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Delvalle, Max Shalom

DELVALLE, MAX SHALOM (1911–1979), Panamanian public figure. Born in Panama City, he entered politics in his late teens. He rapidly rose to prominence and was elected to the National Assembly. Delvalle became minister of public works and in 1964 vice president of the republic. In this latter capacity, Delvalle was the central figure of a constitutional crisis. In October 1967, President Marcos Robles announced the name of the candidate he would propose to succeed him in the 1968 elections. This led to a split in his party as the majority supported another candidate. In March 1968 the National Assembly, sitting as a court of justice, removed Robles and replaced him with Delvalle, who being the senior vice president was sworn in as president of the republic. In April, the Supreme Court decided that Robles was unconstitutionally deposed, but Delvalle denied its authority to overrule decisions of the legislature and continued to fill the presidency. In the following month, however, elections were held and a new president installed.

Max Delvalle was active in the Portuguese Jewish community of Panama, Kol Shearith Israel.