Thursday 25th August 2022.

August 25, 2022

Until September 30 of this year, the scheme temporarily adopted by the Panamanian State for “extraordinary contributions” to the Electricity Tariff Stabilization Fund will be extended, due to the covid-19 pandemic. This extension was approved on Wednesday afternoon, by the Cabinet Council, a measure that would benefit 92% of customers of electricity services in Panama. Héctor Alexander, Minister of Economy and Finance, revealed that the extension for another month of the subsidy benefits 1 million 144 thousand customers, who represent 92% of the users of the electricity distribution system. For her part, Dilka Escobar, deputy director of Investment Concessions and State Risks of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, explained that the range of consumption that benefits the most corresponds to those consumers of less than 300 kWh. According to Escobar, that group receives approximately a 48% discount on their monthly billing for electricity consumption.

The presiding magistrate of the Electoral Court (TE) , Heriberto Araúz, advocated this Wednesday, before the deputies of the Budget Commission of the National Assembly , for the prompt allocation of an additional credit for $4 million as part of the General Plan of Elections. According to the magistrate, several months ago they had tried unsuccessfully to assign those funds to them. “The steps have been taken, but they have been unsuccessful,” added the magistrate, prior to sustaining the entity’s budget for 2023, which amounts to $154 million. Alejandro Vernaza, deputy director of the Budget of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said that the TE has indeed made the arrangements, but since it is an additional credit, the money is limited due to the low rate of collection. However, he announced that the $4 million would be assigned to the court in September.

The National Assembly (AN) expressed that it is “ highly concerned ” about the expulsion of 15 deputies from Cambio Democrático (CD) , the same day that the magistrates of the Electoral Court (TE) must go to support their budget for the year 2023. The day before, the TE admitted the appeal presented by the 15 deputies, against the expulsion decision adopted by the Court of Honor and Discipline of CD, ratified by the board of directors of that group on July 28 last. The TE must support its budget view for 2023, this Wednesday, in the AN Budget Commission. There are four CD deputies who are part of the Budget Commission: Ábrego, Jackson, Agrazal and Vallarino.

The dialogue between the three groups of the country’s social sectors and the Executive resumed yesterday, at a time when other actors were asking to set up a “national table.” This is what the Great National Alliance for Panama is asking for, which brings together 150 organizations from the productive and business sectors. On Tuesday, at a press conference from Santiago, Veraguas, leaders of that group expressed that “the method that is currently being followed” – at the table that meets in Penonomé – “does not represent the majority of the country.” If the “national table” is constituted, they would review the agreements already passed, since they consider that “more burden has been placed on the country’s productive sector.” Armando Espinosa, from the National Alliance for the Rights of the Organized People (one of the three groups that meets in Penonomé), said: “we cannot sit down and talk with someone who is unaware of the agreements of the Government itself.” Lack of representativeness that, according to the Great Alliance for Panama, is evidenced in the fact that the Catholic Church no longer wants to act as a facilitator of that pact, but instead wants to have an observer role The Grand Alliance rejected “any action of pressure that again affects the right to free transit.”

A complaint for alleged irregularities in the process of collecting signatures in favor of pre-candidates for free candidacy was filed on Wednesday morning by presidential candidate Francisco Carreira. Lawyer Carreira explained that a person had problems when he proceeded to endorse him with his signature. According to the presidential candidate, the signer said during the video call on the Electoral Tribunal website that he supported Carreira. “But in the confirmation, his signature was given to another candidate,” said Carreira. That is to say, they changed the support signature in favor of another candidate.

The Wingo airline announced that it will resume its operations at the Panama Pacifico airport as of September 1, with a new international route: Barranquilla, Colombia. With this new route, between Panama and the Colombian city of Barranquilla, there will be eight routes to different destinations in the region that the company will offer, highlights a statement. Wingo recently announced flights to Santo Domingo and Havana. The new route, says the airline, will begin sales with promotional launch rates of $84.00 on the Barranquilla – Panama route and $64.00 on the Panama – Barranquilla route. It will have two flights a week: on Monday and Thursday. The first flight will be on October 6, when Wingo “places on the market” about 3,000 seats per month between both routes.

The Panamanian Football Federation (Fepafut) reported that the senior team will play a friendly match against its counterpart from Bahrain, on September 27. According to the Fepafut report, the preparation game will take place at the Bahrain National Stadium, starting at 11:00 am and will take place within the so-called FIFA dates. In these days, the countries program preparation matches and this year with more importance for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. According to data from the federation, both countries have already met once and it was on October 10, 2005 when Bahrain won at home by a score of 5-0. According to the latest FIFA monthly ranking, dated June 23, Bahrain is ranked 85th in the world, while Panama is 61st. Fepafut highlighted that steps are being taken so that the Panamanian national team, led by Thomas Christiansen , play another friendly match in September.

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