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Monday, June 24 2019 @ 02:25 PM UTC

MIDA Minister Victor Perez Resigns (Fired)

Politics Yesterday Panama's Minister of Agricultural Development, Victor Perez, resigned. Perez will be replaced by engineer, cattleman, and rice producer Emilio Keiswetter, who until yesterday was an agricultural affairs adviser to the Ministry of the Presidency, and the President of the Association of Rice Producers of Chiriquí. Perez will step down after facing sharp criticism for a trip he took to Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia, together with 14 other people, at a cost of $130,000 in airline tickets alone, money which was paid to a family member of Herman Gnaeggi, a director of the Ministry of Agricultural Development. Perez, according to complaints lodged by many unions of agricultural producers in the country, didn't have any significant projects under his administration in office.

OTHER CHANGES - This is the first concrete change that has been announced for Ricardo Martinelli's Cabinet. However, a senior source in the Presidency said Martinelli would be announcing more changes on Friday, 2 July 2010. The first is Franklin Kwai Ben, who will replace Diana Arauz as the Director of the Association of Aquatic Resources of Panama (ARAP). Arauz was dismissed less than a week ago, a day after this newspaper (La Prensa) published a report - on the alleged irregular dealings of this entity - realized by Kriss Proveda, the former National Director of Inspection, Supervision and Control of ARAP. Kwai Ben is a biologist by profession and head of the company Cultipac. It is dedicated to shrimp farming. According to source in the Presidency, Martinelli will also dismiss the governor of the province of Chiriqui, Enrique Fernández of the Panameñista political party. To replace him Martinelli will designate Aixa Santamaria, currently the Vice Governor of the province. Santamaria is the former manager of the Super 99 supermarkets, (a company owned by Martinelli) in the province of Chiriqui and is a registered member of the Democratic Change political party. (La Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Martinelli has been promising there would be changes in his cabinet since January. Tomorrow, on 1 July 2010, his administration reaches their first anniversary. Martinelli has been saying for days that there will be changes in his cabinet and that some people who simply have not been working out will be replaced. Again, another example of Martinelli running the country like a business. If a Minister or an Administrator of an entity like the ARAP or a Governor of a province is not doing the right thing - then "you're fired." Annual performance review. Healthy turnover can be a good thing. Fresh blood, and it keeps everyone else on their toes.

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