Tuesday 28th May 2024.

May 27, 2024


Janine Prado and Luis Lucho Duke , elected deputies who will serve as head and deputy head of the Vamos coalition in the National Assembly, respectively, reacted to the campaign promoted by former president Ricardo Martinelli against deputy Juan Diego Vásquez , mentor of 19 independents who They will reach the Legislature as of July 1.

Prado assured that the message does not make any logic or sense, since the independent group “really is united”, works in consensus and makes decisions in a very healthy way. He gave as an example the way in which they chose the head and deputy head of the bench.

“We did it with a vote, just like on May 5, even with a ballot box and everything. So there is no difference there, much less any threat. Everything is worked based on decisions that are made by democratic voting and consensus, above all. What we do have is a lot to thank both Deputy Juan Diego [Vásquez] and Deputy Gabriel Silva for all the training they provide us, for all that guidance in a completely, as I always emphasize, selfless way, only in favor of better days for Panama,” he told this medium.

The issue arose after Martinelli, from the Nicaraguan embassy, ​​where he is entrenched after the Supreme Court of Justice ratified his sentence of more than 10 years in prison for the New Business case , published several messages on his social networks. in which he attacks Vásquez. However, he does not mention his name, but his comments suggest who he is.

“ I am concerned about the regime of terror that exists among the varied and diverse group of independent deputies who are not related to the ‘aspiring dictator’, who are threatened with signatures to revoke their mandate if they do not comply with his irrational proposals. To this end, the Realizing Goals Party (RM) and I will seek signatures in favor of said deputies to prevent the new self-proclaimed ‘Duce’ from breaking into democracy acting in favor of the enemies who want you not to have a job, nor chen chen, nor better quality of life ,” he wrote in X.

This message was replicated by his party, Realizing Goals .

Duke, who will be Vamos’ deputy bench leader, denied any indication of a threat. “I don’t know what they’re talking about,” he assured La Prensa . “We are focused on building a legislative agenda and getting those votes so that on July 1 we can, God first, bet on a candidate, and preside over the National Assembly if the opportunity can be given.”

The tactics of Martinelli and his political group arise at a time when an intense political duel is being waged for control of the National Assembly as of July 1. Luis Eduardo Camacho , elected representative for San Miguelito and Martinelli’s right-hand man, is seeking votes for the presidency of the Legislative board of directors.

Until the time of writing this news, deputy Juan Diego Vásquez had not spoken.

Dilatory challenges, which attempt to prevent independents and other like-minded deputies from achieving a majority (36 votes or more) on July 1, the day the National Assembly is installed, endanger democracy, violate the popular vote and have a direct impact on vital oversight decisions.

“The first 10 days from July 1 are the most important for the National Assembly for the next five years,” warned independent deputy Gabriel Silva, who asked the Electoral Court to resolve the challenges before the legislative power is installed. so that all the deputies chosen by the citizens’ will occupy their seats.

Why is it so important that this be resolved?

Because as Silva recalled, on July 1 the board of directors of the National Assembly is chosen , through the vote of the deputies sitting in their seats. This committee has impressive reach.

“This board of directors will determine if the deputies have the possibility of appointing 3 or 100 people; whether the plenary sessions start early or late. It will also determine, for example, limiting the people who enter the Assembly, although this is illegal, but historically it has limited access to citizens and the media. The board of directors is the one that proposes reforms to the Assembly’s budget, if it is going to increase it, reduce it; creates or eliminates departments in the organization chart,” Silva explained.

Once this explanation was given, Silva specified that “it is no small thing, it is the direction of one of the three organs of the State,” what is at stake.

“If these challenges are not resolved, and therefore the elected deputies do not receive their credentials, they cannot be in the National Assembly on July 1. With an Assembly as divided as the one we will have in the next period, one, two or five votes will make the difference. We are not like on July 1, 2019, where the PRD had 35 votes, and an alliance with Molirena, so they already had a majority to add and remove whatever they wanted, without the need for other benches.”

