Tuesday 18th June 2024.

June 17, 2024


The deputy elected for the 8-2 circuit (San Miguelito) by the Realizing Goals party, Luis Eduardo Camacho, announced that he has made the decision to allow the group’s bench to elect a new candidate for the presidency of the National Assembly.

“By virtue of this, I will request the head of the bench [Alaín Cedeño] to convene it for this purpose; I will also communicate my decision to the president of the party [Ricardo Martinelli] ,” Camacho indicated on his social networks.

As will be remembered, the same day that the elected president José Raúl Mulino announced the names of 14 of the ministers with whom he will work as of July 1, it was announced that the RM party bench chose Camacho as its candidate to preside over the Assembly.

The announcement was made by former President Martinelli on May 16, from the Nicaraguan embassy, ​​where he sought asylum after his sentence to more than 10 years in prison for the New Business case. On that occasion, the former president was in charge of sharing the details of the meeting on his social networks.

On May 5, 14 RM deputies were elected. But, according to what the former president of the Republic announced, they were joined by two more deputies: Isaac Mosquera, elected by the 5-1 circuit (Darién), of the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena), and Nelson Jackson, of the circuit 3-2 (Colón), who in the last elections ran with multiple flags, including that of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and that of RM.

At that meeting it was also defined who would lead the bench. Cedeño, deputy for circuit 8-6, will be the head of the caucus in the Assembly. The elected deputy chief is Yuzaida Marín, representative of circuit 13-4 (La Chorrera).

Eida Gabriela Sáiz was appointed by the elected president, José Raúl Mulino , as Vice Minister of Economy and will accompany the designated Minister of Economy and Finance, Felipe Chapman , in that portfolio . The designated Vice Minister of Finance is Fausto Fernández .

Sáiz has a bachelor’s degree in economics (BA) from the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds an executive master’s degree in business administration from Incae and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.

The designated vice minister has served as deputy director of Public Credit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and as manager of Treasury and Financing of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The general manager of the Empresa de Transporte Masivo, SA (Mi Bus) , Luis Campana , met on Monday afternoon with the designated general manager, Carlos Sánchez Fábrega , to begin the transition process.

During the meeting, the designated general manager Sánchez Fábrega indicated that his first task will be to put the greatest number of Metro Bus units into operation.

Sánchez Fábrega ‘s words arose because there are 450 Metro Bus units that must be repaired, to reincorporate them into the operational fleet so that they can circulate on the streets of the districts of Panama and San Miguelito.

Mi Bus maintains a total of 1,436 units, of which 600 are operational, 450 are damaged waiting for air conditioner replacement parts, 217 are in the process of being discarded and the rest have other deficiencies. This problem has been unsolved for more than a year.

Sánchez Fábrega indicated that this first meeting was to find out the situation of the company, since in five years, the city and the people have changed.

In addition, he thanked the elected president, José Raúl Mulino, for his trust in entrusting this mission. “I am committed to executing a plan to get back on track and meet the goal: serving customers with the excellence they deserve. Initially, this will begin with putting the greatest number of stopped buses into operation, as soon as possible,” he said.

Sánchez Fábrega stressed that the final rescue of Mi Bus is a complex and difficult project that requires: clarity of goals, total transparency, the maximum effort of his human team, the support offered by President Mulino and the rest of the government, and the everyone’s love for buses on the streets of the city.

Sánchez is an industrial engineer, business administrator and former president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives. Between 2016 and 2019 he was president of the board of directors of Mi Bus during the administration of former president Juan Carlos Varela.

Meanwhile, Campana, outgoing general manager, maintained that during these five years of leadership, the company has managed to advance, with many challenges, a strategic management of optimizing existing resources and promoting connectivity efficiently.

He emphasized that, despite the complications in obtaining spare parts and the situations that this has caused for users, these have not been representative of the effort made by the company to provide the service to all users.

After four of the five international arbitrations filed concluded with arbitration awards mostly in favor of the Panama Canal for alleged cost overruns in the expansion, it is now the Panamanian State that faces two lawsuits from some of the contractors’ shareholders.

