The campaign in the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) entered the final stretch towards the internal elections this Sunday, March 27.
Until this Thursday, at 12 midnight, the 52,000 candidates who aspire to a position in the internal structure of this party will be able to seek votes.
In Sunday’s elections, the more than 690,000 registered in this group will be able to vote to elect the 4,200 delegates that make up the national congress, as well as the delegates of the women’s front, the delegates of the sectoral youth front and correction directives.
One of the main missions of the 4,200 delegates is to elect the leadership of the PRD: the National Executive Committee (CEN), in elections to be held on May 15 this year.
Currently, the CEN is chaired by the deputy from the province of Bocas del Toro Benicio Robinson, while the secretary general is the former deputy Pedro Miguel González.
Part of the electoral offer for delegates includes more than half of the ministers in Laurentino Cortizo’s cabinet, and the great majority of the ruling party’s legislative caucus.
Each delegate will have two alternates. In the case of corregimiento directives, 14 managerial positions will be elected for each of the 671 corregimientos nationwide.
Emelie García Miro, deputy of the National Assembly and president of the National Elections Commission of that group, explained that Sunday’s elections are key to determining the representation of the party’s bases. It is still unknown who will be the candidates for the CEN. That election (next May 15) will be the last of its kind heading into the 2024 general election.
In addition to electing the CEN, García Miró explained, the national delegates are the “permanent structure of territorial leadership.” The PRD has 26 areas of political organization and the delegates, depending on their area, can convene territorial congresses.
Inside the party, they expect to have a 40-50% voter turnout this Sunday, March 27.
Regarding the electoral process, García Miró assured that the party works in a “very articulated” way with the Electoral Tribunal. Voting will begin at 8:00 a.m. and the tables will close at 4:00 p.m. The counting boards will be installed that day at 2:00 p.m.
García Miró said that they have carried out a titanic training process for those who will be at the tables. “The parties will recover that electoral autonomy that we deserve. We have the ability to carry out our processes,” he added.
He added that the TE “must have a presence that guarantees the harmony of the process, peace, transparency and democracy.”
Among the 52 thousand candidates for internal positions are people with high positions in the Executive and the Legislative. Among them, the ministers Rafael Sabonge, of Public Works; Ramón Martínez, from Commerce and Industries; Rogelio Paredes, of Housing and Territorial Planning; Milciades Concepción, from Environment; and Luis Francisco Sucre, from Health.
In that group are also the ministers Doris Zapata, of Labor; María Inés Castillo, from Social Development; and Eyra Ruiz, minister counselor on public health issues, who seek to be elected as delegates.
Ministers Ruiz and Zapata are currently members of the party’s CEN.
In addition, 31 of the 35 deputies that make up the official caucus are seeking delegate positions. Among them, Robinson; the president of Legislative, Crispiano Adames; and the president of the Government Commission, Leandro Ávila.