‘Crazies’ have it: Panama elects supermarket magnate Martinelli president
PANAMA CITY, Panama – A white-haired conservative businessman was declared president just two hours after the polls closed in elections held here Sunday.
With a little more than 43 percent of the votes counted, Panama´s Elections Tribunal surprised few by pronouncing Ricardo Martinelli, of the Democratic Change party, the victor.
Martinelli had been leading for a year in the polls over his opponent, Balbina Herrera of the ruling Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD), by double digits since December.
Known as “El Loco ” or “The Crazy One,” Martinelli is the owner of Panama´s
Super99 supermarket chain and the former president of the Panama Canal Port Authority. Often considered uncharismatic, Martinelli earned his nickname after an e-mail was passed around alleging he suffers from bi-polar disorder. After denying the allegations, his campaign launched a new slogan – “we crazies are the majority” – that quickly took hold among his supporters countrywide.
Martinelli has promised to build a metro system for the capital as well as lower food and electricity costs and improve security.
You may be interested
Costa Rica coronavirus data for Wednesday, May 5The Tico Times - May 6, 2021
More than 1,100 people in Costa Rica are hospitalized with Covid-19, a new record, the Health Ministry said in its…
USA books Costa Rica friendly with eye to World Cup rhythmAFP - May 5, 2021
The United States men will face Costa Rica in a June 9 friendly, the US Soccer Federation said Wednesday, booking…