10 candidates facing criminal probes

At least 10 people running for election in Panama next year are facing criminal proceedings in the country’s courts including th ex-president Ricardo Martinelli topping the list.

The Electoral Code gives electoral penal jurisdiction to candidates and party managers from the moment their application is approved and up to  15 days after the proclamation, which delays judicial proceedings.

It does not matter if you are investigated for more than one case. If a Panamanian is not condemned, he or she has no impediment to being a candidate for president of the Republic, deputy, mayor or corregimiento representative.

That window of opportunity  means  a long list of politicians who  have processes in the Public Prosecutor’s Offices or the Supreme Court, are campaigning for selection including former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), who is already in  court for allegedly spying on communications of  at least 150 people,  and has other major criminal investigations waiting in the wings.

He  is provisionally detained in El Renacer prison, but was nominated for deputy in circuit 8- 8 in the Cambio Democrático (CD) primary on September 30.