Bernal, Electoral justice?

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2014
Election Day 2014: the worst crook may have lost but Panama was hardly cured. Photo by Eric Jackson.

Electoral justice?

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

Exactly two years ago I published, in my customary place under the same headline — but without the question mark — an article in which I was observing the free fall degradation of the administration of justice in Panama and, amidst the wave of legal injustices at all levels, there was a premeditated inclination to shut up about electoral injustice.

I warned about the already, so many times, messed-up Electoral Code — a legacy from the military dictatorship — being taken again by the hand of the eternal magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal before the ushers of power. These are in charge of reinforcing electoral injustice as it is practiced. It’s a patient science for an electorate that, in its majority, does not know its voting rights.

The electoral law should guarantee the establishment of different or distict protective mechanisms that allow the assurance that the electoral process unfolds withing the legitimate guidelines of the authorities established by a democratic rule of law, who essentially establish an electoral administration or body that must above all things be impartial in the work it will carry out in electoral matters.
Jaime Javier Jované Burgos
Derecho Electoral y Democracia
Editorial Cultural Portobelo (Panama 2016)

In our Panama, the electoral reforms and the totalitarian actions of the Electoral Tribunal magistrates day by day confirm its absence or independence, autonomy and impartiality. The aristocratic Electoral Tribunal has hijacked the citizens’ participatory democracy to deliver it up, body and soul, to the parties’ leaders.

The onslaught of the magistrates against the freedom of expression, the right to information and a number of citizens’ voting rights, of mandatory compliance by the state’s authorities, should alert us to the fraud that has already begun in favor of the status quo, so that nothing changes.

As free citizens, we demand that our voting rights be respected, and that the hijacking that the Electoral Tribunal is carrying out today cease.

 

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