Panamanians, enjoying one of the fastest growing economies in the hemisphere but wary of corruption and growing executive power, rejected the governing party’s choice for president Sunday — on a ticket with the president’s wife for vice president — and instead hewed to tradition by electing an opposition candidate. Panama’s election commission declared the president-elect to be Juan Carlos Varela, who is vice president but broke with the governing party in a rancorous falling out and was stripped of many of his duties. He captured 39 percent of the vote, with more than three-quarters of the ballots counted.
The National Commission on Electoral Reforms requested the judges of the Tribunal Electoral (TE) to request the National Assembly withdraw the draft of electoral reforms, since it believes there is enough time to implement them before the 2014 elections. TE Judge Gerardo Solis said that the commission also decided that the reforms should be considered one of the first priorities of the next government.
According to Solis, the withdrawal of the reforms will be the best way to ensure peace and tranquility during the election.