“Balbina still hasn’t conceded,” a friend complained. “She’s embarrassing herself. It’s clear that it’s over. She should bow out graciously.”
Ricardo Martinelli took a wide lead during the first half-hour of Panama election returns last night…and held it. After about half the votes had been counted, the election officials declared Martinelli the winner.
And, as they say, the crowd went wild. A raucous cheer went up in our friend’s living room, where a bunch of us had gathered to watch the election night coverage. TV reports showed a packed Calle 50, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, where happy citizens paraded, danced, and sang.
It was a landslide victory, with a record voter turnout. Panama’s new president enjoys wide support–from taxi drivers and our Colombian maid (“I couldn’t vote,” she explained this morning, “but I lent my support. I was out on the street waving a Martinelli flag…”) to foreign investors and members of the Panamanian business community, who respect Martinelli, a successful businessman himself, for what he has built and accomplished.
This is a critical time in this country’s history. Panama is coming off an extended run of exceptional economic growth that continues to transform the landscape, literally and figuratively. The new president will need to manage the growing pains within the context of the current global financial climate. Panamanians seem convinced that Martinelli is the man for the job. We wish him all the best.
And we look forward to considering what Panama President-elect Martinelli means for the would-be foreign retiree and investor (maybe even a subway system in Panama City?) with the help of top Panama experts and advisors joining us for our Live & Invest in Panama Conference here in Panama City next week.
Five places remain available. Contact Stephanie Valencia today to reserve yours as we count down to what couldn’t be a more timely program. Reach Stephanie by phone:
1-888-627-8834 or e-mail: SValencia@LiveandInvestOverseas.com.