Former President of Panama Martinelli wins in the primaries

Panama City (BLAZETRENDS).- Ricardo Martinelli, who governed Panama between 2009 and 2014, formalized his presidential candidacy for the May 2024 elections, while he awaits a sentence on money laundering charges for the irregular purchase of a media publisher and the start of the trial for the Odebrecht case.

Martinelli, 71, was proclaimed the presidential candidate of his new party Realizing Goals (RM), founded in 2021, after winning a primary in which he obtained more than 96% of the votes, according to data from the Electoral Tribunal (TE). from Panama.

“Now that I am officially a candidate, I will fight with all my might to achieve a prosperous future for my country, without selfishness or revenge. I am not going to waste my time persecuting those who hurt me, ”said Martinelli after receiving the accreditation that made his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections official.

Those political adversaries

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (c) celebrates with his wife Marta Linares (2d) in Panama City (Panama). BLAZETRENDS / Welcome Velasco

His speech, however, began by remembering all those political adversaries whose “kilometric goal is that he does not compete in 2024” through different trials that seek to disqualify him.

“Don’t be blind, they want to kill democracy, they seek to silence the vote of the majority in Panama, they are terrified of the popular will. I am the one who leads all the popular opinion polls, however, from the refrigerated offices (…) a purely political trial is planned and executed, ”he said.

More than 10 years ago

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (c) in Panama City (Panama). BLAZETRENDS / Welcome Velasco

Thus, the candidate assured that “for more than 10 years” he has been a victim of the use of the “Judicial Power to end” his political career, “the target of this practice” since he stopped “being president of the Republic.”

“Once the 2024 election wins, Panamanians will return to the success of the past, of a large and prosperous Panama and not like now, with an economy on the floor, just because a small political group is the one who wants to take advantage of the wealth of the nation,” he said.

234,700 RM members were called to today’s primaries at 655 tables in 513 voting centers, and had a participation of less than 25% of those called, detailed the Electoral Tribunal, rector of a process that cost 1.3 million Dollars.

Martinelli went to vote during the morning before a great media expectation in a center in Panama City. The candidate arrived without apparent physical problems, walking to the polling station without any support despite the fact that he avoided appearing in recent weeks for a trial alleging a recent operation. In the act of the game he even made a dance feint.

General Election 2024

The former president of Panama Ricardo Martinelli in Panama City (Panama). BLAZETRENDS / Welcome Velasco

The few polls that have been released in recent months for the general elections in May 2024 give Martinelli the favor of the electorate, something that the politician and magnate with economic interests in almost all sectors of the Central American country highlights in his interventions.

The former ruler founded his new party RM in 2021, after losing control of Cambio Democrático (CD), the organization he created in 1998 and with which he came to power in 2009.

The CD got out of hand while he was imprisoned for a year in the United States, which detained him in 2017 for extradition purposes, something he finally did in 2018 so that he could face a trial in Panama for the alleged illegal interception of telecommunications to 150 people, including opponents, journalists and businessmen, when he was president.

The trial for this case ended on June 2.

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (c) in Panama City (Panama). BLAZETRENDS / Welcome Velasco

This cause, known as “punctures” and from which he emerged unharmed in two trials, is part of the “political persecution” that Martinelli says is against him, as well as the Odebrecht and “New Business” cases in which he is accused. of money laundering.

Martinelli is one of the 13 people, including businessmen, politicians and individuals, for whom the Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office requested the maximum sentence of between 16 and 18 years for the New Business case, the purchase in 2010 with alleged public funds from Editorial Panama America SA (Epasa).

The trial for this case ended on June 2 and Judge Baloísa Marquínez accepted the term of 30 days to issue the sentence.

Martinelli is also one of the 36 accused of money laundering in the Odebrecht case, whose trial is scheduled for next August.

Two sons of the former president were jailed for the Odebrecht case in the US, where they pleaded guilty to laundering 28 million dollars and having carried out bribes in favor of the Brazilian company “on the father’s orders”, as the defense alleged .

Martinelli is also being investigated in Spain for alleged corruption due to bribes that the Spanish construction company FCC confessed to having paid in Panama, and for another case of alleged spying on a woman in Mallorca.

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