The times change. The Cambio Democrático (CD) party went from closing its campaign in the broad coastal strip in 2014, to the historic Santa Ana park in 2019, but now with Rómulo Roux in the lead.
Around a thousand people, including party members, sympathizers and guests, were waiting since 5:00 p.m. for the arrival of the presidential candidate, who since yesterday morning toured the district of La Chorrera, in West Panama; and the corregimientos of Juan Díaz, December 24 and El Chorrillo, in Panama.
Among those present were former first lady Marta Linares de Martinelli, former Minister of Security José Raúl Mulino, former mayor of the Panama District Roxana Méndez, former Minister of Public Works Jaime Ford and former Minister of Agricultural Development Óscar Osorio.
Also, the deputy Sergio Chello Gálvez and the representative of the district of Santa Ana, Jair Martínez, who seeks to be a deputy in the elections.
And the moment arrived. At around 6:00 p.m., Roux entered the Santa Ana park gazebo, accompanied by his running mate, Luis Casís , as well as his wife, Victoria Heurttemate, and their seven children. The drum rang and the applause did not wait.
Five minutes later, silence reigned. The candidate took the floor and began with his speech, a mixture of promises and reproaches against the current government and the presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Laurentino Nito Cortizo.
The presidential CD candidate, Rómulo Roux, during his speech in Santa Ana. Luis García
For example, Roux stressed that since they started the campaign they decided to do it in a “simple and organic” way, without big costly events or hiring famous artists; that is, without waste.
“That is a shame and it is not what the Panamanian people want or deserve. There are presidential candidates who decide to waste money on mass events and, worst of all, they had the people on the one hand and the buffet party on the other side eating from a buffet, “he added.
Roux said that his campaign has been for the people and with the people, and what he has spent the most is the sole of his shoes traveling all over the country. In fact, the bet of the CD candidate was to carry out walks in different provinces of Panama.
The speech progressed and the candidate made a recount of his campaign promises: a computer for each student, medicines, employment, increases for retirees and the reactivation of the economy.
Meanwhile, the night had already taken the historical park, one of the options that for several days had been evaluating the team of Roux to make the closure of the campaign. Initially, the chosen site had been the Plaza de la Independencia, in the Casco Antiguo, but the arrival of the international electoral observers, who stayed at the Central Hotel, motivated the Electoral Tribunal to ask them to change the site.
Roux looked for a place near the Presidency of the Republic and that it was popular, so he chose to give his last campaign speech in Santa Ana Park.
The candidate closed his speech saying that the nightmare that represents the current government will end on Sunday, when the new president of the Republic is elected.
“I speak to you, Panama: with my heart and, humbly, I ask for your vote. I ask you to give me the opportunity to serve you again, to have an honest and capable president … “, he concluded.
Then he took the word Casis, got out of the gazebo to surround himself with the sympathizers who were present and said he will always work on the side of the people.
Both Roux and Casis made a small tour around the park, in the midst of a troupe that chanted “Rómulo, here is your people”, while the candidate was leaving the place in the middle of the hubbub.
In the background, in the dark, one of the supporters shouted at Roux: “we do not want dinosaurs in your government”, suggesting that they want new figures within their Cabinet in case they reach the Presidency of the Republic. The party ended and the people disappeared on Central Avenue.
Again, Santa Ana Park witnessed the political history of the country.