Dozens of members of the Women National Forum for Political Parties (Fonamupp) demonstrated at the doors of the Electoral Court, on Saturday, to demand the institution to force political parties to have gender equality in their lists in the 2019 general elections.
"A few days ago the Electoral Court repealed Decree 12 of March 21, 2018 that stipulated that equality was mandatory in the political parties in the next electoral contest and left it at the discretion of the parties," Solangel Robinson, member of the feminist association and of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), told Acan-Efe.
The protesters demanded an "immediate" rectification and a return to the original electoral decree, which established the norms of the general elections of May 5, 2019 and that in its article 40 described what pertains to gender equality.
"The decree was eliminated suddenly and nobody from the Electoral Court has yet come out to explain why it was done," said the young politician.
The demonstrators, who were dressed in black, shouted slogans such as "Without women there is no democracy", "Parity is not a gift, it is a right" and "Women united will never be defeated", among other slogans.
"There are very few women who have the opportunity to participate in political life, what was sought with that decree was to help women have that space, since it has been shown that they cannot do it by themselves," said Robinson.
The protest took place while the Electoral Court made the official announcement of the next general elections, in which 2.7 million Panamanians, mostly women, will elect 1,721 offices, including the next president of the country.