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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 11:54 AM EDT

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Comptroller Will Stay In Office - Despite Varela's Objections

PoliticsThe former provisional president of the Republic, Francisco Rodriguez denied that he's participated in any sort of "negotiation" to ask the Comptroller of the Republic Gioconda Torres de Bianchini to leave office. (more)

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PRD Members Ask Electoral Tribunal To Get Involved In Internal Party Struggle

PoliticsWith the purpose of trying to get the Electoral Tribunal involved in the internal struggle that has been going on with the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), "PRD Founding Movement," the "Coordinating Committee for the Rescue" and other party members appeared before the Tribunal yesterday to present two appeals. (more)

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Martinelli - Tired Of Being A Punching Bag - Is Going On A Trip "Far Away"

Politics"I'm happy now the problems are someone else's, but bored with the news. With fury and morbidity they insist on getting me into everything. I'm going on a trip, far away," said the former president Ricardo Martinelli via his Twitter account yesterday. (more)

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Varela "Isn't Comfortable" With The Comptroller of the Republic

PoliticsPresident Juan Carlos Varela said Tuesday he does not feel comfortable with the work of the Comptroller, Gioconda de Bianchini, who will be in charge of the General Cotraloría of the Republic until 31 December. (more)

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President Varela Expands Pardon Decision

PoliticsAlthough the president of the republic, Juan Carlos Varela, said his Executive Cabinet would make a decision yesterday on the future of the pardons granted by the former president Ricardo Martinelli, the issue was ignored on the agenda the chief executive and his ministers. (more)

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Navarro Bows To Pressure - Resigns From PRD's Top Post

PoliticsThose who have been creating pressure on the inside of the PRD have achieved their goal. The Secretary General of the party's National Executive Committee (CEN), Juan Carlos Navarro, officially resigned yesterday via Twitter. (more)

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PRD And Panameñistas Extend Negotiations

PoliticsTalks between representatives from the Panameñista political party and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in Panama, in an attempt to reach an agreement on control of the National Assembly, could be extended until one day prior to 1 July - the day the new government of president-elect Juan Carlos Varela takes office. (more)

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President-Elect Varela Will Formally Present His Cabinet Tomorrow

PoliticsThe president-elect of Panama Juan Carlos Varela will officially present his Cabinet tomorrow, those who will serve starting from 1 July 2014 until 2019, reported EFE today. (more)

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Martinelli Plans To Grant Pardons To Politicians and Journalists As He Leaves Office

PoliticsPresident Ricardo Martinelli confirmed yesterday he will grant pardons to politicians and journalists, and that he will reduce the sentences of some prison inmates. (more)

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PRD Setting Their Sights On The Presidency Of The National Assembly

PoliticsThe National Assembly Deputy-elect from the Partido Revolucionario Democrático political party Zulay Rodríguez said today the PRD will choose their candidate to lead the National Assembly, starting from 1 July. (more)

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Any Alliance Between The PRD And The Panameñistas Will Be Short Lived: Miller

PoliticsThe National Assembly Deputy from the Democratic Change (CD) political party Mario Miller said any potential alliance between the PRD and the Panameñista political parties will have a "short life." (more)

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Blandon Finds "Abnormalities" In Panama City Municipality Payroll

PoliticsWith only 20 days remaining before the new Mayor-elect of Panama City takes office, Jose Isabel Blandon said they are moving forward with the transition process. (more)

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MOLIRENA Has No Plans To Break Their Alliance With The CD

PoliticsThe president of the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA) political party Sergio González Ruiz denied rumors saying the party intends to break their alliance with the Democratic Change (CD) party. (more)

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President-Elect Varela Will Be Naming More Ministers This Week

PoliticsBy Friday, June 13th, 90% of the cabinet of President-elect Juan Carlos Varela should be appointed - and the only ones missing will be the Ministers of Agricultural Development and Education, to be announced after June 18. (more)

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Crisis In The PRD Worsens: Doens Demands Navarro's Resignation, Again

PoliticsThe leader of the PRD political party Mitchell Doens is not laying off, and he again criticized the party's current Secretary General Juan Carlos Navarro, who he said should step aside after the "resounding defeat" during the May 4th general elections, during which the PRD finished in a historically low third place. (more)

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MOLIRENA Will Reevaluate Their Alliance With Cambio Democratico

PoliticsAfter the Democratic Change political party failed to win the presidential elections on 4 May, the MOLIRENA party will asses whether or not to continue their alliance. (more)

