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 immediately eliminated.
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.