A new election has been called in Bebebero in Tonosi, Los Santos, following widespread bribery from government sources according to a ruling by Panama’s Electoral Tribunal (TE).
The ruling Democratic Change party (CD) received another black eye with on Friday, August 17, from TE report.
"This process reflects the magnitude of unjustified official economic resources" said the presiding TE judge, Gerardo Solis announcing the report. Solis said the extent to which the Electoral Code was breached as interpreted by the judges of the TE has to do with the scope an amount of resources used, through the entire constituency and "may have had impact on their constituents."
He added that these actions vitiated the "capacity for free will" of voters. In the elections of December 2011 where there were 1,280 eligible voters, but only 968, participated said the judge.
In reading the ruling, Solis said that "there is strong evidence that materials such as cement, rough stone, zinc, stroller bags, food, and appliances were distributed…
“The donor Heriberto Yunito Vega is a preferred contractor of the Government and crude gifts from another donor who sells his product to the Government and companies working on public works, " he said.
Gifts also came from the mayor, neighborhood representatives of the Ministries of Housing and Zoning, and Public Works and officials. "No other candidate received the official support disguised as welfare assistance," he said. He said the strength of the notorious proven facts were not weakened by "magical or superficial arguments."
Hence, "allowing the use of unjustified economic resources and providing more mysterious underground economic power undermines the participation of the good citizen who identifies with their candidates by shared values."
The hearing took place at the headquarters of Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama.
Nidia Cureña had been elected for the CD party, but the result was challenged by, the PRD claiming that the Government favored Cureña with resources.