Delays By Electoral Prosecutor Draw Criticism
Monday, March 31 2014 @ 09:15 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Now the Electoral Tribunal is questioning his low levels of productivity.
By law, the institution he leads is charged with investigating electoral offenses.
Through a press release, the Electoral Tribunal says they have conducted an audit through which they tried to determine the level of work of the electoral criminal courts throughout the country.
In the midst of an election process in which politicians, civil society and others have reported a series of events that could be considered as electoral offenses, the lack of action by this institution is being questioned.
There are leaders such as Gerardo Solis, who is the Vice Presidential candidate for the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), alleging that he and other citizens are not filing these types of complaints, because they do not trust the electoral justice system, because it is being run by a Prosecutor who is an accomplice of the ruler - President Ricardo Martinelli - who appointed him.
The Electoral Tribunal's investigation concluded there was a significant drop in productivity in the offices of the Electoral Prosecutor, headed by Prosecutor Eduardo Peñaloza.
The statistical results of this audit are added to the criticism from politicians, civil society, and the judges of the Electoral Tribunal themselves about the lack of action on the part of Peñaloza. (Estrella)
Editor's Comment: First of all - Gerardo Solis needs to shut the fuck up. He was first a corrupt former Electoral Prosecutor himself, originally appointed by the former PRD President Ernesto Perez Balladares. Then later during the PRD administration of former president Martin Torrijos, the PRD-controlled Supreme Court appointed him as a Judge of the Electoral Tribunal. He served as the President of the Electoral Tribunal before leaving office at the end of his term in 2012. After he left office he launched his presidential campaign as a independent, and then later was named as the running mate of the PRD's presidential candidate, Juan Carlos Navarro.
The Electoral Tribunal is supposed to be an independent and neutral monitoring body, designed to make sure elections in Panama are fair and impartial. No single individual on the planet has done more to politicize Panama's Electoral Tribunal than Gerardo Solis. To now hear him complaining about the actions of the current Electoral Prosecutor is beyond incredulous - rather it boarders on the insane.
During his entire time working within the halls of the Electoral Tribunal, first as the Electoral Prosecutor, then as a judge on the Electoral Tribunal, and finally as the President of the Electoral Tribunal, Solis made it his personal mission to ensure each and every decision was tweaked or twisted in order to benefit the PRD. He never (ever) did anything in a fair or impartial manner. Now running for the first time for an elected position (all of his previous positions have been appointments) Solis is now reaping exactly the same sort of bitter and sour fruit that he himself was sowing. Finally, some real justice for this asshole.
There are three judges on the Electoral Tribunal. In the Panamanian justice system, it's the prosecutors who drive the system, by developing the investigation and taking the cases before the judges. Martinelli - faced with a hostile Electoral Tribunal controlled by the PRD - focused on taking control of the gatekeeper's shack. He appointed the Electoral Prosecutor Eduardo Peñaloza, who is now doing his bidding. Martinelli has also appointed one judge to the Electoral Tribunal, but the other two are still PRD lapdogs. And, their terms in office don't end until after this election in May 2014.
And now Peñaloza is stalling and delaying any case or complaint that's being filed against any member of the CD or their allies the MOLIRENA party. And of course the PRD, now on the outside and in the opposition to the CD, is complaining. They find themselves having to complain about the exact same tactics they used against the CD in 2009. I see this as payback. Electoral Karma. An icy glass of revenge kool-aide.
All of this goes to further highlight what Panama Guide readers should already know. There is no justice in Panama. You cannot expect there to ever be any judicial security, under any circumstances. The only way you can be sure of winning a case is if you have both the prosecutor and judges on your side, as well as the corrupt politicians who control them. If money or power or politics is involved - then the entire system, from top to bottom - is completely and totally corrupted.
The CD's Jose Domingo Arias will win the upcoming election in May 2014. He will then continue to appoint CD friendly judges and prosecutors, including those sitting on the Electoral Tribunal and Supreme Court. Now would be a great time to make those campaign contributions. In Panama everyone (and I mean, 100%) is a player on one team or another. Either you side with the PRD, the Panameñistas, or the CD. If you try to remain neutral, you can bet that the other guy, the Panamanian who you are facing off against three years later in a large civil lawsuit, did not remain neutral. In any case, the bottom line remains the same.
There is no judicial security in Panama.
Oh, one more thing. This article appeared in the La Estrella newspaper, which is 100% biased against the CD, and in favor of the PRD. Just trying to keep your program up to date with who's who. I know, you practically need a scorecard to keep up.