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Stand on vote ethics cited in Panamanian resignation

Former Panamanian former President Ricardo de la Espriella was forced to resign bt the country's military because he opposed offical manipulation of May elections, an opposition leader said Tuesday.

Guillermo Cocez, vice-president of the opposition Christian Democratic Party, said the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), closely linked to the influential National Guard, planned "to set up an electoral machine using the state's resources in open violation of the law".

Mr. De la Espriella's resignation was "imposed by the National Guard" in order to put PRD political leaders in charge of ministries, Mr. Cochez said.

De la Espriella was succeeded bt Vice-President Jorge Illueca.

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