Monday 13th March 2023.

March 13, 2023


The Popular Party (PP) would be willing to give a boost to the presidential candidacy of former Panamanian President Martín Torrijos for the 2024 general elections.

This was announced by the political group on Sunday, March 12 in a statement signed by Daniel Brea and Cirilo Salas, president and general secretary, respectively, of the PP.

In the statement both affirm that “we see with good eyes the candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic by Martín Torrijos, who proposes the rescue of the country from moral, economic, political deterioration …”.

They add that they have “taken the decision to initiate an institutional rapprochement with former President Torrijos (2004-2009) to explore all options.

“In this regard, we have scheduled a formal meeting in order to continue identifying the framework of coincidences we have on the best way to resolve the current national crisis,” the statement said.

The announcement of the PP comes a week after Torrijos made the announcement of his presidential aspiration, but away from the Democratic Revolutionary Party, the collective founded by his father and which was the vehicle that led him to occupy the presidential chair from 2004 to 2009.

In addition, it ruins a possible division within the party between the factions of Brea and Salas.

Realizing Goals (RM) closed the nomination process for the primary elections to be held on June 4, to choose its presidential standard-bearer for the 2024 general elections.

In total there were three pre-candidates who ran for: Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, president and founder of the party; Francisco Ameglio Jr., vice president, and Rubén Darío Campos, who serves as director of that group.

The nominations of these last two figures, according to those close to the pre-candidates, would actually be to make a name and dispute the reins of the party in the event that Martinelli wins in May 2024 and does not have time for those tasks. So did Ameglio during his application.

He said that the RM party was born to bring Martinelli to the Presidency of the Republic, an objective in which the entire membership of that group works, “but someone must raise the flag and continue Martinelli’s legacy.”

“I participate because, as a young politician, it is important to live these experiences hand in hand with the leadership of President Martinelli,” he admitted.

According to the party’s electoral calendar, RM starts the electoral campaign to choose its presidential candidate from Monday, April 3 to June 1.

This year, in the middle of the electoral primary process, Martinelli has two hearings pending in Panama, both for alleged money laundering. This is the so-called New Business case and the bribes that Odebrecht paid in Panama.

Agribusiness, logistics and tourism have been identified by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) as the economic sectors whose activities are called to boost Panama’s long-term development.

However, in its Sunday column, the union said that for these items “to really make a difference we require structured planning by the State, which defines the path to where we are going, so that they have a positive impact for Panamanians.”

The organization indicated that the three sectors mentioned above require constant teaching and updating, since they are activities where human resources must keep up to date in terms of technification, process optimization and customer service.

In La Cámara Opina, the union emphasized that recent times have shown that, as a nation, “we need to strengthen our analysis and planning processes, since it is the only way to align the actors – Government, private enterprise and civil society – around a clear roadmap and easy to implement, so that we are competitive at the international level where competition for capital attraction is fierce.

“Those who demonstrate knowledge, order, structure and clear rules of the game to boost capital will be the winners, on the contrary, it will repel investors in our geography and take them to ports that they consider more attractive and safe,” he concluded.

Panama extended until 2027, that is, for three additional years, the incentives that were already offered to cruise lines that establish their home port or base port in the country.

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, and the Minister of Commerce and Industry (Mici), Federico Alfaro, signed Executive Decree No. 8 of March 9, 2023, which sets the new deadlines and percentages corresponding to the reimbursement of the toll payment assumed by cruise ships when they transit through the Panama Canal.

According to a previous decree, dated November 11, 2020, cruise ships that carried out the operation during this 2023 would be recognized 80% of the toll payment.

Now, the cruise that verifies that a minimum of 80% of its embarked passengers are international (non-resident) will be granted 100% refund during this year.

By 2024, the toll reimbursement would be 90%, when before 70% would be applied.

Meanwhile, for the year 2025, the applicable refund would be 80%, while in 2026 and 2027 it is instructed to be 70% and 60%, respectively.

Cruise ships that meet the requirements of home port and that have used the waterway this year, before the decree is enacted, will be applied the previous refund of 80%.

It is understood that the extension of the benefits would have been based on the fact that during the last years the cruise industry was paralyzed as a result of the pandemic. Also with the interest of attracting more shipping companies.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance, as mentioned in previous decrees, must take the provisions so that the Tourism Authority of Panama has the necessary budget items to comply with the reimbursements.

Paraguayan Andrés Arce and Argentine Florencia Fraga took top honors on Sunday at the Ironman 70.3 in Panama, held on the Amador road.

The Guarani athlete managed to take advantage in the cycling stage, where he defined the triumph, to finish with a time of 4:02:46.

“This was a unique moment, one always tries to give the best, and that it happens is a consequence of everything we have been training, it is super special that everything has gone as planned,” said the athlete after crossing the finish line.

Arce added that the most difficult part of the competition was the 21 kilometers of pedestrian race, due to the high level of humidity that occurred at the final tip of the Amador road.

“The race was hard, the section at the top of the Coastway was very wet, in all three laps I always felt jerks, about to suffer a cramp. In order to maintain the goal I had to become mentally strong, to get rid of that feeling and be able to continue,” he said.

He clarified that he has been preparing for this type of test for six years and this is the first time he has won and that makes this victory special.

One person died this Sunday, March 12, 2023 after falling off the cliff on the slopes of Los Picachos de Ola, in the province of Coclé.

It is a hiker of about 30 years of age, it has been reported.

Officials from the Fire Department and the National Civil Protection System participated in the search and rescue operation. The removal of the body was in charge of the Public Ministry.




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