Former Panamanian president arrested, Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), won this Sunday a nomination as deputy for the opposition Cambio Democrático (CD) party with 44.17 percent of the votes in his circuit.
There are six candidates for deputies that CD can nominate in the circuit 8-8 to which Martinelli belongs, in which one hundred percent counted of the 25 polling stations won with 44.17 percent of the 5,769 votes , according to the Electoral Court (TE) of Panama.
In that electoral college CD reserved two candidacies for direct nominations or negotiate them in alliance, according to the TE report.
In these primaries only votes were taken in 17 of the 39 electoral circuits since in the others the candidates were already "handpicked" for reservation by the CD or they will be "negotiated" in alliances, according to their leader Rómulo Roux.
Martinelli, imprisoned for a trial for illegal wiretapping during his term, was followed by candidate Miguel Gallardo, with 16.12 percent, his lawyer Alejandro Pérez, with 12.48 and Dinoska Montalvo with the 7 percent; the remaining votes were distributed to six other candidates.
Martinelli's wife, Martha Linares, told reporters that "more than 80 percent of voters in the 8-8 circuit did so" for the former president, who "did not campaign, is not imputed, and that judgment is going to fall because there is no protected witness; moreover, they are victimizing him."
The former first lady also said that "hopefully they offer the reserved candidacy to the mayor" of Panama city, "because he deserves it", since that position was not submitted to election by CD.
The head of the electoral commission of CD, Emma Correa, explained in a press conference that nationwide the participation in the primary elections "exceeded 35 percent", something unexpected because "the projection was 30 percent".
Due to his arrest, Martinelli could not vote and awaited the results of the CD primaries, a party headed by his former Foreign Minister Rómulo Roux, presidential candidate of his party for the May 2019 elections.
The TE did not report any significant incidents during the day. A total of 306,377 members of this political party were authorized to vote in the circuits with candidates in dispute, for the offices as deputies, mayors, representatives and councilors for the general elections of May 5, 2019, said the electoral authority.