Thursday 28th September 2023.

September 27, 2023


The draft law 115, which seeks to change the electoral rules on the issue of the allocation of seats by residue (R), was approved this Wednesday, September 27, by the Government Commission of the National Assembly chaired by PRD member Leandro Ávila .

The proposal was presented by the first vice president of the Assembly, Ricardo Torres, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) .

Ávila explained that generally the projects pass adoption and are then included in the agenda for their first debate.

He did not announce the date on which they will discuss this bill in its first debate.

Torres’ draft proposes that article 380 of the Electoral Code be modified to guarantee political parties the possibility of nominating more candidates per residue (R) in electoral alliances in multi-member circuits.

The Electoral Code says that, in multi-member circuits, parties that are in alliance may nominate up to one candidate for deputy in common. But if draft 115 is approved, up to two candidates may apply. That is, two Rs would be allowed per party, making it easier for two candidates from the same alliance to use the same votes twice.

The Citizen Forum for Electoral Reforms holds an extraordinary meeting this Wednesday to discuss, among other issues, the controversial modifications proposed by several deputies of the National Assembly to the Electoral Code.

This body is part of the National Electoral Reform Commission and is made up of representatives of civil society, businessmen, workers and specialists in the field.

Maribel Jaén, coordinator of the Citizen Forum for Electoral Reforms, stressed that the reason for the meeting is to address the electoral reforms presented at the wrong time by some deputies, which she considers not appropriate at present.

“We find it regrettable and very worrying that in an electoral campaign process three reforms are made that do not help the trust and social peace that is required in the country,” said Jaén at the headquarters of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives.

At the moment, there are already three legislative proposals presented since last September 13 that aim to change the electoral rules on issues such as the allocation of seats by remainder (R), extend the validity of the electoral jurisdiction and include the second round or runoff.

One of the proposals, the one presented by the official deputy Ricardo Torres, was adopted this Wednesday in the Government Commission of the Assembly. This initiative aims to modify the residual in the distribution of legislative seats.

This, despite the fact that the Electoral Code was already reformed by the Legislature, in 2021, discarding a good part of the package of changes agreed upon by the National Commission for Electoral Reforms (CNRE). That time, the Electoral Tribunal (TE) and the CNRE even proposed modifying the formula for assigning seats by remainder, but the deputies rejected that idea.

In the words of Jaén, at the moment the political panorama is “very confusing”, which would be worsened by these modifications to the electoral regulations.

While lawyer Enrique Illueca, who was present at the meeting as an advisor, said that these reforms are “out of place,” because we are only seven months away from the electoral tournament and no matter how good the intentions are, it is not the time to change. the rules of the game.

Argelis Ospino also participated in the meeting, representing the workers’ sector; Olga de Obaldía, executive director of the Foundation for the Development of Citizen Freedom; Roberto Troncoso, former president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives; and Guillermo Márquez Amado, former magistrate of the Electoral Court.

The Government issued another $1,000 million in debt bonds, a transaction approved by the Cabinet and published this Wednesday, September 27 in the Official Gazette.

The funds will be used to “strengthen” this year’s budget.

Also included is a reopening of bonds, in which, depending on the behavior of the market, the government hopes to raise another $200 million to $300 million, according to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander.

The series of issues will be made with a fixed coupon; Their maturity will not be less than 10 years and they may be issued in dematerialized form or by macro-titles, according to the technical information of Decree 31, which authorized the issuance by the Cabinet.

The bonds were registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States, with the Bank Of New York Mellon as the fiscal agent for payment, registration and transfer.

The decree also authorizes the MEF to negotiate derivative instruments to “optimize the cost/risk balance of the public debt portfolio,” leaving the minister and vice ministers of that portfolio the power to negotiate and coordinate the final terms of the contracts, bonds, issues. , subscriptions and the hiring of intermediaries for payment, repurchase and transfers that emanate from said issues.

Alexander commented upon leaving the opening of an event that he met with the banks to organize this issue, which also contemplates the reopening of bonds.

“We are going to see how the market behaves, we hope to have no less than $200 million or $300 million,” he indicated.

He also reaffirmed that the issuance is part of the strategy to secure funds for the cash flow required for the operation and financing of public investments.

Strategically, the minister confirmed that they have also done pre-funding to take the temperature of the market, in order to improve liability management, that is, improve the credit conditions of a debt.

The Public Ministry (MP) conducted interviews with the security personnel of the Legislature and officials from the Ministry of Education (Meduca) who participated in the XVI Youth Assembly , between September 9 and 16, when the sexual assault of a woman would have occurred. minor student.

A statement from the MP specifies that an interdisciplinary team carried out psychological and forensic evaluations on the youth deputy, by the Special Victim Protection Unit and the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf).

Statements were also taken from the teaching staff present during the activities of the Youth Assembly and from some of the 142 youth deputies and auxiliary medical personnel who participated in the event. According to Meduca in a press release, there were 27 teachers who went to the event as “tutors” and around 40 security agents and “coordination staff of the Citizen Participation Assembly.”

Likewise, the MP details that digital evidence was collected and visual inspections were carried out aimed at preserving legally relevant evidence and data.

The note explains that an exhaustive investigation will be carried out to determine the causes that led to the “collapse” of the minor, who is hospitalized.

The inventory carried out by the environmental authorities, after the arrest of a boat that was carrying out illegal fishing in the protected area of ​​Cordillera de Coiba, revealed the seizure of 602 shark fins and some 226 units of different species of fish.

In a patrol carried out in waters near the province of Veraguas, the authorities apprehended eight Colombian citizens who were traveling in a boat registered in this South American country.

The Ministry of Environment (Miambiente) specified that among the species they seized were hammerhead sharks (44), thresher sharks (109), silky sharks or dogfish (38), goldfish (4), bonito fish (25), marlin fish ( 1) and sailfish (5). The inventory also included 602 shark fins with an estimated weight of 36.95 kilograms and one olive ridley turtle.

This action by the authorities took place in the Cordillera de Coiba Managed Resources Area, in the first joint mission between the Aeronaval Service and the NGO Marine Protection Alliance (MPA), in collaboration with park rangers from Miambiente and officials from the Resources Authority Panama Aquatics.

It was reported that the seizure carried out by the inter-institutional team occurred during a patrol of the SharkWater vessel, property of the Marine Protection Alliance, which was supplied to the Government for surveillance tasks on the Panamanian coast.

During the operation, a second vessel was detected, but it could not be reached. However, the ship was identified and the Colombian authorities were asked to collaborate in its arrest.

The eight detained people were brought before the corresponding authorities for the respective administrative sanctions. In addition, the Environmental Crimes Prosecutor’s Office managed to order the detention of these people for six months, while the investigations continue.

Several criminals tried to rob the house of the governor of the province of Colón, Iracema de Dale , while their escort was hit in the face and stripped of his firearm.

The incident occurred around 2:30 am, this Wednesday, when at least five subjects entered a trail from the forested area known as El Bunker towards the community of José Domingo Espinar, in the district of Cristóbal, where the residence of the local authority.

At the scene, the subjects with firearms overpowered the National Police agent who was guarding the house and stripped him of his service weapon, a 9 mm pistol.

In addition to hitting him on the partition and leaving him handcuffed, the criminals demanded the policeman’s key to the residence in order to enter, however they could not carry out the robbery in the house and fled the scene.

It was learned that an operation was immediately activated and two people who were allegedly involved in the incident were arrested.

It was reported that the governor is in good condition and that this is the third time that criminals have tried to enter her residence.

Officials from the Public Ministry and the Judicial Investigation Directorate arrived at the scene to collect evidence of the case and continue the investigations.


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