AMERICA/PANAMA - Bishops call for voter participation and provide 4,000 "election observers"

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 local churches   politics  

Panama City (Agenzia Fides) - In a political and social context marked by challenges and opportunities, the Episcopal Conference of Panama has made an urgent appeal to citizens to make a conscious and responsible choice in the upcoming general elections on May 5.
In a statement published on April 28, the bishops emphasize the importance of electing politicians who will demonstrate consistency, transparency, honesty and efficiency in the exercise of their duties, thereby contributing to strengthening the democratic resilience of the country's institutions. "Responsible elections are essential for social reconstruction, peace and morality in Panama", said the bishops, who want to accompany citizens in this process. They also announced that nearly 4,000 election observers from the Catholic Church will monitor the voting process on May 5 to ensure the transparency and integrity of the election. In their call for voter participation, the Bishops emphasize the importance of citizens exercising their right to vote in a peaceful and informed manner.
“We cannot allow a few to determine the fate of the many,” they say, calling on them to avoid polarization and work for unity and fraternity among Panamanians. They also particularly appeal to Catholics to "exercise their sacred duty to vote," reminding them that it is not just about being good Christians, but also good citizens. Finally, the Catholic Church has called for a day of prayer and fasting for the elections in Panama, to be held on May 2 in all parishes in the country. "We invoke the Holy Spirit to enable us to begin the path of honesty and ethics and to choose the best to govern and guide us to build the Panama that we all deserve and dream of."

For his part, the Archbishop of Panama, José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, had already made an urgent appeal on Sunday, March 31, during the solemn Easter service in the Cathedral of Santa María la Antigua, calling on all citizens to take an active part in the upcoming parliamentary elections on May 5, 2024 and emphasizes the importance of strengthening the country's democracy and institutions. The archbishop urged the candidates to "accept the will of the people" and work together for the good of Panama, putting aside political differences in favor of a common goal. (LG) (Agenzia Fides, 30/4/2024)