There is a long way to go to get the needed signatures to call a recall election for Panama City’s mayor.
Recall elections and citizenship
by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.
The unbridled race towards perversion, on the part of political power, has no end. It’s to such an extent that those in the running have reacted with the greatest contempt to the citizen initiative to participate in the revocation of the mandate of the mayor of the capital city.
Recall elections, in which an official’s elected mandate is revoked, is a nineteenth-century-vintage legal and political institution. It’s the constitutional mechanism for citizens to revoke the political mandate that their votes gave to an authority, “when they consider that such an official has shown a lack of capacity or probity in the exercise of his or her functions.
In states governed by laws where the recall of a mandate is part of the constitution, citizens as electors have the sacred right to elect, but also the right to dismiss, an elected official. This mechanism is an expression of the exercise of citizenship, that is, of the power that belongs to citizens, where there is recognition, protection and respect, duly constitutionalized and institutionalized, of citizen power.
Our country, still clinging to the constitution imposed fifty years ago, has not had the slightest practice of recalling a mandate.
In our society, in which reason and hope have been displaced by irrationality and corruption, and in which legal security is permanently violated and violated by government institutions, the revocation of an elected mandate by popular vote has to date only existed on paper. The political parties ,and not the voters, are the ones who can revoke the mandate of the deputies (Article 151 of the constitution). Corregimiento representantes and mayors may be ousted “due to revocation of mandate, as regulated by law” (Article 227 of the the constitution).
Given that the Electoral Tribunal has, under the constitution, the monopoly and absolute centralization of all “electoral matters,” and, given also that the magistrates of the same are dedicated – entirely – to exclude citizens, we should not be surprised the various tricks against the citizens to prevent the recall of a protected mayor.
The march called by the Association of Mayors and Representatives, in collusion with the three magistrates of the Electoral Court, is the best proof of the waters in which the nation navigates.
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