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HomeNewsCosta RicaCosta Rican President Meets with Panama's Favored Presidential Candidate

Costa Rican President Meets with Panama’s Favored Presidential Candidate

The President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, received José Raúl Mulino in San José yesterday. Mulino is the protégé of former President Ricardo Martinelli and the favorite presidential candidate for the upcoming elections in Panama.

The Costa Rican presidency published on social media that it was a “courtesy audience,” following Chaves’ willingness to receive presidential candidates who request to meet with him.

They added that during the meeting, both advocated for the “upcoming elections in the neighboring country to be a new democratic electoral celebration.” Panama will elect the successor of President Laurentino Cortizo on May 5th from a wide range of candidates for the Executive, among which Mulino stands out.

Mulino was Martinelli’s running mate for the vice presidency, but the former Panamanian president was disqualified and took asylum two months ago in the Nicaraguan embassy to avoid an almost 11-year prison sentence for money laundering.

At 64 years old, Mulino now has the highest voting intention (34%), followed by fellow opposition and center-right lawyer Ricardo Lombana (15%) and former social-democratic president Martín Torrijos (13%), according to a survey by the firm Doxa published last Monday.

Among his campaign promises, “closing” the Darién, the natural border between Colombia and Panama, stands out. This refers to the migrants heading to the United States through this 266 km long and 575,000-hectare jungle, which more than 520,000 people, mostly Venezuelans, crossed in 2023, according to official figures.

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