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Panama's president eyes constitutional changes ahead of 2019 election

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela said on Saturday that he is starting a "series of popular consultations on constitutional changes" ahead of the general election in May 2019, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The election next year is the sixth since Panama's dictatorship ended, per Reuters. Critics of Varela said the move "adds uncertainty to the electoral process. It's a political measure for (Varela) to maintain his power after 2019."