The Electoral Tribunal of Panama (TE) reported today that it backed down and decided to demand again of the political parties the gender parity in their lists facing the general elections of 2019.
The electoral branch said in a statement that it repealed article 40 of Decree 19 of April 26, which in turn eliminated the mandatory gender parity, included last March in a previous decree, and left it at the discretion of the political parties.
The institution explained that “if a party in its internal processes chooses only main candidates, those who are elected as alternates, in a collective agreement, must choose a person of different gender from the main candidate.”
The new rule excludes presidential candidacies, “because the main candidate is the one who designates his/her partner,” and the parties whose lists “do not comply with the gender parity precepts will be rejected at once,” the court added.
On May 5, dozens of members of the National Forum of Women of Political Parties (Fonamupp) demonstrated at the doors of the TE while the official convening of the next general elections took place, in which 2.7 million Panamanians, mostly women, will choose 1,721 positions, including the next president of the country.
“There are very few women who have the opportunity to participate in political life. What was sought with the original March decree was to help the woman to have that space, since it has been shown that she cannot do it on her own”, lamented Solangel Robinson, member of the feminist association and the opposing Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).