Thursday 14th march 2024.

March 13, 2024


Regarding trust in the National Assembly , it stands out that a significant part of the electorate is suspicious of this State body.

For example, 84.1% of those surveyed said they have little or no confidence in the Assembly, while 16% indicated that they have complete or quite a bit of confidence in the legislature.

The rejection percentage increases in the age range between 26 and 35 years . 88.4% of those consulted in this age group have little or no confidence in this State body.

Regarding the provinces, for example, in Coclé 98.6% of those consulted said they distrusted the Assembly; in Los Santos, 96.2% said the same; and in Panama Oeste, 91.6% of those surveyed had this same reaction.

These are the results of a survey commissioned by Corporación La Prensa, SA to the company Mercadeo Planificado SA, an investigation that was carried out between February 27 and March 4 of this year. For this study, 1,200 people in the 10 provinces and regions of the country were interviewed – face to face. The margin of error is 2.83% and the confidence level is 95%.

The Assembly has been questioned for issues such as its bulky payrolls and budget. The deputies were also in the eye of the storm for the way in which they approved the mining contract between the State and Minera Panamá.

If the elections were held today, we would find ourselves facing a National Assembly fragmented into several political forces, highlighting among them the independents, the Realizing Goals collective (RM) and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

According to the survey commissioned by La Prensa , 19% of voters would vote for a candidate for independent deputy , 17.3% would vote for an RM candidate and 12.1% would opt for one from the ruling PRD . Another 8% would choose between the Democratic Change (CD) alternatives, and 3.7% would opt for those of the Popular Party.

There is only 3.5% who would be willing to support candidates for deputy from the Panameñista Party and 3.3% those from the Other Path Movement (MOCA). Furthermore, there is 23.2% who still do not know who they will vote for in the next elections.

These are the results of a survey commissioned by Corporación La Prensa, SA to the company Mercadeo Planificado SA, an investigation that was carried out between February 27 and March 4 of this year. For this study, 1,200 people in the 10 provinces and regions of the country were interviewed – face to face. The margin of error is 2.83% and the confidence level is 95%.

In the midst of this scenario, possible alliances must be taken into account when the new Assembly is formed on July 1.

The current nominations for deputies may be an indicator of what that process would be like. RM and the PRD already share candidates in the May 5 elections. That happened, for example, in the circuits of Capira (13-2) with Jorge Ramos, San Carlos (13-3) with Junior Herrera, and La Pintada with Dana Castañeda and Colón (3-2-) with Nelson Jackson.

The plenary session of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) has confirmed the filing of the complaint filed against journalist Álvaro Alvarado , so that he no longer publishes the photo and name of former president Ricardo Martinelli.

On March 11, judges Alfredo Juncá, Eduardo Valdés and Luis Guerra rejected an appeal presented by Alejandro Pérez , Martinelli’s legal representative, and ratified a decision adopted on October 18 by the National Directorate of Electoral Organization , which declared the complaint against Alvarado “not proven” and ordered the file to be archived.

Alvarado, in his defense, alleged that the prohibition on disclosing Martinelli’s photo and name was a violation of the Constitution and the jurisprudence issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IAC Court) in similar cases in Latin America, “because it restricts a journalist to exercise his profession under the pretext of prohibiting him from analyzing and referring to facts of public knowledge and interest and, by doing so, the Electoral Tribunal becomes complicit in the cover-up of acts of corruption.”

All of his publications, he adds, are of an informative nature and he does not have paid political advertisements on his networks or that are “sponsored directly or indirectly by political adversaries of Ricardo Martinelli,” as he was accused.

The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) admitted the unconstitutionality lawsuit filed against the resolution of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) that designated José Raúl Mulino as presidential candidate of the Realizing Goals and Alliance parties.

The lawsuit, which has Judge Olmedo Arrocha as its rapporteur, was sent to the Attorney General of the Nation Javier Caraballo to issue an opinion on the decision adopted by the TE, which allows Mulino to run as a presidential candidate in the May 5 elections. of 2024.

This is the unconstitutionality lawsuit presented by lawyer Karisma Etienne Karamañites against point two of the Plenary Agreement of 11-1 of the TE of March 4, 2024, in which Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal was disqualified from running for the position of president and deputy for circuit 8-4, after having been convicted of the crime of money laundering.

In view of this, and as provided in the resolution, the name of José Raúl Mulino is allowed to appear on the ballot for the elections on May 5.

While Mulino carries out political proselytizing activities, former President Martinelli remains asylum in the Nicaraguan Embassy in Panama since last February 7.

Martinelli was sentenced to 128 months in prison and paid a fine of 19.2 million, after being found guilty of the crime of money laundering through the New Business company that was used to purchase Editora Panamá América.

On March 4, the TE was notified of Martinelli’s conviction and immediately disqualified him as a presidential candidate and deputy, in accordance with the provisions of article 180 of the Constitution , which prohibits a person sentenced to five years or more in prison be elected as president.

The Nicaraguan Embassy in Panama sent a note to the Panamanian Foreign Ministry, in order to notify it about some changes in its diplomatic headquarters, sources from said diplomatic mission reported.

In this sense, through note No. 46 NIC 20245 of last March 4, they notified the Panamanian authorities “that our consulate will begin to operate as of today in the house next to our diplomatic headquarters. That is, our Embassy will operate from duplex numbers 61A and 61B, in the La Alameda Calle 63G urbanization.” (sic)

According to what was learned, the Foreign Ministry of Panama, under the command of Janaina Tewaney, must authorize the changes indicated by the diplomatic mission, under the Vienna Convention, which has not happened yet.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici) has rejected 82 applications from companies intending to explore for metallic minerals. This was stated by the head of this portfolio, Jorge Rivera Staff , in a questionnaire he responded to the Commerce and Industries Commission of the National Assembly last week.

The denied applications are based on the provisions of Law No. 407 of November 3, 2023, which prohibits the granting of concessions for the exploration, extraction, transportation and benefit of the exploitation of metal mining throughout the national territory.

At the end of last year, and after weeks of massive protests demanding a mining moratorium, the government of Laurentino Cortizo and the National Assembly were pressured to present a project and then approve the law that froze concessions for the extraction of metal mining throughout the Panamanian territory.

“Seven of the metal mineral exploration concession contracts have been rejected, including three requests for extension of the contract from the company Minera Cerro Quema, SA,” Staff told the deputies as an example.

The official recalled that the extraction concession of the company Vera Gold Mining Company Inc. remains in force, according to Law 92 of November 13, 2013, whose concession expires in 2033.

Regarding the legitimacy of this concession, the Mici requested the opinion of the administration’s attorney, Rigoberto González, who indicated that the moratorium law does not apply to the Vera Gold Corporation legal contract.

In November 2013, the National Assembly approved Law 92, which is the mining concession contract for the extraction of gold and other metallic minerals in favor of Vera Gold.

This agreement allows Vera Gold to obtain concessions for the exploration and exploitation of metallic mineral reserves in a 50-kilometer radius around the Santa Rosa concession.

The concessions already authorized were protected because the concept of the mining moratorium implies a prohibition on the authorization of new concessions.

Currently, there are 15 exploration concessions in the territory of the Republic of Panama.


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