Elena Cruz, new chief general of the indigenous region in Panama

According to the entity, once the official results are known, the new authority of the native people with demarcations in the provinces of Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Veraguas, will be sworn in by the internal Congress on March 7 in Llano Tugrí, capital of the region that that day celebrates 25 years of its creation

With the scrutiny of almost 95 percent of the polling stations, Cruz added at least 19.23 percent of the votes, which represents the majority (7,227) among 16 candidates for office, followed only by Alberto Montezuma.

According to Serma Baker, president of the Comarcal Electoral Commission, Cruz will be the new cacique because there are only a few tables left with few votes and they do not represent a change to the current results.

On December 5, 2021, Cruz ran for Chief General and on January 3 received his payroll number with box 13. Two days later he began a campaign tour within the three regions, achieving until February 14 to be the virtual winner in the democratic process.

Cruz will have to replace another woman, Silvia Carrera, who was seeking re-election after being in office for 11 years, but added just 2.03 percent of the votes.

In his first statements upon hearing the results, Cruz asserted that the people are the true chief of the Ngäbe Buglé.

According to the register, some 160,968 people were authorized to vote in 337 voting centers, with 493 tables.

On the day of the vote, community representatives rejected the presence of transnationals and the exploitation of their water resources.

One of the elected delegates to Congress, Bernardo Samaniego, also demanded that the elected authorities work on education, health and social welfare.

In the same way, he lambasted the presence of transnationals and the exploitation of their water resources. He pointed to the Fonseca River (Chiriquí province) as everyone’s heritage and remarked that foreign companies are not well received.

Another voter like Elías Rodríguez, who participated in the elections for the first time, said he hopes that the candidates will fulfill their campaign promises, such as improving education, because he aspires to study architecture.

EL TE praised the logistics and wide turnout at the polls in the three electoral regions distributed in the provinces of Bocas del Toro (Ño Kribo), Chiriquí (Nidrini) and Veraguas (Kädriri).


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