Opposition Pressuring Martinelli To Veto Electoral Reforms

Saturday, September 15 2012 @ 07:49 am EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - After the National Assembly passed Bill 508 yesterday on Electoral Reforms, pressure is mounting from several directions on president Ricardo Martinelli, asking him to veto the controversial law. After three weeks of fighting over this issue, by now it's perfectly clear the two opposition political parties - the PRD and the Panameņistas - don't want Bill 508 to be signed into law. However a recent poll taken yesterday indicates about 63% of the Panamanian people are in favor of these reforms. During the three weeks while the National Assembly was wrestling with these issues, the Cambio Democratico party did a relatively good job of explaining why they wanted to make these changes, especially with regards to the "voto en plancha" issue, and portrayed their motivation as wanting to return to a more democratic "one man, one vote" position. Therefore, president Martinelli will most likely endorse the bill and make it the law of the land for the 2014 general elections, simply because it's popular among the people, beyond the fact these changes will help the CD it 2014.

Zulema Sucre, the representative of the Women's Front of the Panameņista party, asked Martinelli to veto Bill 508, which was approved on Friday, 14 September 2012 by the National Assembly. Sucre told local media she expects the president to be a little more sensible and to "veto this law, which is totally unconstitutional."

The Front for Democracy will be meeting today, Saturday, 15 September 2012 at the headquarters of the General Confederation of Workers of Panama, in order to determine what actions they will take following the approval of Bill 508 by the National Assembly. The general coordinator of the group, Mariano Mena, said they would march to the Presidency on Monday, 17 September, to demand that President Martinelli veto the law.

The three judges of the Electoral Tribunal - who through their recent actions have proven themselves to be little more than lapdogs of the PRD political party - sent a nine page letter to President Ricardo Martinelli which says, in part, "Bill 508 contains, in our view, reforms that are inconvenient and evidence of unconstitutionality."

So it's really no surprise that the PRD, Panameņista's, and their supporters and allies are now turning to President Martinelli to ask him to veto Bill 508. And, I doubt those efforts will be successful. I expect Martinelli will sign this bill into law, if he hasn't done so already.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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