In mid-April, Panama’s legislature approved a series of reforms to the country’s electoral code, designed to increase transparency and curb electoral corruption. The reform is a major achievement for President Juan Carlos Varela, who campaigned for the presidency in 2014 on pledges to root out entrenched corruption in the country’s institutions. While this is a positive step, the fallout from recent bribery scandals is a reminder of the need for further action.
- Improved electoral transparency may help strengthen Panama’s international image following the Panama Papers scandal.
- Mossack Fonseca’s involvement in the Odebrecht scandal may lead to further legislation tightening regulations on offshore banking.
- Should the legislative gender quota be successful, it may encourage the introduction of similar laws elsewhere in Latin America.