Temas Especiales

17 de Jan de 2021

Nacional

Panamanians were eager to vote

Thousands of citizens came to the polling stations determined to exercise their right to vote from 7:00 a.m.

Thousands of citizens came to the polling stations determined to exercise their right to vote from 7:00 a.m.

The streets close to the schools were polling stations were located, were completely blocked by people wanting to finish with the whole process as soon as possible.

Many interviewed at polling stations were hoping for real change, and perhaps a reduction in corruption. But hope was tempered by skepticism.

Said one voter, when I heard Martinelli talk about the end of botellas I was happy. But later he changed to saying he was going to reduce the number of botellas. That's like being a little bit pregnant."

Another said: "I have never had such a hard time in choosing who to vote for. I find it hard to believe in the promises of any candidate. Many are looking for another five years of a guaranteed income and will forget about the people they are supposed to represent."

A 91 year-old woman said she voted for the first time in 1941 and probably this one would be her last election.

In other parts of the country, there were brawls between supporters of the Revolutionary Democratic Party and the sympathizers of the Alliance for Change. No arrests were made.

In the afternoon, heavy rain slowed down the voting process, but people kept arriving on foot, and by car regardless of the weather.

Unlike previous elections this is the first time that hospital patients and prison inmates were able to vote.

Panamanians living abroad had to cough up $50 to be able to exercise their citizens’ rights and more than a few decided not to bother.

Sunday was a busy day for the Electoral Tribunal which received more than 79 reports of electoral crimes ranging from buying votes and identity cards to the use of firearms.

All and all it was an eventful day for Panamanians.