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Extraordinary Legislative Sessions To "Mine The Path" For President Elect Varela

PoliticsOn Wednesday May 21 the Deputies of the National Assembly will meet in Special Sessions called by the Executive, headed by President Ricardo Martinelli, where approximately 30 bills will be addressed. (more)

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Negotiations Continue Between Panameñistas and PRD For Control of National Assembly

PoliticsThe Deputy from the Panameñista political party Luis Eduardo Quirós said the talks with his colleagues from the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) in an attempt to reach an agreement to achieve control of the National Assembly continue. (more)

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Roux Hints At Possible CD Meeting With Panameñista Party

PoliticsThe General Secretary of the Democratic Change (CD) political party, Romulo Roux, said his party would lead a constructive opposition (against the newly elected administration of Juan Carlos Varela.) (more)

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PRD Infighting Continues - Ortega Sends Message

PoliticsJavier " Patacón " Ortega said again, that the Secretary General of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) Juan Carlos Navarro the only person authorized by the party to discuss possible legislative alliances, and he warned one of the party members that "he is not the leader of the party and he cannot be saying he is making a consensus," however, he did not specify names. (more)

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Weeden Says Varela Won The Election, But Not Political Power in Panama

PoliticsThe former Comptroller of the Republic Alvin Weeden said the president-elect Juan Carlos Varela won the election, but not the power in the country, referring to the few deputies the Panameñista political party will bring to the National Assembly. (more)

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Cortizo Hoping For A PRD - Panameñista Alliance To Control The National Assembly

PoliticsLaurentino Cortizo, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), said his party would represent a firm and constructive opposition.

Cortizo said he supports a possible alliance between the PRD and the Panameñista party, in the National Assembly of Deputies, which would allow for the necessary administrative adjustments and to allow for work on the issue of strengthening the institutions of the country, which currently are very weak.

The PRD leader said at this moment in time the country needs to be governed, so they have started initial discussions between the president-elect Juan Carlos Varela and the Secretary General of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro.

He warned that the PRD would be a strong and constructive opposition, which would approve all of the projects that benefit the country. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: In order for the PRD and Panameñistas to obtain control of the National Assembly on 1 July 2014, they will need the entire PRD caucus to remain intact. The CD, on the other hand, only has to convince a handful of PRD Deputies to switch over to the CD from the PRD, in order to take control. Both the PRD leadership (guys like Cortizo) and the Panameñista president-elect Juan Carlos Varela know this. Varela said no one should switch parties. The PRD CEN issued a warning that only they could negotiate for control of the National Assembly, and that if any of their politicians switch to the CD, then they would be out of the PRD for good.

My bets are on the CD for this upcoming battle, for a couple of reasons. First of all, remember that Martinelli did not have control of the National Assembly after the 2009 election, and they managed to convince (buy) enough Deputies to switch over to them to gain the 36 seats needed to control. I think the CD simply has an easier chore facing them. However the administration of Juan Carlos Varela will have about 65 billion dollars to spend over the next five years - so it's not like their quiver will be empty. No matter what, it's going to be an interesting fight.

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Control Of The National Assembly Is Still Up For Grabs - Even After The Last Election Results Are Defined

PoliticsAfter long hours of tension, screaming, and fights, the Circuit Election Board (8-6 District) finally proclaimed the winners of the seven seats in the National Assembly, to represent the area of San Miguelito.

From the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) were elected Zulay Rodríguez with 14,016 votes, Raul Pineda with 12,673 votes, and Leandro Avila with 12,106 votes.

Avila was fighting for this seat with Marcos González, the Deputy from the Democratic Change (CD) political party who was seeking reelection.

The members of the ruling party denounced alleged irregularities in the count, claims which were rejected by Avila.

For the CD - Dalia Bernal was reelected with 13,877 votes, and Héctor Valdés Carrasquilla, the current mayor of San Miguelito, received 12,196 votes. Francisco Pancho Aleman from the MOLIRENA political party (allied with the CD) was also reelected with 10,589 votes.

