(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) Panama€™s former president Ricardo Martinelli detained in jail while on trial for illegal spying on over 150 pf his fellow countrymen while in office, will be able to participate in the elections on May 5 and plans to run for Mayor of the capital city as a stepping stone to running for president in 2024.
The fifth electoral judge, Elvia Rengifo, dismissed the challenges " for inadmissibility " filed against the two candidacies of Martinelli: mayor of the city of Panama and deputy of the circuit 8-8, nominated by the parties Democratic Change and Alliance. The 24-page ruling is signed by Rengifo and the court secretary Monica Manzanares.
The decision was announced on Thursday, two days after holding the challenge hearing, in response to the demands filed by Jorge HernÃ¡n Rubio, Daniel RamÃrez and Jonathan CarriÃ³n, on the grounds that the former president did not comply with the residency requirement in the electoral constituency.
The plaintiffs allege that Martinelli was out of the country from January 28, 2015, to June 11, 2018 , when he was extradited by the United States at the request of the Supreme Court , to be tried for allegedly spying on opponents during his term. Since then, he has been provisionally detained in the El Renacer prison, in CristÃ³bal, province of ColÃ³n.
Article 291 of the Electoral Code establishes that to be a candidate it is required to be a resident in the district, at least one year before the date of the election. Rubio and CarriÃ³n argued in that Martinelli took up residence at the Atlantis building located on Brickell Avenue, Miami, in addition to detailing the purchase of real and personal property. Rubio even provides "a document identified as the driver's license of Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, which, according to the plaintiff, proves the home settlement outside of Panama by the challenged." reports La Prensa
Judge Rengifo considered that the electoral residence of Martinelli "is accredited in the National Electoral Organization Directorate of the Electoral Tribunal, which corresponds to the corregimiento of San Francisco, district and province of Panama, since 1993", so it complies with the constitutional and legal requirements to aspire to the positions of mayor and deputy of the circuit 8-8.
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