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Laurentino Cortizo wins presidential election in Panama

Jose Gabriel Carrizo will serve as Vice President
Laurentino Cortizo AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco
Laurentino Cortizo
© AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco

HAVANA, May 6. /TASS/. According to preliminary data, candidate from the center-left Democratic Revolutionary Party - former Minister of Agriculture, businessman Laurentino Cortizo won the presidential election in the country with 33.07% of the votes, a representative for Panama’s Electoral Tribunal reported on Sunday. The tribunal’s session was broadcast by TV channel Telemetro.

Proceeding from the results of counting more than 92% of votes, more than 617,000 city residents voted for Cortizo. Right-wing Democratic Change (CD) party candidate Romulo Roux received the second place with more than 580,000 votes (31.07%). The Electoral Tribunal reported that the result "has irreversible effect." The turnout was 73%.

The winner’s election pledges included the fight against corruption, carrying out a constitutional reform to achieve a better division of branches of power and the consolidation of key sectors of economy and the improvement of investment attractiveness. Cortizo also supports the elimination of control over prices that incumbent President Juan Carlos Varela introduced in 2014, and the creation of public markets that will contribute to better mutual understanding between producers and consumers. Varela himself congratulated Cortizo on his victory several minutes after the election results had been declared.

The president is elected in a nationwide direct and secret voting for a five-year term. Jose Gabriel Carrizo will serve as Vice President of Panama.

Right-wing Democratic Change party candidate Romulo Roux earlier stated about fraud during the vote counting at polling stations. Roux said that his team will wait for all the protocols to be delivered from commissions to the country’s capital for check.

The Organization of American States, that sent an observer mission to the republic, stated that the voting and vote counting processes were well-orchestrated and compliant with the provisions of Panama’s Electoral Tribunal.