Opposition pact signed
PANAMA. Finally, the rumor that has been circulating around town about an alliance between Cambio Democratico and the Panameñista Party...
PANAMA. Finally, the rumor that has been circulating around town about an alliance between Cambio Democratico and the Panameñista Party was confirmed. Presidential candidates Juan Carlos Varela and Ricardo Martinelli have announced they are joining forces to present a unified opposition ticket come May to keep the PRD from gaining power again.
Both politicians went to Varela’s private property in Pese, Herrera, where they invited media outlets to hear them announce what many already knew. The scene can be described as the end of a soap opera as the president of the Panameñista Party renounced to his presidential candidacy and accepted the position of Martinelli’s Vice-President. “Starting now I announce my resignation as presidential candidate,” said Varela.
When journalists asked him if he would run as VP, he said the decision was in Martinelli’s hands, to which the businessman responded with a smile and said: “I accept Juan Carlos Varela as my Vice-President.”
Martinelli explained that this announcement was very tough for both of them, because of all that had been said and done, but that they were moving past it, placing more importance on the things that united them for the good of the country.
When questioned about the opposition critics that claimed Martinelli had bought the Panameñista Party, Varela stated this was false and that he was only looking out for better days for Panama.
After the announcement, many did not hesitate to react to the news. Mireya Moscoso, former president of Panama and of the Panameñista Party, applauded Varela’s decision, certain that a unified opposition front is what will most benefit the country. “This alliance is something I have been suggesting for almost a year. Only Endara would be missing for the opposition to be unified on May 3.”
Moscoso said that for the first time the Panameñistas will run in a secondary position (that of VP) for the good of the country. “We all hope the government will pay attention to the people in the fields, (helping them) fight poverty, (achieve) their main needs,” Moscoso concluded.
Opposing the alliance was Miguel Batista, running for mayor’s office with Vanguardia Moral de la Patria, who was certain this arrangement would lead many unhappy Panameñistas to support Guillermo Endara.
During the Panameñista Convention this Saturday Jan. 31, Varela will ask his party members to accept Martinelli as their presidential candidate.