Outsider Juan Carlos Varela Wins Panama Election

Opposition leader Juan Carlos Varela has won the presidential election in Panama with almost 40% of the votes.

Mr Varela, who is currently the vice president, had distanced himself from President Ricardo Martinelli.

Correspondents say Mr Varela has taken credit for Mr Martinelli's economic success, but has promised a cleaner, more transparent government.

The president's preferred candidate, the governing party contender Jose Domingo Arias, came second.

President Martinelli had been an outspoken supporter of Mr Arias, 50, and his wife Marta Linares was the candidate's running mate.

In addition to picking a new president, the country's 2.5 million eligible voters were electing dozens of mayors and members of Congress.

(BBC)



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