Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement

Published 23rd April, 2014

The Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA was founded on 1st October 1981 as a right-wing libertarian party opposed to the military regime of the time and bringing together the Third Nationalist Party (TRN), National Patriotic Coalition (CPN), National Liberation Movement (MLN) and splinter groups from the National Liberal Party (PNL) and Republican Party (PR). The party describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Liberalism and Conservatism.

The party supported the Opposition Democratic Alliance (ADO) in 1984 whose candidate, Dr Arnulfo Arias Madrid, narrowly lost in a process that was described as ‘suspicious’. In the National Assembly election they won three seats.

Their opposition to the military continued when they supported the campaign of the National Civic Crusade which sought to remove Commander of the Defence Forces, General Manuel Noriega.

In 1989 the party supported Guillermo Endara of the Democratic Alliance of Civic Opposition (ADOC) who won the election with 71.19% of the vote but whose election was then annulled by Noriega’s government. This subsequently led to the American invasion of Panama and Guillermo Endara was inaugurated as the President of Panama on 20th December 1989. The National Assembly result had also been annulled but this was overturned on 27th December and MOLIRENA was given back the 16 seats it had won in the May election.

The party backed the government’s austerity drive along with a programme of privatisation of the state sector and as a result did badly in the 1994 general election when it dropped back to five seats in the 72 seat National Assembly.

In 1999 the party supported the Union for Panama (UPP) presidential campaign of Mireya Moscoso who eventually won with 44.81% of the vote. The party took three seats in that general election. Their former popularity has since drained away and in 2004 they managed to win just four seats and in 2009 that dropped to two seats in the 71 seat National Assembly.

The party did support the winning candidate in the 2009 presidential election, Ricardo Martinelli of the Alliance for Change (APC).

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