Panama run by a judicial dictatorship, says Martinelli’s lawyer

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Faced with what is happening in Panama in judicial and electoral matters, there are lawyers who claim that fraud could be forged.

Faced with the aberrant decision to disqualify Ricardo Martinelli as the presidential candidate of the parties Realizing Metas (RM) and Alianza, it is more than evident that Panama will be condemned internationally, that we are facing a judicial dictatorship and that the Electoral Tribunal (TE) was knelt from the economic and political interests, as stated by lawyer Alfredo Vallarino.

Counsel commented that to ensure that they have threatened TE magistrates to make the decision they made against Martinelli, is quite strong and could be irresponsible if he did not have the elements of conviction to be able to say that “here they are pushing the Electoral Tribunal and I even feel the risk of fraud.”

“Electronity fraud is not to respect the popular will, you have a popular will and you do what is not concrete. It’s not just the day of the election that fraud,” he said.

He added that if, through fraudulent means, through politicized processes and in the way it does not prescribe the law, candidates are threatened and discarded, an electoral fraud is being carried out.

Vallarino recalled the fact that before the ruling of the New Business case will arrive at the Electoral Tribunal, this same institution commands its director of legal advice to the Supreme Court of Justice to see if it had already left, something that is the first time seen in the history of the country.

“We have an Electoral Tribunalthat he is acting badly, because he is lying down, saying yes, come José Raúl Mulino because we are going to disqualify Ricardo Martinelli, when they realize that Mulino is going to participate in the debate, they say no, he cannot participate,” he argued.

He added that they later said that disqualification was done at double level, but then they said no, that’s done through a single instance and midnight last Monday, they disqualified Martinelli, the most sympathetic presidential candidate.’

Ricardo Martinelli was sometimes found not guilty in the puncture case, before being tried in New Business.

Months are left to the government of Laurentino Cortizo Cohen and José Gabriel Carrizo.

“On a tragic night for democracy, in the most cowardly way, a decision was taken here to curtail the democracy of this country. Close democracy, because here he grabbed the leading candidate and disqualified him. That night they even thought about taking the candidate, José Raúl Mulino, too,” he explained.

They’re violated right to choose

For the jurist and professor Miguel Antonio Bernal, the magistrates of the TE not only did not respect due process by disqualifying Ricardo Martinelli as presidential candidate, but also violate the right of citizens to elect president and vice president as a whole.

He adds that leaving José Raúl Mulino without vice president on his payroll for the May 5 elections is an ‘ultra-restricative’ interpretation of what the National Constitution establishes by the judges of the TE.

The professor argued that article 4 of the Magna Carta stipulates that Panama will respect the norms of international law, therefore it must respect the international conventions and covenants on human rights. This implies, according to Bernal, that the country is obliged to respect the political rights of citizens, so by Realizing Metas has the right to run vice president for the next elections.

“Amputing the presidential payroll of a party is a vinvenous and anti-citizen machination that we should not happily overlook,” the constitutionalist reflected.

Counsel added that with this decision, the three judges of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama “impede their fraud.”

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in PanAmerian