It’s Voting day in Panama!

May 5th 2019 is an importing day in Panama, as the country elects a news president.

Panamanians casted their votes today (Sunday, May 5) for new leadership, all of whom promises to fight corruption and inequality in the country. Returns reported on the international event as a day on which "candidates vow to fight graft and inequality."

"The next president will inherit one of the world’s fastest-growing economies", said Returns, a country "in which China has an increasing interest" they continued.

However, following Odebrecht and the Panama Papers there has been pressure for a crack down on corruption, but at the same time a plea for continued economic growth from the public sector. 

Presidential candidate Nito Cortizo of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), told Reuters he feared for Panama’s reputation as a major financial hub and the impending verdict of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which evaluates countries by their measures to combat money laundering.

“We are worried about it and we will do everything we have to do to prevent money laundering... We want a robust financial system,” Cortizo said.

Romulo Roux, center-right Democratic Change (DC) party, campaigned on a constitutional reform that would aim to strengthen the independence of the judicial branch. 

“Panama’s representatives abroad have to focus on bringing investment and opportunities to Panama, and defend its image, which has been hurt,” Roux told Reuters.

According to the World Bank forecasts Panama’s economy will grow 6 percent this year, surpassing every other country in Latin America.

Polls close at in Panama at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 5th 2019. The preliminary results are expected around 6:00 p.m. The May 5 election is a“dry” in Panama from noon on May 4 until polls closed. This means the closure of bars, canteens, wineries, barbecues, nightclubs, dance halls and liquor stores throughout the country.