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Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 06:01 AM EDT

Independents For Change Say Electoral Tribunal Does Not Have Jurisdiction

PoliticsThe Independent Movement for Change expressed regret on Friday over the decision of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama to suspend "temporarily" broadcast in the media of propaganda against Juan Carlos Varela, Vice President. In a statement, the group said the company Varela Hermanos, SA violates the rights of employees by not paying the minimum wage to the workers. "The Electoral Tribunal attempts to assume functions of censorship that do not apply to them, because this state organization only has jurisdiction in issues related to elections, and the 2014 election period has not yet opened," they said in a statement.

Independent for Change said the issue is strictly private, but they want to raise it to an electoral crime.

Starting on Friday 6 July, the group issued a political attack ad against Vice President Varela, using a video of workers, in silhouette, accusing the company of not paying the minimum wage of $2.08 per hour. The ad shows the entrance to the Varela hacienda and images of Varela, with the employees saying they were being paid $1.81 per hour.

Because of that video, a complaint was filed before the office of the Electoral Prosecutor against the Minister of Labor Alma Cortes, and the Secretary General of the Ministry, Hernan Garcia, for the possible leak of the state owned video used in the attack ad, and for the use of staff, resources and equipment in a inspection, which then went into the political attack ad in question.

The Electoral Court also ordered in their resolution issued on Friday, July 13 to temporarily suspend the political attack ad "Amigos del partido Molirena" and the distribution through the Internet (YouTube) of the videos identified as "Varela, ladrón de justos" and "Biografía de Varela." (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Yup, exactly. The Electoral Tribunal does not have jurisdiction. And what's more, it's insane to think they can order YouTube to stop playing a video. The Electoral Tribunal has gone "over the top" in their efforts to support Varela's losing battle. And while the politicians are talking about these videos, the people are talking about the foundation and basis of the attacks - Varela was caught not paying minimum wage to his workers. Before this came out he didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected anyway, simply because his party now only represents about 12% of the electorate, and as an individual he's just not all that popular. Now, after these facts have come to light, he's just sort of stinking the place up. And according to the CD guys, there's more where that came from, and they are keeping their powder dry until it gets closer to election time. Varela's odds of being the next president of Panama are 0%, leaning towards negative numbers if that's even possible.

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