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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 10:12 PM EDT

Divisions In The National Assembly Between The "Original" CD Members and the "Defectors"

PoliticsIt is said in politics, anything goes. This slogan is working very well for the Deputies in the National Assembly who have jumped ship from other political parties to join the ruling Cambio Democratico party, who are now hogging space originally occupied by those who were elected under the party's flag in 2009. Ironically, the jumpers have secured an important place among the legislative gears, while the original CDs are losing ground and beginning to feel cornered or in the background.

FIGHT FOR SPACE - Though few dare to admit it in public, it is already well known internal to the CD legislative caucus there are sides, the "originals" and the "defectors." The latter make more space for themselves each day. In fact, they already exceed in number those who were elected under the banner of CD in the 2009 elections - there are 17 "originals" while there are 19 "defectors."

Before the breakup of the alliance between the Panameñistas and the CD, Carlos Afú and Yanibel Ábrego - where were elected as independents - joined the CD. They were followed by the four members of the Patriotic Union party who joined the ruling coalition when their party merged with the CD. Héctor Aparicio jumped to the CD from the MOLIRENA party, and became the President of the National Assembly. After the breakup of the alliance, ten former Panameñistas jumped ship to the CD, added to none members from the PRD.

The Fight For The Directive: As they began to integrate themselves into the directive that currently leads the National Assembly, the deserters also made themselves felt. It didn't matter who would become the President of the National Assembly, they knew this post would be reserved for one of the original members of the CD. In the end the two Vice Presidents of the National Assembly came from the ranks of the deserters. Abraham Martinez, who jumped from the PRD to the CD, and Miguel Fanovish, who emigrated from the Panameñista party to MOLIRENA.

While the President of the Assembly, Sergio Galvez, says the relationship with his two deputies is very good, neither of them have been able to warm the President's seat - and rarely have they come to direct the sessions of the full Legislature. Galvez has been there for most of the sessions in nearly a month.

COMMITTEES - Since Galvez was elected as the President of the National Assembly, disputes started over who would preside over the permanent Commissions. Here there was another push and pull, in which the defectors also demanded spaces. Of the 15 standing committees of the Assembly, six are chaired by Deputies who were not elected under the banner of the CD in the 2009 elections, and another ten are Vice Chairs.

The Preferred - Marilyn Vallarino, a Deputy from the CD party, acknowledged that the defectors enjoy a privileged place in the internal workings of the CD caucus in the National Assembly. "What God gives, St. Peter blesses..." it is said, of course more has been given to them than to us, but hey, what can we do," she said. Far from feeling any resentment, she said "this is politics," and ironically those who set out to seek votes for the CD today do not receive the same as the defectors. Beyond the benefit, they are thinking about nominations for 2014.

While Dalia Bernal, one of the "original" CD members, is convinced that internally in their party "there might be some preferences, as it is in every home," but personally - being the Deputy who has cast the most votes - she will continue working for her community. The "defector" Deputy Tito Rodriguez says it's not a matter of preferences, but rather "a matter of skill." The former Panameñista Deputy explains there are Members who are not prepared to take some positions. He still reiterates that "each member tries to get what he can for his circuit" and he says it is no sin, because each one tries to get the most benefit to the circuit for his constituents. (Estrella)

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