Election campaign hits new lows
Balbina Herrera’s last publicity stunt could cost her a pretty penny, and take her straight to court, after a team of lawyers for the pr...
Balbina Herrera’s last publicity stunt could cost her a pretty penny, and take her straight to court, after a team of lawyers for the presidential candidate Ricardo Martinelli, led by Guillermo Cochez, filed a criminal complaint against Herrera, for alleged libel and slander.
Martinelli’s team argues that one of Herrera’s television campaign ads suggests that Martinelli was “murderer”.
According to the plaintiffs, the official candidate’s new publicity campaign ad “suggests” that Martinelli was responsible for the deaths of 13 Panamanian patients, all of which occurred in the dialysis room of the Social Security building, back when he was head of the institution in the 1990s.
Matters get worse for the official party as the Democratic Revolutionary Party strategy team, did not foresee their party member, Ernesto Perez Balladares, coming to Ricardo Martinelli’s defense.
Balladares did not hesitate to defend Martinelli, and denied all claims that the former director of Social Security had been dismissed for the reasons implied in the ad.
Perez Balladares said that Martinelli quit his position for personal reasons.
“If I had known or had any evidence that Mr. Martinelli was responsible for those deaths, today he would be in jail,” affirmed Perez Balladares.
These statements could ignite new conflicts within the Democratic Revolutionary Party, soon after the apparent truce between President Martin Torrijos, and the VP candidate, Juan Carlos Navarro, who had been in attack mode against the president
The former president had manifested his complete support for the “tri-colored heart” campaign, surprising many with his declarations in favor of the opposing ticket.
When asked about Perez Balladares defense of Martinelli’s good name, the candidate Balbina Herrera preferred not to comment.
“I do not wish to talk about that, I am going to talk to you about Martinelli. For six months I have had to deal with these type of campaigns, and now like the spoiled brat that he is, he decides to sue,” she said.
She added that Martinelli had every right to sue, but all her campaign did was collect facts about the series of events.
But for the political analyst Renato Pereira, Perez Balladares words seem to reveal the former president’s desire for an ethical campaign.
“Of course this effects the unity of the party, in a certain way. I have yet to see the ad, but if the former president says so, it must be true, since he was the one who received Martinelli’s letter of resignation”, he said.
Pereira added that both the PRD and the Democratic Change campaigns had better watch themselves, or they will both end up in court, if they do not focus on more important issues.