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Panama: Cortizo virtual winner of presidential election

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Panama's electoral tribunal declared on Monday Laurentino Nito Cortizo the "virtual victor" of the country's recent presidential election, according to unofficial results. reports citing foreign media that, the Democratic Revolutionary Party candidate Nito Cortizo got 33.17% of the vote, against Democratic Change Party candidate Romulo Roux's 31.04%, according to the Panama Electoral Tribunal.

With ballot-counting having been completed in 95% of polling stations, the electoral court magistrate Heriberto Arouz declared Cortizo the "virtual winner" of the election.

"I feel very happy. I won. We won. What we have to do now is join forces as a country," Cortizo told local reporters.

The rival Roux has yet to accept defeat amid corruption reports overshadowing the election.

Cortizo will succeed Juan Carlos Varela, whose popularity was hit by a worsening economy, corruption scandals and crises in the health and justice sectors.

Nearly 2 million Panamanians casted their votes to elect the country's president for a five-year term and the turnout was about 73%.

Panamanians also voted to elect 71 deputies, 81 mayors and 700 local lawmakers in the sixth presidential election since a 1989 U.S. invasion that overthrew the Manuel Noriega dictatorship.

2019.05.06 / 18:39
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