The mayor of the District of Panama, José Isabel Blandón became the presidential candidate of the government party for the general elections of 2019. After counting more than 70% of the votes, the Electoral Court announced the victory for Blandón who obtained more than 55% of the preference of Panameñistas.
Blandón, who left open the possibility of "alliances" with other parties to win the primary elections, advocated constitutional reforms, a frontal fight against corruption and increased citizen security "resorting to surveillance camera technology", among other promises.
The main contender of José Blandón, former Minister Mario Etchelecu, accompanied the winner to the stage to reiterate the message of unity in Panameñistas. The government party said that this image of unity was not seen in the other political parties, "in those other parties, the selfishness and lack of leadership prevailed over the interests of the group and above all prevailed over the benefit of the country".
During his speech after learning of the victory, Blandón said that if elected president of Panama, during the first week of the government he would call a referendum to consult people whether or not they want a Constituent Assembly. "I have prepared for years for this moment. I know the monster very well inside. That's why I know that our political system has collapsed that we have to replace it with a new one. It is more efficient and transparent to fight against corruption and cronyism. The country is built on legitimate and credible public institutions".
Despite reiterating that there is unity, he stressed that he is a different person with a style different from Juan Carlos Varela, "those who intend to classify the electoral debate in the figure of the current President, I warn you that it is not he who appears on the electoral ballot, but the person who is here in front of you, José Blandón. We are different people with different styles but those who support the division of this party are wrong. This movement is more united than ever".