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Opposition Candidate Named

February 5, 1989

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) _ The opposition Authentic Panamanian Party on Sunday selected lawyer Hildebrando Nicosia as its presidential candidate for the election in May.

At a nominating meeting held in a plaza in the capital, the party also named legislator Emiliano Aguilar, 41, as candidate for first vice president, and businessman Alfonso Diaz, 71, as candidate for second vice president.

Nicosia, 64, heads the party founded by three-time President Oscar Arnulfo Madrid Arias. Following Arias’ death in August, his wife, Mireya Moscoso, resigned from the Authentic party to join the Civic Opposition Democratic Alliance.

The Alliance candidate for president is lawyer Guillermo Endara, who has called the May 7 election a plebiscite on the de facto rule of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, commander of Panama’s Defense Forces.

Noriega backers in the Legislative Assembly on Feb. 26 last year ousted President Eric Arturo Delvalle and installed Manuel Solis Palma in his place. Washington continues to recognize Delvalle.

The pro-government National Liberation Coalition selected businessman Carlos Duque as its candidate for president last week.

Noriega is under U.S. indictment on drug trafficking charges. He has defied U.S. economic sanctions imposed against Panama last year to pressure him to resign.

Monday is the deadline for political parties to nominate presidential candidates.