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Year 2 No. 5 May 2009

The Overseas Vote: a new modality in Panama

Voto en el Extranjero: nueva modalidad en Panamá

Sharon Sinclaire de Dumanoir

The possibility that the Panamanian citizens living abroad may vote in the elections is not something new. Law 11 of 1983, our first Electoral Code and base for our code in force, included in its article six that in order to be able to vote, it suffice that the Panamanian citizens living abroad requested their inclusion in the electoral registry or that they were kept in it. But they were required to vote in the national territory in the place of their last address, and they were allowed to vote for all the different types of elections in their circumscription. This legislation is still valid. What is new is the possibility to vote at their current country of residence via posted mail.  Read complete article.

The Invited Pen

La Pluma Invitada. La iglesia panameña en las elecciones

S.E. Mons. José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R.

In1989, when the elections were held, the Episcopal Conference of Panama carried out, with the valuable and enthusiastic collaboration of laypersons, the first observation and monitoring of an electoral tournament. At that time, given the circumstances, everything was carried out in the most absolute secret. Thanks to the results obtained by our observers, the Episcopal Conference could tell the country that Alianza de Oposición Civilista (the Civil Opposition Alliance) had obtained a clear victory of 3 to 1, which helped to ruin the pretensions of the military and their allies to distort the electoral results and to justify their continuance in power.

From that moment, in each of the electoral tournaments held, the Panamanian Episcopal Conference, through the Commission of Justice and Peace has continued providing this service to the democracy and to the country, strengthening the institutions and helping to generate credibility in them. Of course, with the recovery of democracy this work has been carried out completely in tune with the Electoral Tribunal, the Governments, and the candidates and political leaders. Read complete article.

The role of the Electoral Prosecutor's Office in the panamanian elections

El rol de la Fiscalía General Electoral en las elecciones panameñas

Boris E. Barrios González

In light of the general elections of May 3, the Electoral Attorney General Office is following a permanent full-time agenda and a program that includes the coordination of work with government agencies, civil society, civic groups, political parties and religious organizations.

It is prosecution agency, with functions constitutionally instituted, independent and coadjutant of the Electoral Tribunal, which has under its responsibility safeguarding the political rights of the citizens, to watch the official conduct of the civil servants regarding the political electoral rights and duties, and to prosecute the electoral crimes and misdemeanors. Read complete article.

Evolution of the mexican electoral justice

Evolución de la justicia electoral mexicana

José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez

In general terms, it is possible to distinguish the following three relevant periods in the evolution of the Mexican electoral justice:

1. The Electoral Justice System predominantly administered by the legislature or a political assembly (1812-1977).

Since the Federal Constitution of 1824 (under the influence of the Constitution of Cadiz of 1812 and the Constitution of the United States of 1787), to the electoral reform of 1977 remained effective in Mexico - with some variants, the system of electoral justice administer by the legislature or politically, which had the faculty to decide on the validity of the respective election. This system was generally followed in the democratic regimes of the beginning of XIX Century and it is linked to the origin of the parliaments, following the English and French experience, which influenced, respectively, the North American and the Spanish, and consequently the Latin-American and in particular the Mexican. Read complete article.




Dear readers:

Once again Electoral World is here with you, this time with an edition emphasized in articles of Panamanian authors, because on Sunday, May 3 general elections will be held in Panama.

However, we are also including five articles of International authors in order to maintain the main objective of this magazine that is also International. That said I would like to thank the foreign authors who have honored us by sending their articles, very important all of them.

We would like to highlight the articles of Licentiates Luis Antonio Sobrado, Magistrate President of the Supreme Tribunal of Elections of Costa Rica, Constancio Carrasco, member of the Superior Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary of the Federation of Mexico, Jose de Jesus Orozco Henriquez, also a former Magistrate of the Superior Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary of the Federation of Mexico, Rafael Dendia, former President of the Superior Tribunal of Electoral Justice of Paraguay, and to finish Francisco Diaz, Chief Advisor in Public Relations of the Cabinet of Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, to each one of the authors mentioned, our gratitude for being present in Electoral World. Read complete editorial.

From the Internacional Editor / Between Columns

Integración de los Organismos Electorales y credibilidad

Dr. Andrés Sosa Clavel

What are the Electoral Management Bodies? In general terms, the Electoral Management Bodies (EMB) are institutional structures dedicated to the management of the electoral processes, and they also take part in the electoral and post-electoral controversies that may arise among the main actors of the elections (parties and candidates).

IDEA (The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) has an excellent definition:

"An EMB is an organization or body which has been founded for the purpose of, and is legally responsible for, managing one or more of the elements that are essential for the conduct of elections, and of direct democracy instruments - such as referendums, citizens' initiatives, and recall votes - if those are part of the legal framework." (Wall et al, 2006:5). Read complete article.

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