Democratic Change (Panama)

Cambio Democrático
Leader Ricardo Martinelli
Founded May 20, 1998
Headquarters Parque Lefevre, Plaza Carolina, Panama City, Panama
Ideology Conservatism[1][2][3]
Political position Centre-right[4][5]
International affiliation International Democrat Union
Union of Latin American Parties
Colours Cyan, Pink, White
Seats in the National Assembly
25 / 71

Democratic Change (Cambio Democrático) is a centre-right political party in Panama.

The party was founded on May 20, 1998, and is led by Ricardo Martinelli, owner of the Super 99 supermarket chain. At the end of 2013 the party listed more than 500,000 members, making it one of Panama's two largest parties with a membership almost equal to that of the Democratic Revolutionary Party.[6]

In the legislative elections of May 3, 2009, the party won 23.4% of the popular vote and 14 out of 78 seats. In the presidential elections of the same year, the party leader, Ricardo Martinelli, was elected President of Panama with 59.97% of the vote.

The party's candidate for the presidential elections of 2014 was José Domingo Arias who led the opinion polls but lost to then vice-president Juan Carlos Varela of the Panameñista Party.[7]


The party's populist platform includes the support for a strong welfare state, including monetary support programs like Cien a los Setenta for people older than 70 years and Beca Universal for schoolchildren, mixed with free-market capitalism.

External links


  1. Luxner, Larry (June 2009), "Political Winds Shift in Central America, But Their Direction Is Far From Certain", The Washington Diplomat
  2. 1 2 Johnson, Stephen (9 September 2011), Minor Meltdown in Panama, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  3. Conservative businessman elected president in Panama, MercoPress, 4 May 2009
  4. Sullivan, Mark P. (2 February 2011), Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations, Congressional Research Service, p. 1
  5. Freedom House (2011), "Country Report: Panama", Freedom in the World 2011: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, Rowman & Littlefield, p. 519
  6. Estadística de personas inscritas en partidos políticos constituidos y en formación con relación al Padrón Electoral hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2013, Tribunal Electoral (pdf)
  7. "Arias wins CD primary, says focus will be on unity", La Prensa (Panama City), 12 May 2013
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