The Panama Canal Authority reported in a statement that two of the shareholders of Grupo Unidos por el Canal, SA (Gupcsa) decided to open two new processes, but this time against the Republic of Panama.

These are two investment arbitrations, essentially over the same claims filed against the Panama Canal.

One of the arbitration demands is that of the Spanish company Sacyr, based on the bilateral investment treaty between the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Panama. This process is carried out at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the other was brought by WeBuild (formerly Impregilo) under the bilateral investment treaty between the Republic of Panama and the Italian Republic.

The ACP clarifies that “the Panama Canal is not part of these investment arbitrations since they are against the Republic of Panama. Consequently, these arbitrations are being handled, managed, directed and controlled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), who exercises the legal representation of the Republic of Panama in all arbitrations filed against it.”

They also indicate that since these investment arbitrations refer to detailed facts, technical matters and allegations related to the execution of the Design and Construction Contract of the Third Set of Locks of the Expansion Program of the interoceanic waterway, the Panama Canal, based of what is requested by the MEF, is attentive to providing full assistance, so that the MEF can have the information, facts and legal support necessary for the best defense of the country.

More voices were raised yesterday, Sunday, to reject a possible amnesty law that could be discussed in the National Assembly, which will be installed on July 1.

Various sectors of society, including representatives of civil organizations and political figures, expressed concern about the initiative, arguing that an amnesty could undermine efforts to combat corruption and impunity in the country.

Carlos Lee, president of the Citizen Alliance for Justice , stressed that those deputies who use their seats to benefit criminals convicted of common crimes will surely have to assume the consequences in their electoral circuits.

“The people have been fighting to stop corruption. But using a seat to ignore a popular demand and then favoring criminals, even if they have been presidents, will surely have its consequences,” he said.

The activist’s statements came after the deputy elected by the Panameñista Party, José Luis Varela, declared in the La Prensa Knockout that he is not closed to considering an amnesty law by the National Assembly. Varela, brother of former president Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019), one of those prosecuted in the Odebrecht case, did not specify the type of legislation he was referring to.

The deputy elected by the Realizing Goals (RM) party, Luis Eduardo Camacho , has said that he would promote an initiative to benefit Ricardo Martinelli, former president of the Republic (2009-2014) and founder of RM, who is sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison for the crime of money laundering.

According to Lee, the electorate sent a clear message to the political class in the last elections on May 5, which is why deputies must improve their image in the Assembly.

“This is only for political crimes, not for common crimes,” he recalled.

For his part, the elected independent representative Betserai Richards agreed with Lee that on May 5 the people sent a clear message: “they do not want more corruption.”

“The people do not want a message of impunity to be sent and it would be disastrous if something like an amnesty were to happen,” he said.

While Neftalí Zamora, also an elected independent deputy, said that they do not agree with granting an amnesty to someone convicted of common crimes.

“The president-elect, José Raúl Mulino, has not asked us to support him in this either in the meetings we have held. The issue has never been discussed, so we believe that the power of the Executive and Legislature should not be used to promote something like this,” he added.

The Ministry of Public Works (MOP) reported this Monday, June 17, that the beach corridor , whose first section, from La Chorrera to the Santa Cruz sector (West Panama), has 78% physical progress.

The road expansion project must be completed on November 28 , as established in the contract signed by the MOP with Grupo Puentes y Calzadas Infraestructuras, SLU Panama branch, for an amount of $282,181,670 and 70 cents.

The work includes the construction of a 1.7-kilometer-long viaduct , with a 26.50-meter-wide platform. There will be six lanes and it will cross the La Espiga sector, in La Chorrera.

According to the MOP, the 78% progress includes 96% of the structural work on the viaduct. The installation of safety barriers, which are 90% complete, is still pending, as well as the placement of the asphalt layer, lighting and the storm drainage system.

By the beginning of January, it had been reported that the beach corridor project was 65% complete.


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