News In Brief

Panama opposition plans strikes over election tally

Panama's opposition parties were planning to stage labor strikes to protest results of presidential elections held 12 days ago, which gave victory to the government's official candidate.

The electoral tribunal declared Wednesday that economist Nicolas Ardito Barletta had defeated the opposition candidate, Arnulfo Arias, by a tiny margin.

The opposition coalition said the government is effectively controlled by the National Guard, which has been the dominant power in Panama for the past 16 years. It has accused the guard of rigging the elections.

Diplomatic sources here said many of the opposition's complaints merited investigation.

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