Panama vice president win's presidential election

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Associated Press

Posted on May 4, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Updated Monday, May 5 at 12:04 AM

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panamanian Vice President Juan Carlos Varela has been declared the victor in Sundays' presidential election, thwarting an attempt by outgoing President Ricardo Martinelli to extend his grip on power by electing a hand-picked successor.

According to official results, Varela leads with 39 percent of the votes, compared to 32 percent for Jose Domingo Arias, the preferred successor of Martinelli.

Former Panama City Mayor Juan Carlos Navarro is third in the seven-candidate field with 27 percent.

Officials say more than 60 percent of ballots have been counted.

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