© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Panama’s former President Ricardo Martinelli addresses the media, accompanied by his lawyer Shirley Castaneda, after submitting a grievance with the General Secretariat of the National Assembly to examine Panamanian President Laurentino Cortiz
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Panama denied a request from Nicaragua to allow protected passage for ex-President Ricardo Martinelli to go away the nation, the overseas ministry stated in a press release on Friday, after Nicaragua granted asylum to the previous chief.
Martinelli is a declared presidential candidate in Panama’s upcoming May election, however a virtually 11-year jail sentence handed down final yr for cash laundering has solid doubt on his means to run for his outdated job.
The combative former chief moved to Nicaragua’s embassy after Panama’s high court docket rejected an enchantment to annul the sentence.
Panama’s structure bars anybody sentenced to a jail time period of 5 years or extra from serving as president, though electoral authorities haven’t introduced any potential disqualification of candidates.
Panama’s overseas ministry urged Nicaragua to keep away from exceeding its features, including that any motion or declaration Martinelli makes from there that impacts Panama’s home coverage will probably be seen as interference and have diplomatic penalties.
Martinelli’s operating mate, vice presidential hopeful Jose Raul Mulino, wrote on X that he sees a world battle coming between the 2 nations, noting that any asylum choice must be taken by the nation it’s directed at.
Earlier on Friday, senior U.S. diplomat Brian Nichols described Nicaragua’s choice to grant asylum to Martinelli as undermining the rule of regulation.