The PRD of Panama is gambling its political validity in the primaries

Panama City (BLAZETRENDS).- The government Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) of Panama, born 44 years ago at the hands of the military and the largest of the nine political groups in the country, is playing its political validity this Sunday in the primaries to choose their candidates for the 2024 general elections.

The party founded on March 11, 1979 by General Omar Torrijos, then head of state and manager of the return of the Canal by the US, has 731,267 registered (379,479 women and 351,788 men) who will elect 751 candidates for elective positions popular, one of them for president, 43 for deputies and 59 for mayors, among others, according to data from the Electoral Tribunal (TE).

There are 8 pre-candidates seeking the presidential nomination, all men.

For this internal contest, organized and financed by the TE, the more than 730,000 members of the PRD are authorized to exercise their vote at 1,978 tables distributed in 1,165 voting centers.

In this contest, with a cost of 3.1 million dollars, according to data from the Electoral Tribunal, there will be observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (UNIORE), in addition to members of the Tribunal Electoral.

What is at stake for the PRD

The PRD, of a social democratic nature, which managed to resurface and return to power in the 1994 elections after the United States invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989, which overthrew the military regime (1968-1989), to which it owes its origin, everything is at stake in this contest, in particular the possibility of re-election in power with the election of a presidential candidate who can attract the support of the voters in the general elections on May 5, 2024.

The PRD was out of power for 10 years, prior to its triumph in the 2019 elections at the hands of its candidate and current president of the country, Laurentino Cortizo, after losing the two electoral tournaments of 2009 and 2014.

Thus, the party created by Torrijos, which has won three democratic elections (1994, 2004 and 2019), is presented to this primary process in the midst of a marked internal division and questions about its current government management by some of its presidential candidates.

Even former President Martín Torrijos (2004-2009), son of Omar Torrijos and a member of the PRD although a presidential candidate for the minority Popular Party (PP, Christian Democracy), has said that these primaries take place within a general crisis in the country, but “in the midst of a more acute crisis within the party” government.

applicants and questions

Among the 8 candidates for the presidential nomination in the PRD primaries, according to polls, the country’s lawyer and vice president, José Gabriel Carrizo, known as “Gaby”, who served as Minister of the Presidency; the president of the National Assembly (AN-Parliament) Crispiano Adames; and the former general secretary of the PRD Pedro Miguel González.

During his campaign, Carrizo defended Cortizo’s administration by pointing out that “he did more for Panamanians, especially (for) those who need it the most, than any other administration.”

Adames, on the contrary, has questioned the government for having “abandoned the population”, while González criticizes the PRD for its disconnection from the country and its aspirations.

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