The last candidates to qualify were lawyer and journalist Ricardo Lombana (center right), legislator Zulay Rodriguez of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party, leftist teacher Maribel Gordon and the former minister of commerce Meliton Arrocha (center right).
Lombana was chosen by the leadership of the Another Road Movement while Rodriguez, Gordon and Arrocha qualified by gathering the most signatures on petitions.
On Saturday, the Tribunal recognized the candidacy of Jose Alberto Alvarez, a rightist from the small Independent Social Alternative Party (PAIS).
Also aspiring to lead the nation are former presidents Ricardo Martinelli (rightist) and Martin Torrijos (center right), current Vice President Jose Gabriel Carrizo (social democrat), former foreign secretary Romulo Roux (right) and former Panama City mayor Jose Isabel Blandon (center right).
Panamanians cast their ballots on May 5, 2024, in a single-round election, the seventh since US troops invaded Panama in 1989 to topple the dictatorship of Manuel Antonio Noriega.
Current President Laurentino Cortizo is barred from seeking re-election.
Polls show Martinelli, who governed from 2009 to 2014, to be the frontrunner — although his fate grew unclear after a judge sentenced him earlier this month to more than 10 years in jail for money laundering, which his lawyers are appealing.
During the appeal, Martinelli remains free to continue his campaign.
But he faces a separate trial next month over alleged bribe payments during his presidency from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht for public works projects in Panama.
Odebrecht pleaded guilty in 2016 to a massive bribery scheme in at least 10 countries and agreed to pay $2.6 billion in restitution to US, Brazilian and Swiss authorities.
Several of Martinelli’s opponents have initiated conversations about a possible alliance to block him from returning to power.
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