Supermarket Magnate Wins Panama Election

Landslide offers rare right-wing victory in Latin America
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2009 5:39 AM CDT
Panama's presidential candidate Ricardo Martinelli celebrates his election victory in Panama City, Sunday, May 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
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(Newser) – A conservative supermarket owner won a landslide victory in Panama's presidential election, in a rare win for the political right in the region. Ricardo Martinelli, a multimillionaire who financed his own campaign, vowed to expand investment in the Panama Canal and introduce a flat tax. "We can't continue to have a country where 40% of Panamanians are poor," he said in his victory speech.