Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Several experienced residential observers of the political scene in the Republic of Panama have expressed real concerns about the probability that the results of the 2014 Presidential Election will be manipulated to place power in the hands of the ruling party's chosen successor. In essence, the fear is that President Martinelli, whose autocratic style of management of the country, will find a way to place his chosen one into office, and rule from the shadows.

The example has been cited of decades of questionable election returns in Venezuela, resulting in a virtual dictatorship, and Panamanians who wish to maintain democracy in their country are worried. I don't blame them. Many of them do not want a strongman-type rule in Panama again.

Compliance officers at banks whose clients are exposed in Panama should keep an eye on the forthcoming election, the results, and any civil disturbance that may arise in the aftermath, due to verified evidence of election fraud. Panamanians are not afraid to take to the street if they have grievances, as we have seen in recent years, and President Martinelli does not refrain from having his security forces respond with a heavy hand. The net worth could be chaos in Panama City in 2014, disrupting business and increasing risk levels.

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