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Panama electoral reform to tackle corruption

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Subject

Electoral reform.

Significance

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.

Impacts

  • 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.

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