Florida Lawmakers React to Right-Wing Candidate Winning Panama’s Presidential Elections

Florida Lawmakers React to Right-Wing Candidate Winning Panama’s Presidential Elections

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 7, 2024

Jose Raul Mulino has won Panama’s presidential elections in a landslide performance after his party’s frontrunner, Ricardo Martinelli, was barred from running.

Martinelli, who served as president of Panama from 2009 to 2014, was disqualified from the election after being convicted on money laundering charges.

President-elect Mulino had served as Martinelli’s Security Minister prior to being elected.

News of Mulino’s victory were well received by conservatives and businesses across the world, as Mulino pledged fiscal reform and receptiveness to investment and business.

Fitch Ratings had downgraded Panama’s credit rating to BB+ after fiscal and governance challenges were compounded by the closing of the country’s largest mine.

According to Fitch, the mine represented around 5% of GDP (via direct and indirect effects) and 7% of current external receipts.

However, according to the latest reports, Mulino’s election caused spikes in Panama’s eurobonds.

Mulino pledged Panama would honor its debts with international lenders and enact much needed economic and social legislation.

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed general support for Panama’s electoral process, desiring the outcome may benefit US-Panama relations.

President Joe Biden congratulated Mulino and emphasized his intent to foster economic collaboration between the two nations.

“Congratulations to Jose Mulino on his victory as President-elect of the Republic of Panama,” said President Biden.

According to Pew Research, nearly 240,000 Panamanians live in the US, with the largest concentration residing in Florida.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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