Panamanian Opposition Parties Elect Presidential Candidates

[All links lead to Spanish language pages, except when otherwise noted.]

The two main opposing political parties in Panama, the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) [en] and the Panameñista Party [en], recently held their primary elections and now have their candidates to run for president in the elections which are to take place in May 2014.

The Democratic Revolutionary Party, the biggest political party in the country, was the first to carry out its primary elections which took place on Sunday 10th March. It proclaimed the former mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro, as the winner, who expressed his gratitude via his Twitter account (@juancanavarro):

(@juancanavarro): En nombre de Cuqui, de mis hijos y de mi familia; En nombre de mi equipo de campaña, del CEN [Comité Ejecutivo Nacional del PRD] y del partido: ¡MUCHAS GRACIAS! JCN

(@juancanavarro): On behalf of Cuqui, my children, and my family; and on behalf of my campaign team, the National Executive Committee for the PRD, and the party: THANK YOU! JCN

Foto compartida por Juan Carlos Navarro (@juancanavarro) en Twitter

Photo shared by Juan Carlos Navarro (@juancanavarro) on Twitter

Telemetro gives the exact figures on its webpage:

Según las cifras finales, Navarro ganó con 163 mil 531 votos a su favor, de los 177 mil emitidos.

According to the final figures, Navarro won with 163 531 votes in his favour out of the 177 000 votes cast.

The Panameñista Party held its primary elections on 17th March and Juan Carlos Varela, the current vice-president of the country who has been identified as opposition for rupturing the government alliance, was announced the winner. The candidate also used his Twitter account (@JC_Varela) to express his thanks for the support he received from the other members of his party:

(@JC_Varela): Gracias a todos los dirigentes y miembros del Partido Panameñista por su respaldo hoy y al pueblo panameño por su cariño #JuntosVamosaVencer

(@JC_Varela): Thanks to all the leaders and members of the Panameñista Party for your support today, and thanks to the Panamanian people for your affection #JuntosVamosaVencer (#TogetherWeAreGoingToWin)

Foto compartida por Juan Carlos Varela (@JC_Varela) en Twitter

Photo shared by Juan Carlos Varela (@JC_Varela) on Twitter

Blogger Ernesto Cedeño took stock of the positive and negative points of Varela’s acceptance speech:

1.       Da esperanzas de planes sociales que piensa concretizar de llegar a gobernar.

2.       Anuncia inversiones para contribuir con el progreso del país.

3.       Desea mejorar la educación en el país.

4.       Implementará paliativos para reducir el alto costo de la vida.

5.       Desea mejorar el sistema de justicia en Panamá.

6.       Establecerá las auditorias de los gastos públicos realizados.

7.       Reconoció que como funcionario, cometió errores en su vida pública.

1. Providing hope for social plans as he aims to become president.

2. Announcing investments that will contribute to improving the country.

3. Expressing his desire to improve education within the country.

4. Aiming to implement measures to reduce the high cost of living.

5. Intending to improve the justice system in Panama.

6. Declaring that he will carry out audits on public spending.

7. Recognising that as a civil servant, he has made mistakes in his public life.

Vivian Torrijos (@VivianTorrijos), a Democratic Revolutionary Party activist and the former First Lady for Panama, described the speech given by the Panameñista candidate as “good”:

(@VivianTorrijos) Buen discurso el de Juan Carlos Varela que hoy ya es candidato a la presidencia de Panamá. Inicia su campaña con ideas y propuestas.

(@VivianTorrijos) Good speech from Juan Carlos Varela as he is now a presidential candidate for Panama. He starts off his campaign with ideas and proposals.

The Panamanians have closely followed both elections and are hoping for a high-quality contest.

Nicolle Ferguson (@nicolleferguson) tweeted:

(@nicolleferguson) Ambos discursos de @juancanavarro y @JC_Varela OK. Ahora queremos saber cual es la estrategia para cumplir con las promesas de campaña

(@nicolleferguson) Speeches from both @juancanavarro and @JC_Varela were OK. Now we want to know what the strategy is to fulfill these campaign promises.

And although a year still remains until the presidential elections take place, the surveys are already becoming a prominent feature. The latest one conducted by Ditcher & Neira shows that the Democratic Revolutionary Party candidate, Juan Carlos Navarro is at a slight advantage. Larissa Samaniego (@LarissaYSam) tells us this via Twitter:

(@LarissaYSam) Encuesta de marzo de Dichter & Neira: @juancanavarro 30% @JC_Varela 22% los del CD 5% el #nuevopanama ya viene!

(@LarissaYSam) Ditcher & Niera March Survey: 30% @juancanavarro 22% @JC_Varela and 5% for CD (Democratic Change Party) #nuevopanama  (#newpanama) is coming!

Panama is still waiting to find out who will be the elected from the governing party [en] in order to be clear of their options for 2014.

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