Who is José Raul Molino, the elected president who promised to rule with a firm hand

Right-wing lawyer Jose Raul Molino, who won the presidential election on Sunday PanamaHe promised to take measures “without fear” to revive the economy and end the “political persecution” of which his mentor, former President Ricardo Martinelli, claims to be a victim.

Molyneux (64 years old) won the victory With 34% of the vote, compared to 25% for Ricardo Lombana from the centre-rightDriven by the popularity of Martinelli, who replaced him after he was excluded from the candidacy after the conviction against him on corruption charges was confirmed. Money laundering.

Molino greets his followers after winning the presidential election on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

“Political persecution is over. The manipulation of prosecutors is over. The manipulation of judges is over. This shit is over, damn it! Listen to her carefullyMolyneux told his followers in his victory speech.

From his asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy, ​​where he has been since last February, to avoid being imprisoned, Martinelli was the hero of the elections. He campaigned for his dolphin. “Mission accomplished,” Molyneux told him after the win.

Candidate who arrived on time

Molyneux confirmed this He has practically retired from politics A little over six months ago. He is now President of Panama for the next five years.

“I saw the scenario without me,” he told the local press in April, midway through the election campaign.

But from moment to moment this 64-year-old lawyer, whose last position was in politics Former Minister of Government Security For Martinelli (2009-2014), he emerged as A Companion to the Presidential Payroll The popular former president of the Achieving Goals Party and the Alliance of Parties.

Molyneux claimed to have practically retired from politics just over six months ago.  Now he is the president.  Photo: ReutersMolyneux claimed to have practically retired from politics just over six months ago. Now he is the president. Photo: Reuters

Martinelli’s wife declined to run for vice president and the name that appeared on the ballot was Molino. They called him and he accepted.

What will happen to Martinelli?

According to a recent study, the majority of Panamanians think so The 74-year-old former president will rule behind the scenes Starting July 1, but Molyneux said in his speech Not to be a “puppet in anyone’s hands.”

But analysts believe that it is possible that Martinelli, who has been sanctioned by Washington for “widespread” corruption and is accused of phone spying and bribery, could be given a prison sentence. Pardon or at least safe behavior To travel to Nicaragua.

Francisco Rojas, dean of the United Nations University for Peace, based in Costa Rica, told AFP that what he does to him “will have international repercussions, especially with the United States.”

The country that will receive Molyneux

Molino will be received by President Laurentino Cortizo, of the majority Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD, Social Democratic), A country suffering from a fiscal deficit of 7.4%, a public debt of $50,000 million, and a collapsed social security system.

“To our international creditors, I send you a message: This country will honor its debts“said the elected leader of the Realizing the Goals (RM) party founded by Martinelli.

"The problems are huge"The president-elect admitted.  Image: BloombergThe president-elect admitted that “the problems are enormous.” Image: Bloomberg

Although the economy will grow by 7.3% in 2023, this year it will slow to 2.5% according to the International Monetary Fund. Drought struck Which affects the Panama Canal and the closure of a copper mine after massive protests in defense of the environment.

“We must face national problems without the slightest hint of fear,” he said, anticipating measures to restore the era of economic prosperity that Martinelli’s followers long for.

‘Huge problems’

The president-elect admitted that “the problems are enormous.”

Molineux victory He was favored by the anti-Martinelli division, His votes were distributed between Lombana, former Social Democratic President Martin Torrijos (2004-2009), who received 16% of the votes, and former Chancellor Romulo Ro (12%).

In these elections, Panamanians also elected 71 representatives and local governments. Analysts expect a fragmented Congress.

He added, “The main challenge will be the transition from polarization and political tension to… National Reconciliation. Rojas said the political system is very divided and polarized.

Sociologist Danilo Toro believes that “stability has come into question.” “He made sure to convey that he was not a comfortable person,” he said, commenting that Molyneux was confrontational in his speech with the press and justice officials.

“I respect the independence of each organ of state, but it is up to the executive branch, and it will be so, to direct the destinies of the Panamanian nation,” Molino said.

Future President of Panama He has a reputation for being authoritarian The press remembers him for suppressing protests when he was Martinelli’s minister.

Now, you should too Addressing the migration crisis in the dangerous Darien Forestwhich literally promised a “lockdown” to prevent migrants, mostly Venezuelans, from passing through there on their way to the United States.

Molyneux admits that he has a strong personality that does not arouse sympathy. “I don’t laugh a lot, but I know how to do things the way they should be done,” he told supporters on Sunday night.

“You’re not hiring a circus director, you chose me because I’m going to be a real working boss, not a host or a TikTok dancer,” he added.

Consensus on the ruling

Molino You will have to seek consensus Before the new composition of the legislature, where one of the biggest surprises occurred in Sunday’s elections The emergence of independents.

Your unit message may make sense because it will contain A unicameral legislative assembly – The body most questioned regarding waste and opacity scandals – without a majority.

It was the two goal-achieving parties, founded by Martinelli and Alianza, that led him to victory They will have only 15 seats out of 71. The distinguished mark was awarded by the candidates for Free application Which won 21 positions, which was described as a victory and punishment for the legislature after massive protests last year against the government contract agreed upon with a Canadian copper mine, which was declared unconstitutional and led to the closure of that huge project.

The ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party, led by outgoing President Laurentino CortizoIt suffered not only a disaster in the presidential elections But he only got 12 seats, 23 fewer than he got in the last 2019 elections. The official candidate, José Gabriel Carrizo, came in sixth place with 5.83% of the votes. He also lost the position of mayor of the capital, which is the second most important popularly elected position after the position of president.

The other legislative seats were distributed by the Parties of Democratic Change, led by Romulo Roux, who ranked fourth in the presidential elections, and his ally, the Panaministas – both with 16 seats – the Popular Party that supported former President Martin Torrijos, third in the presidential elections. With two, and Molerina, an ally of the Democratic Revolution Party, with one.

After his victory, Molino received congratulatory calls from the Presidents of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, and the President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chavez, as well as messages in this regard from the United States and other countries.

With information from AFP, AP and EFE

Freddie Dawson

"Beer specialist. Award-winning tv enthusiast. Bacon ninja. Hipster-friendly web advocate. Total social media junkie. Gamer. Amateur writer. Creator."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top