Open main menu

Democratic Change (Panama)

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

Cambio Democrático
PresidentRómulo Roux
FounderRicardo Martinelli
FoundedMay 20, 1998
HeadquartersParque Lefevre, Plaza Carolina, Panama City, Panama
Political positionCentre-right[4][5]
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
Union of Latin American Parties
ColoursCyan, Pink, White
Seats in the National Assembly
18 / 71

The party was founded on May 20, 1998, 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]

In January 2018, Rómulo Roux was elected as president of the party in place of Martinelli, who was detained in a federal prison in Miami at that time.[8]


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 linksEdit


  1. ^ Luxner, Larry (June 2009), "Political Winds Shift in Central America, But Their Direction Is Far From Certain", The Washington Diplomat
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Stephen (9 September 2011), Minor Meltdown in Panama, Center for Strategic and International Studies, archived from the original on 2013-12-21
  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
  8. ^ (in Spanish)