José Antonio Domínguez representing the Panameñista political party was elected with 6,752 votes. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: That should be the final tally. The CD/MOLIRENA caucus has 33 seats. The PRD has 24 seats, and you can add the Independent Ana Matilde Gomez to that, for 25. The Panameñista/PP caucus has 13. That comes to a total of 71 seats, and whoever gets to 36 controls the National Assembly. Today the PRD is talking hard - saying only their National Executive Committee (CEN) has the power to negotiate a deal between the PRD and the Panameñistas to take control of the National Assembly. On the other side, Ricardo Martinelli and the CD will be fighting hard to split three PRD guys over to their side, giving them 36 votes and control of the Assembly. There's a lot of behind the scenes horse trading going on right now - it's a free for all...

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PRD Deputies Can't Decide By Themselves Who To Support

PoliticsThe National Executive Committee of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) met with those who were both newly elected and reelected to serve in the National Assembly on Sunday, May 4.

The PRD must decide whether to support the Democratic Change (CD) or the Panameñista party in the National Assembly, and the CEN made it clear that the Deputies cannot make this decision by themselves.

Benicio Robinson, the President of the PRD, said so far they have not been approached by either side.

He said they are going to let at least 9 days pass after the election to start thinking about that topic.

Diogenes Vergara, a newly elected PRD Deputy to the National Assembly, said he has a preference, and that he owes his party.

Meanwhile, Elias Castillo, who was reelected, said they are always approached, and he said "talking is one thing while making a decision is something else."

But Robinson made ​​it clear that no member "can decide for himself, this will be decided by the party. Anyone who wants to decide (for himself) will have left as an independent."

After the defeat suffered by the PRD in the last elections, with the presidential candidacy, some are pushing for a restructuring of the party.

Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, who returns to the Assembly after being elected, said he does not believe in an anticipated restructuring.

Robinson said they had already agreed that win or lose, in six months there would be changes in the collective.

The former CEN member Mitchell Doens said the party took a "group of people who do not sail for the rest ... gave him the party leadership of this group. They did not meet their responsibilities, and they must leave in an orderly manner with their heads held high, and accept that they could not do the job." (TVN)

Editor's Comment: What the hell is this, wishful thinking day? The PRD leadership is obviously trying to keep their caucus together. Did you notice that Pedro Miguel Gonzalez - who is still wanted as a terrorist in the United States for the murder of US Army Sergeant Zak Hernandez - was elected as a Deputy and will be returning to the National Assembly. He lost his seat in the 2009 election - thanks to an agreement between the CD and Panameñistas to run only one candidate against him, in order to not split the ticket and to make sure he would be gone (my suggestion). I guess this time around they (blew it), split the ticket, and allowed that bastard to get back in. Sooner or later big mama Karma will catch up to his ass. But anyway...

The PRD will probably not be able to prevent three or four of their members from defecting to the CD - in exchange for massive checks. They will flip Robinson the bird as they contemplate the new balance in their bank accounts. If the CD fails to grab control of the National Assembly I'll be amazed. But, I've been wrong on other things lately - so let's see how it actually turns out between now and the end of the year.

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Who Will Be The Allies Of The Panameñista Party In The National Assembly

PoliticsThe general elections of May 4th have left a new political scenario in the National Assembly that will take office on 1 July, requiring the Panameñista party - without a majority in the Assembly - to seek an alliance with one of the two major political parties that are in opposition to the administration of Juan Carlos Varela, because so far the "People First" alliance (Panameñistas and People's Party) only have 12 seats.

In the new Chamber, the Democratic Change will place 30 Deputies in their seats.

The Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) will have 21 seats as well as the Independent Deputy Ana Matilde Gomez.

There are still another seven seats to be decided and assigned.

This political landscape raises the question of who will be the allies of the Panameñista Party in the National Assembly.

Faced with rumors about a meeting between PRD members and President Ricardo Martinelli, the PRD politician Laurentino Cortizo said "this information is 100% false. The meetings with the PRD Deputies will be with the General Secretary of the party and former presidential candidate Juan Carlos Navarro."

"We will make a constructive opposition for the sake of the country, and we will not obstruct the operation of the government" headed by President-elect Juan Carlos Varela, said Cortizo, who did not rule out "the possibility of coming to an agreement with the Panameñista party on issues of national importance such as the appointment of the Controller, Attorney General, Judges of the Supreme Court, and the Electoral Prosecutor."

Cortizo recalled that during the administration of former president Mireya Moscoso (1999-2004), the National Assembly worked with the Executive. "We reached agreement with Mireya Moscoso on the laws that were important to the country, and at the end of her term in office the president acknowledged this," Cortizo said.

