§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the preparations for the election in Panama on 7 May; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eggar
We have noted recent reports quoting Opposition concerns at the use of fraud by the Government to manipulate the election results in favour of the Government coalition candidate. We would deplore any such tactics, and call upon the authorities in Panama to ensure that free and fair elections are held in accordance with established democratic principles; and to allow individuals from abroad to travel to Panama to observe the elections.