The mayor of Panama City, José Isabel Blandón, of the ruling Panameñista Party (PPa), launched his presidential candidacy for the general elections of May 2019 in a public ceremony on Sunday.
The burgomaster will face former Housing Minister Mario Etchelecu, until now the other candidate announced publicly, in the primaries of the PPa, to be held on October 28.
"With this postulation, Blandón takes the first step for the political consolidation inside his party, and later, to offer the country a proposal of national unity that integrates the different currents of political, social, cultural, scientific and sporting thought" said a spokesman for his campaign team.
During the nomination act, Blandón addressed the supporters who accompanied him, making a historical tour of his political life, from his student stage and four periods as deputy (20 years) since 1994, the first as a substitute.
The politician won the mayoralty of the district of Panama in the last general elections of May 2014.
Blandón, who defends that during his local mandate the Mayor's Office of Panama has had positive transformations, opted for "deep institutional reforms" if he was chosen in the PPa and then win the Presidency in May 2019.
He emphasized that Panama "will need a leader who knows how to listen and make decisions for the next 5 years, who does not fear political cost, who is capable of delegating and knows how to conciliate."
Combating crime with technology, measures to boost, innovate and diversify the economy with a strong commitment to tourism, the logistics sector, innovation and to promote agriculture were some of the contents of the work plan he presented.
Blandón said that for the period 2019-2024, "the success of this nation will depend on the effort and responsibility of all," so it will not be the task of one person or a single political party.
The mayor said that "with humility, I submit my career, my actions and my experience to public scrutiny", while committing to a different campaign, based on respect, with concrete proposals and with the firm intention of promoting national unity.
The Mayor's Office of Panama is considered the second most important political post in the country after the Presidency.