The PRD's National Executive Committee (CEN) met on Thursday, May 8 with its Secretary General, Juan Carlos Navarro. At a meeting they will discuss the issue of the role the PRD will play as part of the opposition starting from 1 July.

Is The CD Seeking Constitutional Reforms

On Wednesday afternoon, May 7, it was learned the current caucus of the Cambio Democratico party met with President Ricardo Martinelli, according to an article published in the El Siglo newspaper, with the aim of exploring the possibility of presenting constitutional reforms in special sessions.

Editor's Comment: The PRD leadership can do the math, and they also know exactly who got elected to the National Assembly. The CD will only need to flip three or four PRD guys, and they will have the 36 seats they need to maintain their complete control of the National Assembly for the next five years. It seems like it's Cortizo's turn for some wishful thinking. Of course there's been a line of PRD Deputies, both current and those recently elected, who want to talk to Ricardo Martinelli. The PRD will be fighting hard to maintain a solid caucus - because if they can keep anyone from flipping, then (and only then) they will be able to have "de facto" control of the National Assembly. Together with the Panameñistas, they will be able to control the agenda. However, that's an unlikely scenario.

Ricardo Martinelli will open up his checkbook. Those three or four guys they need will practically be able to name their price. It will be paid. They will flip. And, the CD will then spend the next five years torturing Varela. He won't be able to get shit done in the National Assembly, without first having to do a "mother, may I" to Martinelli.

Oh, and the thing about the reforms to the Constitution? If they pass those changes right now, this session of the National Assembly (2009 - 2014) will "count" - meaning any changes enacted will be implemented sooner. If they wait until after 1 July 2014, then the implementation date will be kicked back another five years. So, they might try to jam it through quickly. Watch for the line item that reduces the waiting period for former presidents from ten years to five. Martinelli wants to get back in there, as soon as possible.

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Belfon Confirms She Will Finish Her Term In Office (And Not Resign)

PoliticsThe Attorney General Ana Belfon said she would abide by the Constitution of Panama with regards to the length of time she should remain at the head of the Public Ministry, according to a statement released yesterday by the press office.

"The response from the Attorney General Ana Belfon is to continue to follow the Constitution and the laws of the Republic, like all citizens," said the statement in an email from the press office.

Belfon's response comes after the statements made by the president-elect Juan Carlos Varela, who told local media he would demand the resignation of officials whose efforts have been questioned by various sectors.

According to Article 221 of the Constitution, Belfon will remain in office through 31 December 2014, ending the ten years in office of the former Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez, who was dismissed through a Supreme Court decision. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Obviously. There's no way in hell any of the top ranking people appointed by Martinelli are going to resign, in order to make things either easier or more comfortable for Varela. On the contrary, they will continue to do the CD's bidding, in an effort to damage his presidency as much as possible with an eye towards the 2019 election.

As I've been saying for the past couple of days, Martinelli still has the Supreme Court, National Assembly, Attorney General's office, Comptroller, tax collection office, anti-corruption czar - in short Martinelli has more control over the government of Panama than Varela.

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Tension Mount As The 7th Seat of San Miguelito is Defined

PoliticsThe patience of the supporters of the Democratic Change (CD) and PRD political parties is reaching its limits in San Miguelito, at the Circuital Board in the Rubiano school, where they have yet to define the last of the seven seats in the National Assembly for that district.

Marcos Gonzalez and Abraham Martinez of the CD, and Leandro Avila of the PRD are the politicians who are vying for the seventh seat.

Some supporters tried to pass the safety boundries established by the Electoral Delegates and the National Police, but this was avoided.

Campaign supporters denounced alleged movements of the acts, outside of the established boundaries, and they even say there are relatives of the candidates who are supposedly working on the board.

So far Zulay Rodriguez and Raul Pineda of the PRD, Héctor Valdés Carrasquilla and Dalia Bernal of the CD, Francisco Alemán of Molirena, and José Antonio Domínguez of the Panameñista party have secured their seats in the National Assembly for the 8-6 circuit.

Labor Minister Alma Cortés, a leader of the Democratic Change political party, says she has evidence proving election records were altered, and she says there is a family member of Leandro Ávila working on the canvassing board, and an official of that left with the documents in his hand and went to a car - and she says she has the photographs to prove it.

Meanwhile, Leandro Avila denies the allegations being made by Cortés, and he says that besides her, the Housing Minister Yasmina Pimentel is also at the scene.

