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Tuesday, July 22 2014 @ 09:24 AM EDT

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Why Zelaya Loses In The Long Run

Politics By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Over the weekend I spent some time watching the OAS talk about the resolution they passed to suspend Honduras' membership in that organization, even though the government of Honduras had decided to cancel their membership the night before. I also watched the spectacle of Manuel Zelaya trying to return to Honduras, aboard an airplane paid for by Hugo Chavez, even though everyone said to do so would probably cause a "bloodbath" in that country. I was watching the live, streaming coverage of Zelaya's supporters who gathered outside of the airport to supposedly welcome him back (or, alternatively, watch as he was taken into custody by the Honduran government) and there were a few thousand people there. But here's why Zelaya is going to lose this argument in the long run. This morning I read a post by a Zelaya supporter who said "...hundreds of thousands surround airport to welcome returning president." That was a bald-faced lie. I've seen crowds of "hundreds of thousands" of people, and near the airport there were many two or three thousand. Zelaya loses in the long run because his efforts are based on exactly this kind of loose gravel - lies. Zelaya scored big over the weekend, especially with the support gained from the OAS, but the OAS has no legal authority to force the government of Honduras to do anything. The Honduran people have spoken and they have responded to Zelaya's increasing unpopularity, resulting in the Supreme Court ordering his arrest. Now, Honduras will hold a national election sooner rather than later, the supporters of Balbina Herrera (whoops) Manuel Zelaya will be loud and vocal but they will lose, and some other dude, whoever really, will win and be sworn in as the next duly elected, democratically elected, President of Honduras. At that point the OAS will have no other recourse than to shut the hell up, and now maybe they just might begin to address the real issues regarding threats to democracy in the hemisphere, like the draconian control of the press and news media in Venezuela. This entire evolution in Honduras will go down as a "near miss" and hopefully as time goes by more and more nations will learn from this evolution and be spared the fate of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Anyway, the "big lie" only goes so far.

Copyright 2009 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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Man, It's Going To Be A Long Five Years...

Politics
Panama City Mayor Roxana Méndez
Panama City Mayor Roxana Méndez
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Conflicts have already started between the interim Mayor of Panama City Roxana Méndez and the PRD controlled Municipal Council of Panama City. Yesterday, Roxana Méndez named Juan Manuel Vásquez as the new Municipal Engineer. At about the same time yesterday morning the PRD controlled Municipal Council voted to install René Paniza in the same position. According to the Panamanian Constitution it falls to the mayor to appoint all municipal functionaries, and in the long run it's most likely Juan Manuel Vásquez will remain as the new Municipal Engineer. This is an incredibly important appointment for two reasons. First of all, the Municipal Engineer is the person who has control over all of the construction projects in Panama City. Secondly, the outgoing Municipal Engineer, Jaime Salas, has been accused of all kinds of wrongdoing. Obviously it will be much easier to prove those cases if the office he used to occupy is controlled by someone who is not in the PRD. And of course, there are tremendous opportunities for corruption in this office - it's likely one of the most lucrative offices in the entire government (so the PRD wants to keep control.) Anyway, this was just Roxana Méndez's first day on the job, and the fate of Bosco Vallarino still remains to be decided.

Copyright 2009 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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More Details on Honduras Situation

PoliticsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received this morning via email: "Morning Don ... Thought the following would be of interest. Mike and Peggy are missionaries who run a small hospital close to La Ceiba, Honduras. We met them in Antigua, Guatemala, in 2003 where they were completing an intensive Spanish Language course. They have lived in Honduras since 2003. I don't know Sally Mahoney. Apparently she is in Teguce (name gringo's have given to the national capitol because the real name is hard to spell and pronounce). We find it interesting that even the left wingers on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala are supportive of the actions of the Honduran government. It would appear our President and most of the rest of the world got it wrong! (One email ends, another forwarded email begins) Hey > friends I have below a letter from Sally Mahoney from the hospital administration to explain more of the situation here and our prayer needs. Please continue to pray for us and the country. This weekend we should know more of where the government is headed. We do not get involved in political things here as that is not our ministry. It is interesting to be on the other side of the fence to see what is really happening and how the media of the world sees it. If non biased people would come and see the truth they would have a different story to tell. Please remember we are located far away from the capital and the activity outlined in this document. Our lives so far are normal with the exception of a curfew not allowing us to be on the streets after dark. We continue to trust God for our safety and pray for His peace to reign throughout the world. Blessings to all In God's Love. Mike & Peggy (more)
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Preventing a Honduran Bloodbath

