Businessman Riccardo Francolini, president of the television network Next TV, owned by Panamanian former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), today expressed his support for the presidential aspiration of Rómulo Roux, current leader of the Cambio Democrático party (CD).
Francolini had registered to participate in the presidential primaries of the CD but declined to that aspiration on Monday "for the unity of the party," he explained Thursday in a letter posted on his Twitter account.
"For the unity of the party and the best days for Panama, I will support Rómulo Roux," said Francolini in his letter, which recognizes that "some today will not understand or share" that decision.
Roux won by a wide margin of votes vs. Martinelli the presidency of the party in internal elections held last January, and the environment of the former president accuses him of being a key of the current president of the country, Juan Carlos Varela.
The supporters of Martinelli, imprisoned in a minimum security prison in the capital of Panama while standing trial for illegal wiretapping, had expressed in recent weeks their support for the presidential candidacy of Francolini.
"My loyalty and commitment to Ricardo Martinelli and the bases of Cambio Democrático are more than proven. There is no way of questioning it," said Francolini in his letter.
He added that "after much analysis without passions and thought of the good of the majority" he wanted to make public his "support for the candidacy of Rómulo Roux, who since losing his primary in 2013 has never stopped walking the country," said Francolini in his letter.
Roux was chancellor between August 2012 and February 2013, when he resigned to compete for the presidential candidacy of the CD in the 2014 elections, which José Domingo Arias won, who was defeated by the current president of the country.
The former chancellor and current president of the CD ran on May 29 as presidential candidate of that party, with the promise to "work to change the country in 2019, in a government that has not been able to do so and has not been able to give answers" to the needs of the population.
That day Roux stressed that the opposition party and second parliamentary force with 24 seats in the National Assembly (AN) began a process of internal renewal thanks to which he became president of the organization last January.
The CD will hold internal elections next August 12 to elect its presidential candidate, and September 30 to the rest of its candidates for the general elections of May 2019.
On May 5, 2019, Panama will hold general elections and renew all offices of popular election, including those of president and vice president.
There will also be elected 71 deputies from the National Assembly, 20 deputies from the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), 81 mayors, 679 district representatives and 9 councilors.