Panamanians will choose on Sunday between six mostly business-friendly candidates to lead this Central American trade and financial hub for the next five years in a presidential election focusing on corruption and slowing economic growth.
The vote takes place after revelations of money laundering in the so-called Panama Papers that dinged the country’s reputation on the world stage. The trove of secret documents showed how some of the world’s richest people hid their money using shell companies in Panama and other countries.
Despite the scandal, Panama remains a strategic location for commerce, anchored by the Panama Canal.
Laurentino Cortizo, a 66-year-old cattleman who studied business administration in the U.S., leads polls with the Democratic Revolutionary Party. The next contender is Romulo Roux, a 54-year-old businessman with the Democratic Change party.