PoliticsBy CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER for the Washington Post - The United States Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, an extremely competent diplomat, tried very hard to keep Honduras's Congress from ousting President Manuel Zelaya. After his arguments and pressures were exhausted, and faced with something that seemed inevitable, he did what he could: he sheltered the president's son at his residence to save him from any violent outcome. Fortunately, Zelaya's expulsion from the presidency and from his country was bloodless. It wasn't exactly a military coup: the Army acted on orders from the Supreme Court after Zelaya's continued violations of the law. The ousted president seemed intent on getting reelected, even if it meant violating the Constitution, and on dragging the nation into Hugo Chávez's "21st century socialism" camp against the will of the Honduran people. Nevertheless, if there is still something worse than the depressing spectacle of a freely elected president forced to leave his country at gunpoint, it is that same leader trying to force his way back in. If Zelaya returns, he will be arrested and charged with an array of crimes. His imprisonment will embarrass any who decide, irresponsibly, to accompany him on such a mad adventure. (more)
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DeMint Supports Honduras Military Coup

Politics The Huffington Post - Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has come out in support of the military coup in Honduras, chastising President Obama in a statement for what he calls "a slap in the face to the people" of that country. From his statement: "The people of Honduras have struggled too long to have their hard-won democracy stolen from them by a Chavez-style dictator. The Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military have acted in accordance to the Honduran constitution and the rule of law. [...] "I am hopeful that as President Obama grows in office, he will eventually turn away from despots like Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, and Zelaya, and give the United States' full-throated support to the people of any country who are fighting for the same values we cherish and defend in America. The people fighting for freedom around the world, in Iran and Honduras, should never have to wonder which side America will choose between freedom and tyranny. "President Obama's call for the reinstatement of Zelaya is a slap in the face to the people of Honduras. And the resolution written by the Organization of American States tramples over the hopes and dreams of a free and democratic people.(more)
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"Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform ... will immediately cease in their functions"

PoliticsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Somebody buy Mitch a beer. And then, fly him and his friends to Washington DC to talk to the State Department. I received this today via email, and it includes a further definition and description of how and why Manuel Zelaya was property and legally removed from the position of President of Honduras. This is good stuff and should not be missed. Understanding what happened in Honduras is difficult for foreigners, and this is the best I've seen yet to make it simple to understand, even for those who are suffering from severe "knee-jerk-itus." The body of the email follows, but it's not really clear what was written by "Mitch" and where the comments from the Honduran lawyer and Constitutional scholar start, but you get the idea... "The following was written by Octavio Sanchez. He is a Honduran lawyer (J.D. Universidad Nacional Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Honduras; LL.M. Harvard Law School). He also was a presidential advisor from 2002 – 2005. He served as the Honduran Minister of Culture from 2005 – 2006. Octavio is tremendously more qualified that I am to discuss the constitution and what happened this past weekend. I’d like to publicly thank Octavio for taking the time to write this powerful piece describing the reality of what happened according to the Honduran constitution." (more)
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Stand Firm, Honduras...

Politics By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I continue to be amazed and appalled by the knee-jerk calls from the International community to try to force Honduras to reinstate "Mel" Zelaya to power as the President of that country. I continue to read and learn more about this situation every day, and the more I hear the more I am convinced the people of Honduras did the right thing, at the right time. Apparently there is no clearly established method to impeach a sitting president in Honduras as there is in the United States and many other countries. If the President of Honduras commits a crime then it falls to the Supreme Court to remove him from power. That was done. Did you hear me? In Honduras former President Manuel Zelaya was removed from power in a legal and proper fashion by the Supreme Court in accordance with their constitution. There are all kinds of things going on inside of Honduras the international news media is basically choosing to ignore. Everyone seems happy with the simple (but woefully inadequate) 2-step - "There was a coup" and "Zelaya should be returned to power." In fact, there was no coup. And, Manuel Zelaya should not be returned to power. It makes me wonder who is advising the Presidents of the region - where are they getting their information from, and how is it possible I am more clearly informed on the situation in Honduras than they are? I mean, come on... I can understand how it might be politically impossible to make a statement in support of the new government of Honduras, and in effect most of the sitting Presidents of Latin America are probably worried about being tossed out one day themselves. But at the very least they need to get up to speed on the facts on the ground in Hondo. I stand by the decision taken to throw that bastard Manuel Zelaya out on his ass as a patriotic action on the part of brave Hondurans, and I call for the leaders of Latin America (and the world for that matter) to grow a pair of balls.