"The government has turned to take my seat," he cried, and he said that if he wins or loses by one vote, he will accept the results. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: Right now the seven seats representing San Miguelito have yet to be officially defined.

Without these seven seats - right now - the CD and their Molirena allies have 30 seats. The PRD has 21. The Panameñistas and their Popular Party allies have 12. And, there is one Independent.

Six of the seven seats in San Miguelito have been defined. With those, the CD/Molirena caucus will have 33, the PRD will have 23, and the Panameñista/PP will have 13. The CD is working hard to get that last seat in San Miguelito - because that will give them 34. The magic number needed to control the National Assembly is 36. So, they would only need to turn two guys (easy) from the PRD. Fat checks make Panamanian Deputies in the National Assembly flip like flapjacks. There will be a brief bidding war, and then two or three guys will suddenly become CD players. Game, set, match.

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Varela Asks Key Martinelli Appointees To Resign

PoliticsThe president-elect Juan Carlos Varela insisted upon the resignation of several high ranking members of the current administration, including the President of the Supreme Court Jose Ayu Prado, and the Comptroller General Gioconda Torres de Bianchini.

"The Electoral Prosecutor, the President of the Supreme Court, the Comptroller, and the Manager of the Tocumen International Airport, who have not defended the interests of the state, it would be better if they resign," said Varela.

Varela said his request is to allow "the incoming government to arrive with much more agility, and to avoid tension in the beginning."

According to Varela he has designated Álvaro Alemán for the Ministry of the Presidency, who will be responsible for presenting the proposal to the National Assembly in the first week of his administration.

Ricardo Martinelli, the outgoing president, said via his Twitter account "Violating the institutions of the State is to call upon the government officials from other branches of government, to demand their resignations."

The political analyst Menalco Solis said Martinelli is inconsistent. "He has no moral authority. He asked Ana Matilde Gómez to resign, and when she refused, she was fired," he said. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Varela is smoking crack if he actually thinks any of these people are going to resign. It's true, having the Supreme Court, Attorney General's office, Comptroller, and all of the other people Martinelli appointed to long terms in office is going to be uncomfortable for him. To avoid tension in the beginning? Nah, the CD and Martinelli are going to be dealing Varela "tension" with the appointments he's already made, and in fact it's only going to be getting more interesting, if the CD ends up with 36 seats in the National Assembly. If that happens, they can conceivably decide to impeach him. Really. Well, no problem. In Varela logic, he can just ask all of those dudes to resign as well.

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Varela Pledges To Conduct Audits, and Change (Stuff He Can't Change)

PoliticsThe President-elect of Panama Juan Carlos Varela announced this morning he will conduct an audit of the costs of building community projects and hospitals.

In an interview with TVN Channel 2, Varela said he will allow there to be more transparency in procurement.

When asked about how the National Assembly was formed, he said "the people voted for a balance. Nobody should change parties."

"We will make a (National) Assembly with a State vision. I see an Assembly interacting with the president-elect, working for Panama," he said.

However, he said he will revoke the laws that were created to protect political issues, because it is the responsibility of the State.

He said during the first week of his Presidency he would submit three Bills to the National Assembly; primarily the issues of the Supreme Court, the Comptroller, and the Transparency Authority.

On another issue Varela said he would also meet with the newly elected mayors, without distinction of party, to build projects for communities. "Projects are going to have a human priority, such as the One Hundred Zero program," he said.

"In the first 30 days we will summon the Representatives and Mayors to be a part of this," he said.

He also promised to make amendments to the Constitution. "I was the only candidate who praised their remarkable work, and who met with them," he said.

On the formation of his new administration, he said he would seek consensus, with names from the civil society.

He added that if someone has the ability to collaborate on improving the country's destiny they will be called upon to be taken into account.

He also promised to not touch existing public officials. "I ask all public officials to be calm, I only ask that they meet their work schedules," he said.

He said there's going to be a "Citizen's Service Center" in the Presidency of the Republic, and he hopes there will be no road closures.

"There will be a 'call center' to receive calls from the Panamanian people, so as not to insult people," he said.

He also promised to respect freedom of expression. "We will provide access to information, transparency and freedom of expression ... We will motivate the investigative reporter to continue with their work."

Government publicity will not be used to attack or to silence anyone. "It will only be used for life and health issues," he said.

It will not be used to improve the image of anyone. He said the image will be defined in the work done in the village, referring to the use of public resources during the Martinelli administration .

