News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. May 5, 2014: The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, last night congratulated the next President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, after he was declared the winner by the Electoral Tribunal of the presidential elections that took place on Sunday, May 4, 2014.
With 60 percent of ballots counted, officials said Varela led with 39 percent of the votes, compared to 32 percent for former Housing Minister Jose Domingo Arias, the preferred choice of Martinelli. Juan Carlos Navarro, a former mayor of the capital, was in third in the seven-candidate field with 27 percent.
Varela, who takes office July 1, dedicated his victory to Panama’s democracy when the Electoral Tribunal’s chief magistrate notified him by telephone of his victory.
Insulza sent his best wishes to Varela “in the tasks that await your administration” and made particular mention of “the exemplary manner in which the election was held.”
In his telephone conversation, Secretary General Insulza saluted “the calm atmosphere in which the electoral process took place” and congratulated the country´s next leader “on the civic responsibility of the Panamanian people reflected not only in today´s peaceful process but also in the large turnout in the presidential elections.”
Finally, the OAS Secretary General thanked the Chief of the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization, Lourdes Flores Nano, former legislator and presidential candidate in Peru, and all of her team, for the dedication and professionalism shown since the beginning of the work of the EOM in Panama.