Copyright 2009 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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An Absolutely Wonderful Synopsis of Events in Honduras, Written By Expat Who Lives There

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received this morning via email: "For those of you interested in what actually happened in Honduras, this is a well written, non-political, logical explanation supplied by someone we've known for nearly eight years. We used to live in Honduras on the island of Roatan so keep up with several chat lines. We've lived in Panama for 2.5 years now but remember clearly when the president was elected and what the people were saying subsequently ... and I'm talking about Hondurans, not just ex-pats. Sadly the media seems unable to present a balanced assessment so perhaps this will help. Catherine."

(What follows was written by Mitch, who has been living in Honduras since 2002. This is the best, blow-by-blow description I've seen to date of what happened in Honduras, and the events leading up to the removal of Zelaya as the president there.)

"I don’t profess to be an expert at Honduran politics or constitution, but I have been here a while and stay pretty involved with what’s going on in Honduras and especially Roatan. For those that don’t know me, I’m an American investor that has lived in Honduras full time since 2002. I’m very active on several commissions and have met with minister level executives of the Honduran government many times in the past few years. (more)

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Military Coup in Houduras Removes Pro-Chavez Whack-Job Zelaya From Office

PoliticsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The military coup in Honduras over the weekend reflects the essence of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America - the guys with the guns are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the power remains in the hands of the people, and not some whack-job wanna-be dictator. Yesterday, military units in Honduras removed President Manuel Zelaya and expelled him to Costa Rica. It was a bloodless coup in that no one was killed or injured, and Zelaya immediately began to complain in a press conference held in San Jose. Political leaders from around Central and Latin America lamented this action with an almost uniform message - "I thought we had put this kind of threat behind us and moved on to true democracy, it's a damn shame." Right. Until you take a hard look at Manuel Zalaya to see what he's been doing, what he stands for, and who has been backing him. He's basically a clone of Hugo Chavez, an to summarize things, both Zelaya and Chavez represent the kinds of things we were all supposed to have actually thrown in the trash - control of the media, constitutional reforms to effectively kill democracy, social reforms to effectively kill capitalism and the local economy, etc. Hugo Chavez has replaced Fidel Castro as the new leader of the socialist left in Latin America, and he "exported" his rhetoric to Honduras in the form of Manuel Zelaya. When I heard of this coup my reaction was "Thank God, and good for Honduras." (more)
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Martinelli Designates Angelmira Correa As Governor of Kuna Yala

Politics
Angelmira Correa - Governor-designate of the Kuna Yala Region
Angelmira Correa - Governor-designate of the Kuna Yala Region
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This afternoon in a press conference held in the headquarters of the Cambio Democratico political party in Costa del Este, Judy Meana, the spokesperson for President-elect Ricardo Martinelli, announced the designation of career educator Angelmira Correa as the next Governor of the Kuna Yala region, and Alberto Gomez as the Vice Governor. "Anglemira Correa has been chosen by the President-elect, Ricardo Martinelli, for her professional capabilities and her achievements in the field of education, having served the Kuna Yala community for more than 32 years," said Meana. The Governor designate helped establish 23 new schools in the region with funding from the World Bank, worked as a teacher in five different villages during more than 17 years, and has represented Kuna Yala women as a teacher in Colombia, Cuba, and Costa Rica. With this designation, she will become the first Kuna Yala woman to hold the position of Governor. At the press conference she said her priorities would be "to address the primary problems affecting our region, which are drugs, corruption, education, and health." Her designation follows the resignation of Martinelli's first extremely controvertial pick, Rogelio Alba, who was forced to resign the designation because of the various drug and corruption related investigations pending against him.

