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Thursday, May 23 2019 @ 10:54 PM UTC

Expect a National Referendum in 2006

Canal Expansion The Administrator of the Panama Canal (ACP), Alberto Alemán Zubieta, indicated they should have the final details worked out regarding plans to expand the Panama Canal during the first months of 2006. The ACP's Board of Directors should analize the proposal, and if adopted, it will go the the Cabinet and eventually to the Assembly. But the Panamanian people will have the last word and will decide wether or not to expand the canal in a national referendum. The Electoral Tribunal has said organizing a national vote on the canal expansion could take six or eight months.

For Alemán Zubieta, both Panamanian and international companies will have the opportunitiy to participate in the construction of the various segments of the project. "The most important thing is that it's done by Panamanians" said the administrator, apparently referring to the overall administration of the project. Once a plan is adopted and approved, the ACP can then start to divulge time tables, costs, budgets, and the size of the projects. He went on to say that one would have to complete the same steps to build a highway or a bridge, but without losing sight of the fact that the expansion of the canal is something larger. Environmental impact studies and economic studies are still pending.

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