On 5 May a BWI delegation led by Dietmar Schaefers, Deputy President of BWI and Vice-Chair of IG-BAU-Germany, Steinar Krogstad from FELLESFORBUNDET-Norway, Raimundo Ribeiro SANTOS from SINTRAPAV – Brazil; Raimundoi Suzart, from Quimicos ABC-CUT-Brazil, and Nilton Freitas, Patrick Fonjallaz, and Ernesto Marval representing BWI, went on a mission to observe the elections in Panama. Following the elections the delegation released the statement below.
BWI Electoral Observations Mission in Panama, May 5, 2019
We are trade union leaders and officials of organizations affiliated to the Building and Wood Workers' International, BWI, a Global Union Federation that brings together unions from construction, forest and wood sectors worldwide. In Panama, we have two affiliated organizations, SUNTRACS and SITICEDPA.
We have accompanied the Panamanian electoral process today, May 5 and we have met with political leaders of the Broad Front for Democracy (FAD), political party that participates in these elections with candidates of communal, social and trade union origin.
We have visited polling stations of Colon and Chilibre, as well as followed up on the media and observed voters' flow at the polling stations directly.
Consequently, we can say that what we have seen by our own and heard from other international observers, that the process run very well and Panamanian people had the opportunity to express themselves, through their vote, on the future of the country.
We hope the vote count will end transparently and all results could be ready soon. On the night of Sunday, May 5, the information issued by the Electoral Authority established irreversible tendencies and therefore it was possible to affirm that, Laurentino Cortizo of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) won with 635,497 votes, 33.19%, followed by Romulo Roux of the Democratic Change Party (CD) with 594,020 votes, 31.02%. Candidate Saul Mendez R. (FAD) obtained 13,364 votes, 0.69%.
The electoral participation of the population was 1,997,360 (73.05%). Other candidates and representatives of political parties are recognizing this result with civic value and political maturity.
The BWI Electoral Observes, coming from Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Brazil and Venezuela, congratulates winning candidates, wishes them good luck and invited them to attend the basic needs of the people through inclusive social policies.
The BWI Electoral Observations Mission in Panama thanks its affiliated organizations in Panama, the Electoral Tribunal and the FAD, for their support to compliance these tasks and responsibilities.
Finally, we hope this process will be an example within the region and all institutions that sustain democracy in Panama will be strengthened and developed.