Silva recalled that after the general elections on May 5 there may be justified challenges, as a legitimate error was recorded, with a difference of a few votes between those who disputed a seat.

“But we see people who are challenging selectively and conveniently, only to affect the deputies of the Vamos Coalition, as in the case of San Miguelito, when there are thousands of votes difference. So that raises suspicions, and we wonder: really what is the intention behind these challenges.”

Silva gave as an example how complex his management was as an independent, alongside Juan Diego Vásquez, Edison Broce and Raúl Fernández, with a board of directors of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party, which managed to impose itself, flatten or silence deputies who wanted to oppose it in the assembly. “It happened to us a lot, that we wanted to talk and the president of the Assembly did not give us the floor.”

The Superior Court of Appeals applied the precautionary measures of preventing departure from the country and periodic reporting on the 15th and 30th of each month to the mayor of Colón, Alex Lee.

In the hearing, which began at 8:30 am and lasted until 11:35 am, judges Andrés Reyes, Gkadys Cedeño and Adilio González decided to reform the first instance decision that forced Lee to appear before an office judicial on Monday and Tuesday of each week.

After carrying out raids in at least five provinces, National Police agents and Public Ministry personnel dismantled a group of 12 people that is allegedly linked to multiple scams.

The National Police reported that in Operation Swarm 2, simultaneous raids were carried out in the provinces of Panama, Panama Oeste, Veraguas, Chiriquí and Colón to apprehend the members of this criminal group that is being investigated for the supposed commission of a crime against economic assets. , in the form of aggravated scams.

It was reported that cash, cell phone cards, technological equipment, documents and 492 boxes of possibly contraband cigarettes were seized in the operation.

The Police announced that the investigations reflect that the group contacted its victims through social networks or visited companies, posing as clients. They made quotes and purchases that were canceled with bad or altered checks. Furthermore, the people involved used false identities.

The investigations of the case are carried out by the Third Section of Crimes Against Economic Assets of the Public Ministry after 12 complaints, which amount to one economic injury that exceeds 65 thousand dollars.

Those arrested, five women and seven men, all of Panamanian nationality, were placed under the orders of the corresponding authorities.

The Traffic Operations Directorate of the National Police has recorded 139 fatalities to date, in 147 days of 2024, nationwide.

José Pineda , from Transit Operations, explained that the provinces with the most cases of deaths from traffic accidents are Central Panama (42) and Chiriquí (27).

According to data from the authorities, by this date in 2023, 158 victims had been registered, compared to 139 this year.

However, May 2024 shows an increase in fatalities compared to the same month last year. In May of this year, 23 fatalities were reported, while in May 2023 the figure was 18.

Pineda highlighted that 80% of accidents are due to the human factor and emphasized the importance of respecting traffic laws.

Pineda stressed the need for drivers to apply the knowledge acquired to obtain their driver’s license, since the main responsibility falls on the human factor.

According to information from the Traffic Police, last weekend seven fatalities were reported due to traffic accidents.

Another aspect that Pineda highlighted is that last weekend almost 7,000 traffic violations were recorded.

Among the most common violations were failure to pay attention to signs, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.

In the midst of a rain watch warning in the coming days, the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) predicts that the first tropical wave of the season will enter the country at night.

Panama has already entered the rainy season and it is expected that in the next few hours rain will be recorded in different sectors of the country.

“Tropical wave No. 1 of the season remains under surveillance, which is east of Colombia and has a displacement between 28 to 27 kilometers per hour. It is expected to be entering our latitudes at night,” explained María Cosme, Imhpa meteorologist.

On Sunday afternoon, the Imhpa issued a rain watch warning in different sectors of Panamanian territory. This notice is in effect until 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 29.

The regions where a greater concentration of rain is expected are Panama, Veraguas, Colón, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro.


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