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Panama Elects First Woman President

Mireya Elisa Moscoso, widow of three-time president Arnulfo Arias, was elected Panama’s first woman president on Sunday. Moscoso had previously run for the presidency in 1994, when she finished second.

Moscoso’s first priorities are to end the widespread poverty and joblessness that plague Panama. She has also pledged to fight government corruption and nepotism and will insure that the Panama Canal remains well-cared-for after the United States transfers its control to Panama later this year.

“I won’t forget my roots or my commitment to fight unemployment, poverty and its consequences,” Moscoso proclaimed in a victory speech. “I want for this country what I want for my son, Ricardo — that he have the right to grow up in a democratic country, with guaranteed freedoms, with judicial stability and with social justice,” she continued.

Vice presidential candidate Kaiser Bazan stated her belief that Moscoso will be a champion of society’s disadvantaged, saying, “The triumph of Senora Mireya is a triumph for the Panamanian woman.”

Sources:

New York Times - May 4, 1999