Friday 3rd February 2023.

February 3, 2023


The Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional the articles of the internal regulations of the National Assembly that allow the legislative commissions to summon private citizens and legal representatives of private companies, and order them to appear, in those cases in which they do not appear. This is article 49 of Law 49 of December 4, 1984, which regulates the internal regulations of the National Assembly. The ruling of December 23, 2022, under the presentation of the magistrate, Olmedo Arrocha, alleges that the first and second paragraphs of the aforementioned article violate article 161 of the Constitution, which defines the powers of the National Assembly. According to the ruling, the aforementioned rule was established in the 1946 Constitution , but was later abolished by the current Magna Carta, so maintaining it would be granting the National Assembly functions that no longer correspond to it. However, the Court states that nothing prevents the National Assembly from voluntarily inviting, without any coercion, any citizen so that they can clarify, explain or be a guide for the development of a bill or an investigation. The ruling had the saving vote of the magistrates Angela Russo de Cedeño and José Ayú Prado Canals, whose 10-year term expired on December 31. The decision taken by the full Court resolves two lawsuits filed by the lawyers Roberto Ruíz Díaz and the forensic firm Lau & -Dudley Abogados, and which were accumulated.

After the political parties define the dates for their respective primaries, the Electoral Tribunal (TE) works at full speed to organize these internal elections. This Thursday, the magistrates held a meeting with security forces with the aim of coordinating air logistical support for the organization of the primaries, which will take place in the months of June and July 2023. Members of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) and the Ministry of Security (Minseg) were present. The magistrates also addressed the transfer of personnel and agents assigned to voting centers in areas of difficult access, as well as the “sensitive material” that will be used in the process. In a press release, the TE recalled that article 353 of the Electoral Code establishes that the primaries must be held from June 1 to July 31 of the year prior to the general elections; and they must be convened at least four months before, using the party register with the adherents registered in January of this year. The magistrates Eduardo Valdés Escoffery, first vice president; Luis A. Guerra, second vice president; Osman Valdés, Santana Díaz director and deputy director of electoral organization respectively; Miguel García, Raúl Vargas, head and deputy head of the security commission. For Senan were Gorgonio Sánchez, Deputy Director General; Oriel Reyes, older; Edgar Moran mayor and Nonato López, adviser to the Ministry of Security.

Politicians from various parties reacted this Thursday to the resignation of the Vice President of the Republic José Gabriel Carrizo from the position of Minister of the Presidency to start the race in the search for the presidential candidacy. One of them was the independent deputy Juan Diego Vásquez, who pointed out that “unfortunately” the public will be forced to choose a poor electoral offer for the Presidency. “I pray to God and I pray to prudence that he realizes that he does not tick anything in any survey,” said Vásquez. Another who referred to Carrizo’s aspirations was the PRD deputy and president of the National Assembly, Crispiano Adames. “It is a right that he has to participate,” he said. According to Adames, who also reaffirmed this Thursday that he will run for the PRD presidential primaries, now it will be up to Carrizo to tour the country, touch the bases, listen to them and verify their state of mind. President Laurentino Cortizo announced this Thursday that next Tuesday the new Minister of the Presidency will be sitting to his left during the Cabinet Council meeting. “Licenciado Carrizo is constitutionally the vice president and must be in all cabinet councils,” explained the president. But he will only have the right to voice, he clarified. Regarding Carrizo’s participation in public events, he indicated that by law he cannot be at works inauguration acts, but he can be at “more specific” events, he added. “I will be the most punctual on this issue,” said Cortizo, explaining that he will appoint Carrizo for formal events related to meetings with other entities and specific to the position he holds.

Patients with chronic diseases protested on the morning of this Thursday, February 2, in the vicinity of the Hospital Complex of the Social Security Fund due to the lack of response from the government to the shortage of medicines. With banners in their hands, the demonstrators questioned the plan launched last year by the government of Laurentino Cortizo, which was left in charge of Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo, under the slogan “Moving from there is no to there is.” “You will tell me, when you go up to the second floor of the pharmacy [of the Hospital Complex], if they went from there is no to there is,” Emilia Martínez, from the National Federation of Associations for Chronic, Critical and Degenerative Diseases, responded to journalists. Martínez explained that they have participated in the technical tables related to the topic of medicines, but in recent months they have seen little progress. “It did not go beyond good intentions,” he said. Emma Pinzón, also from the federation, indicated that a project on medicines began to be discussed in the Assembly five months ago, however it was stalled. The patients demanded from the authorities the prompt supply of medicines for this group of people. “My life is priceless,” says a sign carried by one of the protesters, on the steps at the entrance to the Complex.CSS authorities came down to attend to the group. Alex González,  national director of Services and Benefits, acknowledged that although tenders, purchases and other procedures are still in process, he assured that the institution’s pharmacies are stocked. “We have 89% supply,” he said. González asked the federation to indicate in a timely manner which are the drugs that they cannot find.

A criminal complaint for the Public Ministry to investigate the alleged use of public resources by the official entities that participated in the Mil Poyeras parade Saturday, January 14, in the Las Tablas district, Los Santos province, was filed. This Thursday, February 2. The lawyer Ernesto Cedeño explained that he proceeded to present the appeal in this instance after the refusal of the Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (Antia) to investigate the complaint. Cedeño explained that Antai did not admit his request after alleging that it was not competent to investigate what he denounced. The lawyer had gone to Antai on January 17 to file an administrative complaint with the purpose of investigating the origin of the funds used by the institutions that participated in the event.In the appeal, the lawyer provided an example. In the State contracting portal, Panama Compra, the Superintendence of Insurance and Reinsurance reported having spent  $21,500 in the rental of luxury skirts and shirts. He stated that if this is multiplied by the amount spent by the other delegations, it would give a considerable amount of money.

Representatives of the Unión Panameña de Aviadores Comerciales (Unpac) union and the airline Copa Airlines signed an agreement that nullifies the strike declaration that was scheduled for 7:30 am on Thursday, February 2, 2023.This was announced by the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel), which acted as facilitator of the negotiations that the parties had in recent weeks. With the approval and signing of all the clauses of the collective agreement project presented by Unpac, the negotiation of the specifications was concluded, which was presented on November 25, it was reported. The new collective agreement will be in force until 2026. This agreement “strengthens relations between the parties and promotes the climate of labor peace that the country needs for its economic recovery,” Mitradel highlighted in a statement.



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