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Panama blocks ex-president Martinelli from election | Courts Information

Panama blocks ex-president Martinelli from election | Courts Information


Tribunal disqualifies Martinelli’s candidacy over 10-year jail sentence for cash laundering obtained final yr.

Panama’s electoral tribunal has annulled the candidacy of former President Ricardo Martinelli within the presidential election set for Might.

The choice, introduced late on Monday by the physique’s president Alfredo Junca, seems to finish Martinelli’s hopes of re-election. It comes a month after the previous chief misplaced a bid to keep away from a jail sentence for corruption and took asylum within the Nicaraguan embassy.

Martinelli served as president from 2009 to 2014. Final yr he was discovered responsible of utilizing stolen public cash to purchase a stake in a publishing home. The 71-year-old grocery store tycoon was sentenced to greater than 10 years in jail and given a $19m fantastic.

Final month, the Supreme Court docket rejected an enchantment in opposition to his sentence. Martinelli blasted that ruling as an “unlawful last-minute transfer” to take away him from the presidential race.

The finalisation of his conviction allowed the Electoral Tribunal to annul his candidacy. Panama’s structure bars anybody sentenced to 5 years or extra for against the law from holding elected workplace.

Earlier than the annulment, most polls had positioned Martinelli because the favorite to win Might’s election. His operating mate, former International Minister Jose Raul Mulino, was authorised by the tribunal to proceed alone on the poll as a presidential candidate.

Martinelli, who was additionally disqualified from operating for a legislative seat, has denied wrongdoing and maintains he’s the sufferer of political persecution.

A millionaire businessman when he grew to become president, Martinelli has been investigated for a number of corruption scandals since leaving workplace.

In 2021, he was acquitted on expenses of espionage and embezzlement of public funds.

He faces a separate trial, scheduled for after the Might 5 elections, over alleged bribery funds throughout his presidency from Brazilian building big Odebrecht for public works initiatives in Panama.

A populist who oversaw a interval of huge infrastructure initiatives, together with the development of the capital’s first subway line, Martinelli is the primary former president convicted of against the law in Panama.

Final yr, the US authorities barred Martinelli and his speedy household from getting into that nation, based mostly on what it referred to as his involvement in “vital” corruption.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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