Regarding relations with Venezuela, Varela said he will send a personal envoy to Caracas to restore that relationship.

Regarding sports, he said he would create a Sports Secretary, and the Pandeportes would come out from under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education, and would report directly to the Presidency. (Mi Diario)

Editor's Comment: Well, there's a whole lot of wishful thinking in this article. Martinelli was smart. He abolished the old DGI and created a new governmental organization (by law) called the Autoridad Nacional de Ingresos Públicos (ANIP) (National Public Income Authority). As part of that new law, Martinelli appointed Luis Cucalón to be the first Director of the newly created ANIP. He will be serving for seven years, and there's not a damn thing Varela can do about it, without changing the law. And right now it doesn't look like Varela is going to have control of the National Assembly.

Did you notice the line in this article where Varela says "Nobody should change parties"? More wishful thinking. There will be a half a dozen PRD guys telling Martinelli "write me a check for a million dollars, and I'm yours." Badda-bing, badda-boom, and the CD has complete and total control of the National Assembly for the next five years. He also controls the Supreme Court. In fact, Martinelli has more control over Panama than Varela.

The ANIP is the Panamanian version of the IRS. Luis Cucalón will be able to continue to selectively squeeze money out of Panamanian businessmen. The guys who are "friends of Varela" won't be able to get special favors or any sort of dispensation. While those who are friends of Martinelli can keep getting away with whatever they want. This is one of the things Varela would like to do away with.

Varela says he would like to create a new "Secretary of Sports" - but again, hard to do if you don't control the National Assembly.

There are several more. Martinelli created the new "Autoridad Nacional de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información" (ANTAI) (National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information) through Law 33 of 25 April 2013. And, Martinelli appointed Abigail Benzadón Cohen to be the Director General of the new Authority - for seven years. Now there will be a Martinelli-appointed watchdog, backed by the power of law, to make sure Varela can't steal public funds. Varela said he wants there to be more transparency in government. That's a good thing, because the "anti corruption czar" works for Martinelli. He says in this article he wants to strike down or revoke this law. Nope. Not without the National Assembly. Drat.

Another serious problem for Varela is that the Comptroller General of the Republic - the person who has to sign off on all government contracts - is Gioconda Torres de Bianchini. She was Martinelli's accountant for his Super99 chain of supermarkets, before taking over as the Comptroller. And, she will be in the position through the end of 2014. Can Varela remove her from office? Nope. Not without the National Assembly. Varela said he will "conduct an audit" of the way Martinelli spent money. Who does those audits? The Comptroller.

Attorney General? Martinelli appointed Ana Belfon who will also serve through the end of 2014. So Varela won't be in control of Panama's prosecutors until she's done.

There's a line in this article about the "issue of the Supreme Court." Varela's problem is that five of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices were appointed by Martinelli. And, there's not a damn thing he can do about that. Varela will appoint four justices during his term in office, replacing the last of those who were appointed during the administration of Martin Torrijos. But, he will never achieve control of the Supreme Court. And were do all of the really important cases end up in Panama? In the Supreme Court. Martinelli owns it.

And who has the power to investigate wrongdoing by the President of Panama, according to the Constitution? The National Assembly. Any chance those CD dudes might decide to investigate the allegations against Varela, regarding the use of illegal funds and money laundering? Just maybe. They can hold special hearings, summon witnesses, appoint a special prosecutor, and basically impeach Varela. Whoops.

Setting the table and stacking the deck for the next five years was part of the Martinelli grand strategy. Win or lose the election, he will still control much of the Panamanian government. Whether Varela likes it, or not.

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Fabrega Concedes Election To Blandon - The Newly Elected Mayor of Panama City

PoliticsAfter two days of vote counting, finally the results of the election for the Mayor of Panama City have been made known.

At first, the votes favored José Luis Fabrega, the candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), but later the trend changed and Jose Isabel Blandon took the lead.

On Tuesday morning Blandon said through his Twitter account he received a call from Fábrega, to congratulate him on the outcome of the election.

Blandon said he spoke with the current Mayor Roxana Mendez to start coordinating the transition. The mayor-elect said he has the full cooperation of Mendez.

Meanwhile in the National Board of District Scrutiny of Panama, Farbrega issued a statement and publicly acknowledged the triumph of the Panameñista (Blandon), who will lead the Capital District starting on 1 July. (Telemetro)

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