesto Perez Balladares beat Moscoso in 1994, but she came back to win in 1999. Moscoso beat Martin Torrijos in 1999, who came back to win in 2004. Martin Torrijos beat Ricardo Martinelli in 2004, who came back to win in 2009. And Ricardo Martinelli beat Balbina Herrera in 2009, so she should (if the trend holds) return to win in 2014. The campaign for the next election already started, with Balbina Herrera's concession speech (here we go again...) I just wanted to be the very first to predict a Balbina Herrera and PRD win in 2014. Remember, you heard it here first.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Balbina Herrera Makes Her Concession Speech

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Balbina Herrera is currently making her concession speech after having lost the general national elections today in Panama. She said "my mother taught me that hard times make us stronger. My force comes from God and the Panamanian people. I am going to respect the decision of the Panamanian people." She thanked the members of the young PRD who went out and knocked on doors to get votes. She said "I understand the Panamanian people perfectly well - there's been tremendous economic growth in the country, but it's not reaching the poor." (Maybe she should blame Martin Torrijos for that?) She went on to say "It's my responsibility - I can't blame anyone else. I am a political leader and the President of my party, and I take full responsibility for this loss." She also thanked Juan Carlos Navarro, the thousands of volunteers who worked for her campaign, and then promised to lead the PRD as the opposition party for the next five years.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ricardo Martinelli Wins With About 60% Of The Vote

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The last person to win a Presidential election in Panama with more than 50% of the vote was Guillermo Endara in May 1989. In reality that election was more about trying to get rid of the hated military dictator Manual Antonio Noriega and less about wide-spread support for Endara. And although Endara beat Carlos Duque by a 3-to-1 margin, Noriega "called off the election and declared the results void." It eventually took an invasion by the US military and Operation Just Cause to overthrow Noriega and install the democratically elected Guillermo Endara. Since then there have been four democratic elections (1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009). Of those, Ricardo Martinelli is the first to win with a clear mandate. In 1994 the PRD's Ernesto "Toro" Perez Balladares beat a raft of splintered opposition candidates and won the presidency with only 33.3% of the vote. In 1999 Mireya Moscoso managed only 45% of the votes, narrowly beating Martin Torrijos who got 38% in that election. Torrijos came back to win in 2004 with 47% of the vote, beating three opposition candidates, the closest being Guillermo Endara with 30%. And now Ricardo Martinelli becomes the first democratically elected Panamanian president of the post-dictatorship era to be elected with more than 50% of the vote, and when it's all said and done he will probably have about 60% total, compared to Balbina Herrera who was unable to draw a single vote above the traditional PRD hard-core voters at 36%. And, it should be noted this election came off almost exactly as predicted by the pre-election polling results, and there were absolutely no surprises here.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Those Are Some Really Loud Fireworks...

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Over here near the El Panama hotel someone is firing off some really heavyweight fireworks to celebrate the declared election of Ricardo Martinelli as the next President of the Republic. There were about five or six, real window-shakers (or maybe that was Balbina's head exploding...) Ricardo Martinelli just spoke to his supporters as he left his room at the Marriott hotel, and he is now making his way to the Atlapa Convention Center to meet with the Electoral Tribunal to formally receive their results declaring him as the president-elect. Most of the important Ambassadors to Panama are also waiting for his arrival at the Atlapa Convention Center and right now he's driving over there from the Marriott. After that's done, Martinelli will attend a celebration at the El Panama hotel. And still, I can't get a single word out of anyone with numbers on the results for the Mayor of Panama City race. If someone gets something official please send them to me...

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

DJ Black and "Los Locos Somos Mas"

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Earlier in the campaign the "word" on Ricardo Martinelli was "...but he's crazy..." Then somewhere in the interior of Panama during the carnival season, there were two groups in the same area - one from the PRD and one from Ricardo Martinelli. The PRD supporters started changing "loco, loco..." saying Martinelli was nuts. The Martinelli supporters responded with "Los Locos Somos Mas..." (There's More Of Us Locos...) That incident turned into the slogan for the campaign of Ricardo Martinelli - "Los Locos Somos Mas" and a song by DJ Black that resonated with the young voters in Panama. Now, the celebrations begin...

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks