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Martín Torrijos Espino

Departing Martín Torrijos Gets Boost in Panama

Martín Torrijos Espino 49%

Public support for Panamanian head of state Martín Torrijos has increased in the last year of his tenure, according to a poll by Unimer published in La Prensa. 57 per cent of respondents rate the president’s performance as excellent or good, up eight points since January. Torrijos—the son of Omar Torrijos, an army general who ruled Panama from 1968 to 1981—won the May 2004 presidential election as a candidate for the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) with 47.44 per cent of the vote. In 1999, Panama regained full control of the Panama Canal, the source of 10 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In October 2006, Panamanian voters supported the canal’s $5.25 billion U.S. expansion plan—which would add a parallel set of locks to allow giant cargo ships to pass through the waterway—in a nationwide referendum. 

On Apr. 21, Torrijos dismissed rumours that an electoral fraud is possible during this year’s election, saying,

"I have a commitment to my country, as has always been the case, and nothing will happen here but the respect of the popular will. (...) I believe [these rumours are] part of the irresponsibility with which this campaign has been carried out." 

Torrijos is ineligible for a new term in office. Panama’s presidential election is scheduled for May 3.

The current presidential term expires on Sept. 1.

 

April 28, 2009,Angus Reid . lobal Monitor

source: www.angus-reid.com

2009-05-19


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