Mendez doesn’t want to be mayor
PANAMA. Roxana Mendez, deputy mayor-elect for Panama City’s mayor-elect, said Bosco Vallarino should be the one assuming the role on Ju...
PANAMA. Roxana Mendez, deputy mayor-elect for Panama City’s mayor-elect, said Bosco Vallarino should be the one assuming the role on July 1 instead of her. She spoke on Thursday, a day before receiving Panama City’s mayoralty credentials from the Electoral Tribunal (TE).
Mendez, a psychologist who in 1992 founded Casa Esperanza, a non-governmental organization that aims to fight child labor and promote education among low-income children, became Panama City’s mayor as far as the Electoral Tribunal was concerned when she received the credentials on Friday.
Yet she still hopes it is Vallarino who takes office on July 1, a plausible feat as Vallarino has said he will be mayor and will fulfill mayoralty duties without pay and without credentials if need be.
“I don’t want to assume Bosco won’t be mayor. I keep my hopes high and my faith that he will be mayor,” she said.
Bosco Vallarino’s case has raised questions on whether the Constitution or the popular vote should weigh most in deciding whether to allow Vallarino to take office.
The Constitution clearly states Panamanians renounce their citizen rights, including running for office, when they take another citizenship.
Yet the Electoral Tribunal failed to rule on whether Vallarino could run or not before the elections, in which he won over 45 percent of the votes in Panama City’s mayoralty race.
Supporters now argue that Panamanians voted for Bosco knowing of and not minding his citizenship status, protesting earlier this week to demand the TE to give Vallarino the mayoralty credentials he earned.
When asked where she stood on the constitution or popular vote debate, Mendez said: “I leave that to the magistrates. We live in a democracy, we have a legal system that regulates us and we have to live according to norms, the Constitution and the laws.”
Yet if we were to follow norms, Vallarino should not have been allowed to run for office in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Tribunal continues investigating the case, which has been prolonged due to the defense’s delay in submitting requested documentation.