Panama. Opposition candidate Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo of the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) won over Romulo Roux from Democratic Change (CD), another opposition party, in the May 5 presidential election. The victory margin, only 3 percentage points, was the narrowest in Panama’s history, and Cortizo received a lower number of votes than any previous president. At the same time, Cortizo gained a stronger position in Congress than outgoing President Juan Carlos Varela, whose party lost four seats while the PRD increased its number of seats by two. In the light of a positive economic development, he seemed to be able to get through a lot of his politics. In addition, turnout was relatively high – 73% – which was lower than in the 2014 elections but higher than in the 2009 elections. The PRD also gained control of the capital, Panama City.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of PAN in general and in geography as Panama in particular.
Above all, the overall election results showed the great dissatisfaction in the electorate with the outgoing Varela’s policy. In particular, there was great disappointment over Varela’s failure to curb corruption, an area that has been at the center of public opinion since the unveiling of the so-called Panama Papers in April 2016 and the Odebrech scandal in December of that year. Predictably, therefore, a key message in Cortizo’s election campaign was to put it right.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Panama in 2019 was 4,246,328, ranking number 128 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.670% yearly, and the population density was 57.1219 people per km2.