Panama. The upcoming 2014 presidential election cast its
shadow over political life this year. In May, former housing
minister José Domingo Arias was nominated as a candidate for
the Democratic Change (CD) government party. The government
was subject to major protests during the year, but at the
same time could point to a positive economic development.
Growth for the year was calculated, for example. to about
8%. According to
Countryaah, the CD's main political opponents and the country's
largest party, the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD),
also suffered major public defeats. One of the party's
nominees for the presidential post turned out to have
expressed verbal threats to a competitor, and in September,
one of the party's congressmen was accused of being behind
the murder of a party mate, Juan Ramón Messina, and was
As a result of the scandals within the PRD, CD's opinion
support increased. But President Ricardo Martinelli was also
accused of being responsible for deteriorating and almost
chaotic public transport in the capital Panama City.
Extensive protests were also carried out against the
government's reform proposals in the education sector and
privatization plans in the energy, telecom and oil sectors.