As if this shameful story needed more chapters, the Electoral Tribunal (TE) has announced that José Raúl Mulino will take the place of Ricardo Martinelli in the presidential debates.
This change is a consequence of the twisted situation in which Martinelli finds himself, barricaded in the Nicaraguan embassy and sentenced to more than ten years in prison for money laundering.
If Nicaragua has granted him asylum, while Panama denies him, for obvious reasons, safe passage to take refuge in that country, the TE cannot and should not, by action or omission, sponsor Martinelli's true intentions of navigating in two waters: politics from a foreign embassy or from asylum, and the flagrant evasion of his sentence. If it is a public and well-known fact that Martinelli is seeking asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy, it is also a fact that Martinelli does not meet the requirements to be a candidate because he is sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. Recognizing his status as a candidate, because he has not yet been disqualified, and inviting his vice presidential candidate to a debate in which the other presidential candidates will participate is not only inconsistency but also complicity. The actions of the TE raise serious doubts about the integrity of the electoral process and the application of justice in our country.— LA PRENSA, Feb. 12.