Panama Vice President Juan Carlos Varela won the Presidential Election

May 5, 2014 16:50 IST

Vice-president of Panama Juan Carlos Varela on 4 May 2014 won the presidential election. Varela will assume the office on 1 July 2014. He will replace former President Ricardo Martinelli.

Varela won with 39percent of the votes, compared to 32percent for former housing minister Jose Domingo Arias. Juan Carlos Navarro, a former mayor of the capital, was running third in the seven-candidate field with 27percent.

Varela, a 50-year-old engineer, is the scion of one of Panama's richest families and owner of a namesake rum distillery. He left the 2009 presidential race to throw his conservative Panamenista party's support behind Martinelli in exchange for the vice presidency.

He was the architect of the government's popular 100 for 70 program that provides a 100 US dollar monthly stipend to Panamanians over age 70 without a pension or retirement benefits.

Process of Presidential Election

As per the Constitution of Panama, Article 177 provides that the President of the Republic shall be elected in a popular direct election by a majority of votes for a term of five years.

About Panama

Panama is the southernmost country of Central America and the whole of North America. It is situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America.

Panama is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital is Panama City.

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