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Wednesday, April 23 2014 @ 07:46 PM EDT

"Administrative Career" Law Approved In Third Debate

Law & Lawyers By LEONARDO FLORES for La Prensa - With a warning from the PRD that they intend to continue the "battle" in the Supreme Court, last night Panama's National Assembly passed the law to reform the "Administrative Career" law at 10:51 pm. The vote came two hours after the President of the National Assembly, José Luis Varela, ordered civilians who both opposed and supported the new law to be removed from the public observation area, people who had been taken to the Legislative Palace by Deputies from both sides of the issue. 67 of the 71 Deputies participated in the roll call vote, with 44 voting in favor and 23 against. Four were absent. Opposition Deputy Leandro Ávila warned that the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) will file a demand before the Supreme Court against the new law, alleging that during the second debate their colleague Rogelio Paredes presented a motion to modify the law, and although his motion was received by the Secretary General it was not read or submitted to a vote. Therefore they will ask the Supreme Court to nullify the new law claiming it was passed in violation of legislative procedures. Varela downplayed the threats. During the discussions, which took about 50 hours during the previous week, there were fiery speeches marked by confrontations between Deputies from the PRD and the members of the Alliance for Change. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: In the final days of the administration of Martin Torrijos the PRD took every possible effort to jam as many PRD members as humanly possible into every job in the entire government. They also passed changes to the "Administrative Career" law trying to cement in those changes and to make them appear as valid as possible. All of this occurred in the two months between the elections on 3 May 2009, and the swearing in of the new administration of Ricardo Martinelli on 1 July 2009. While this was happening the members of the "Alliance for Change" knew what the PRD was doing, but they also knew they would be taking over with a new majority in the National Assembly. The attitude was "we're not worried, because whatever they are doing, we will just take apart once we take over." And, that's exactly what happened last night. The ones who are howling in disgust (now) are the PRD. This "Administrative Career" law was supposed to put an end to the wholesale clean-sweeps of firings every time a new government takes over. And, since Just Cause and the removal of Manuel Noriega, there have been five different administrations, and so far not one has repeated in power. So, the power switches back and forth from the opposition (Endara) to the PRD (Balladares) to the opposition (Moscoso) to the PRD (Torrijos) and now back to the opposition again (Martinelli.) As soon as the new guys take over they want to fire everyone, right down to the janitors, and hire "their" people. And, for the last three changes of power, we have gone through this exact same exercise, in which the very law that's supposed to protect the careers of these lower level administrative workers is manipulated to conform with the wishes and desires of the new, incoming administration. In other words, this is a routine event that repeats every five years. And the "Alliance for Change" is showing that they can do whatever they want, over the howls of protest by the PRD. Shaddap you face, already...

Aprueban en tercer debate Ley de Carrera Administrativa

en otro debate. Mientras los diputados se enfrentaban en el hemiciclo, en las gradas quienes adversaban la propuesta protagonizaron una apasionada discusión por las plazas de trabajo en el Gobierno. LA PRENSA/Iván Urbe

LEONARDO FLORES lflores@prensa.com

Con la advertencia de la bancada opositora de que continuará la “batalla” en la Corte Suprema de Justicia, la Asamblea Nacional aprobó anoche (a las 10:51 p.m.) la ley que reforma la Carrera Administrativa.

La decisión se tomó dos horas después que el presidente de la Asamblea, José Luis Varela, ordenara sacar de las gradas a defensores y opositores de la ley, quienes habían sido llevados al Palacio Legislativo por diputados de ambas bancadas.

En la votación, que fue nominal (pasando lista nombre por nombre), participaron 67 de los 71 diputados: 44 votaron a favor y 23 en contra. Cuatro se ausentaron del pleno.

El diputado opositor Leandro Ávila advirtió que el Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) demandará ante la Corte la nueva norma alegando que durante el segundo debate su colega Rogelio Paredes presentó una propuesta de modificación y pese a que fue recibida por la Secretaría General no fue leída ni sometida a votación. Por ello pedirá que la Corte anule la ley por violación de procedimientos legislativos. Varela restó importancia a la amenaza.

Durante la discusión, que tomó cerca de 50 horas desde la semana pasada, hubo duros discursos caracterizados por enfrentamientos entre diputados perredistas y los miembros de la Alianza por el Cambio.

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