Monday 19th December 2022.

December 19, 2022


The regional office of the Electoral Organization of the San Miguelito district of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) completed the review of signatures supporting the pre-candidates for free application, captured through the app. In total, the TE reviewed 5,958 signatures from 49 pre-candidates. Of those, 2,699 were cancelled, that is, 45%. The rest of the signatures, 3,116, remained under the category of “appealable”. The electoral authorities only considered 169 signatures valid, says a report released this Sunday. “The TE reiterates to all the pre-candidates that they have to review the videos together with the institution’s staff, that they must assign their representatives for this task, as established by the electoral norm and thus conclude this stage within the process, as soon as possible”.. Last Wednesday, in five regional headquarters of the TE, around 9 out of 10 signatures that were under suspicion were eliminated. They were collected with the official TE application. The TE suspended the use of the app on October 25 amid complaints filed with the Electoral Attorney General’s Office about signatures that had been collected without the physical presence of the signatory. On November 22, the entity resumed its use for activists who did not have more than one case of annullable or challengeable signatures. While on December 2, all pre-candidates were allowed to use the application on the condition that they analyze, as a whole, the group of signatures referred to as “cancellable.”

The negotiation of a new concession contract between the State and Minera Panama represents “a clear example of a lack of transparency on the part of various administrations, including the current one.” This is how the Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana – Panamanian Chapter of Transparency International – an organization that called attention to the Government in relation to the lack of transparency in the process, as well as in the use and management of public funds in general. “From the announcement made by the Executive in January 2022, regarding the agreement reached with the company that guaranteed a minimum payment of $375 million per year, increasing the percentage in royalties, little or nothing has been known until yesterday (Thursday November 15), when the measures to suspend the commercial activities of Minera Panama were announced ,” the organization said in a statement. Both the Government and the Minera Panamá company had made public a preliminary agreement, now in limbo, which implied an annualized minimum payment. However, no details have been given of the tax scheme that would be used as a whole so that the activity of Minera Panama represents more income for the State. Furthermore, the mining company has always mentioned that it needs to provide the “necessary protections in order to safeguard the continuity of the operation”, without specifying what would be the elements that in its opinion could be  omitted in the process to finally achieve an agreement. “The lack of specific data prevents citizens from analyzing whether the Government is defending the best interests of the population, or if there are conflicts of interest or undue influence in the negotiation,” said the Foundation for the Development of Citizen Liberty – Panamanian Chapter of Transparency International. In the statement, dated December 16, they mention that the case of the renewal of the Panama Ports Contract a year ago precedes the mining negotiation, in another exercise of opacity  by the Executive.”The unfair remuneration that the Government accepted, as well as the concession of a monopoly for another 25 years, prevents Panama from taking full advantage of the existence of the Canal and its geographical position with the development of the port  sector, as countries and maritime centers have done- world-leading port-logistics”.

Around 4.8 tons of cocaine from Panama were seized on Wednesday in the Belgian port of Antwerp, the Belgian Federal Public Finance Service said on Sunday. The drugs were hidden in containers with bananas from the Latin American country, the Belgian news agency said. This same week, the customs services had already confiscated a shipment of 3.9 tons of cocaine in the port of Antwerp.In this case, the merchandise came from Ecuador, but it was also camouflaged among bananas.

This year ‘s Telethon 20-30 reached the goal set in the early hours of this Sunday, December 18, when it was announced that the figure of 3 million 40 thousand 511 dollars and 27 cents had been reached. The charitable activity, which for this edition was developed with the motto “United we change lives”, began on Friday night, with the aim of raising 3 million 20 thousand dollars and 30 cents, with the mission of enabling a hybrid operating room in Santo Tomas Hospital. The star ambassador of the Telethon 20-30 of 2022 is Jesús Daniel, an eight-year-old student from the La Mesa de Pacora school. He was born with a syndrome called tetraamelia, a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. This 37th version of the activity was staged at the Atlapa Convention Center and was broadcast on the national television channels for about 30 hours, with the participation of some 40 artists on stage.

In the eleventh parade of Las Mil Polleras, to be held in the city of Las Tablas on January 14, only the floats of the private company that represent Panamanian folklore will be allowed. This was announced by the deputy governor of the province of Los Santos, Hermes Espino, who stressed that –for budgetary reasons and to give the activity greater fluidity– the institutions will only participate through delegations,  not with floats. However, Espino remarked that the floats of private companies interested in participating in the parade must comply with regulations regarding the design and size of the structure, to avoid obstructions. He also stated that, for reasons of public spending containment, the participation of public servants will be reserved for those who work in the provinces of Herrera and Los Santos. The lieutenant governor also said that registration will remain open until December 30. Espino announced that a lottery will be held, with the presence of a notary, to define the position that will correspond to each delegation. The event next January, after two years of absence, will maintain its traditional route: from the Los Santos Governor’s Office, along Carlos Lucas López Avenue, down Bolívar Street, and returning  to 8 de Noviembre Street until it ends at Praga Square. . The presence of President Laurentino Cortizo and Vice President of the Republic José Gabriel Carrizo is yet to be confirmed, added Espino, noting that it has not yet been defined who will be the flag bearer of the date. The last parade was held on January 11, 2020. Through this activity, the aim is to honor the typical national costume.



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