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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 09:53 AM EDT

"Citizens Pro-Justice Alliance" Calls For Moncada Luna's Resignation

Law & LawyersCitizens Pro-Justice Alliance presented this Thursday, June 28, 2012 their concerns in reference to the "grave crisis facing the administration of justice" in Panama. Through a press release they said "the struggle by the Panamanian civic society for judicial independence, and to demand transparent processes in the appointment of judges, did not start with this administration (of Ricardo Martinelli). It has direct antecedents since 2000 and has been maintained during three different presidential administrations." The organization that in April 2011, Supreme Court justice Jose Abel Almengor had to resign "amid a scandal over executive interference in the affairs of the judiciary, while in the case of Judge Moncada Luna, we are seeing how their actions put into question the independence and credibility of this body of state."

"Concerns" - Some of the reasons considered by the Citizens Alliance to be of concern are: "the decision that tried to revive the Fifth Chamber, whose speaker was Judge Moncada Luna, and the full-page ads that ran in the news print media, published during the second week of June, signed by the judges Moncada Luna and Harry Diaz." Similarly, they consider alarming: "Bill 438 introduced and promoted by Judges Harry Diaz and Alejandro Moncada Luna, that seeks to change the mode of voting in the full body of the Supreme Court, concentrating power in the board, ignoring the acting as a collegial body that this organ of state must have. Likewise, the project seeks to alter the way magistrates and judges are removed and appointed, ignoring the Bill on the Judicial Career, as well as the reports that appeared in the print media and on the television new linking Moncada to serious matters, which should be investigated and clarified to the relief of all citizens."

According to the organization, all these points require "an act or statement by the Plenum of the Supreme Court, a body which is responsible to ensure the Judicial Ethics and the smooth running of all administration of justice." The Citizens Alliance issued a call for "all organizations and citizens who want to live in a democratic state and constitutional law to rule on what happens with the Supreme Court of our country." (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: The political opposition is working at a fever pitch right now, because they won a round last week. Ricardo Martinelli was forced to back down and pull back the nominations for three new justices who would have sat on the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court. He also had to suspend their plan to sell the state owned shares in the electrical and telecommunications companies. Since then - bolstered by a "win" - the traditional opposition voices like these Citizens Pro-Justice Alliance guys - would love to keep up a head of steam. Yeah, I'm sure the President of the Supreme Court will run off and resign because they are asking him to. It's not going to happen. Nobody voted for these guys, they just know how to have a meeting and issue a press release.

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