Copyright 2009 Text and Photos 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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More Maneuvers To Get Bosco Vallarino Into the Mayor's Office

Politics
Bosco Ricardo Vallarino
Bosco Ricardo Vallarino
By Grisel Bethancourt for La Critica - The case regarding Bosco Vallarino is getting a second wind. This time around Supreme Court Magistrate Adán Arnulfo Arjona admitted a request for a review of constitutionality, presented by Vallarino's lawyer Herbert Young, against the Director of the Civil Registry, Sharon de Dumanoir, in the process following the Mayor-elect regarding his dual nationality. The action was presented before the full session of the Supreme Court of Justice, with Arjona being in charge of the case. According to statements Young made to a television news channel, the process in the Civil Registry is suspended until the Supreme Court dictates a resolution in this case. At the same time there are already two rough drafts being circulated that would be presented to the National Assembly of Deputies in order to reestablish Bosco Vallarino's rights as a citizen of Panama. The former Ombudsman, Ítalo Antinori, said that any rehabilitation of citizen's rights can only occur if his rights had previously been suspended, a fact that has not occurred thus far. He pointed out that one can not be divorced without first having been married. (See Comments)
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Bosco Says His US Paperwork Does Not Exist

Politics By Elizabeth González for TVN Noticias - Today the time alloted to Panama City Mayor-elect Bosco Vallarino to turn over a copy of his naturalization paperwork and US passport, evidence required by the Civil Registry in their investigation into his dual nationality, runs out. Nevertheless, the Electoral Court said Vallarino's lawyer, Herbert Young, submitted a letter indicating these documents do not exist. Young confirmed this information who said that he had indeed sent a letter to the Electoral Tribunal explaining that in fact these documents do not exist. Only last weekend US authorities sent information requested by Panamanian authorities where they ratified that Bosco maintains an active American nationality. According to the opinion of the former Electoral Tribunal magistrate Guillermo Márquez Amado, new elections should be held in order to elect the Mayor of Panama City, with the same candidates, except Bosco if it turns out that he does not have the right to run as a candidate for Mayor. (See Comments)
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Bosco - "The Law is the Law And They Can't Decide Against Me"

PoliticsBy Meredith Serracín for La Critica - The Mayor-elect of Panama City, Bosco Vallarino, appeared at the headquarters of the Electoral Tribubal where are group of supporters are demonstrating their support for him, for the second consecutive day. Bosco thanked those present for their demonstration of support and asked them to return to their homes, and to have confidence in the law and that the magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal will act in accordance to law. "The law is the law and they cannot decide against me," Vallarino said, adding that he has not traveled to the United States in a long time. With regard to the decision taken by the Electoral Tribunal to provide credentials to the Vice Mayor Roxana Méndez, Bosco said it is a clear message to the "dark forces" that there will not be another round of elections. Finally, Vallarino thinks the magistrates will issue their decision in his favor before 30 June 2009, and discarded any distancing between him and the President-elect Ricardo Martinelli - "both President Ricardo Martinelli and Roxana Méndez support me 100%." While Vallarino and his supporters ask the magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal to make their decision quickly, the President of the Electoral Tribunal, Erasmo Pinilla, said it is Vallarino's defense attorneys who have expanded the case.
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Electoral Tribunal Will Give Credentialts to Roxana Méndez As New Mayor of Panama City

PoliticsBy José González Pinilla for La Prensa - The President of Panama's Electoral Tribunal, magistrate Erasmo Pinilla, announced this morning that he and his colleagues have decided to present credentials to the Vice Mayor Elect of the District of Panama, Roxana Méndez. Pinilla said they reached this decision because Méndez has not been challenged. The magistrate did not reveal when they would present the credentials to Méndez but indicated she would assume the position as acting Mayor on 1 July 2009 while the dual nationality case against Bosco Vallarino is decided. Pinilla said the case against Vallarino has not yet been resolved due to the delaying tactics being used by Vallarino's lawyers. He added that Vallarino has also refused to turn over his US passport. (See Comments)
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Bosco Asks For Time To Turn Over His US Passport

Politics
- Bosco Vallarino -
- Bosco Vallarino -
TVN Noticias - Defense lawyers for the Mayor-elect of Panama City Bosco Vallarino have asked for a eight days to present his US passport to the offices of the Civil Registry as part of the investigation into his dual nationality. Vallarino told TVN News today that he asked his mother who lives in the United States to look for his US passport, and he explained that it should be in a box in his mother's house in the United States. Before the elections of 3 May 2009, the Electoral Tribunal sent the case of Bosco Vallarino's dual nationality to the Civil Registry, faced with a demand of dual nationality of the candidate, which could violate Panamanian legal dispositions. Next week the Electoral Tribunal must give credentials to all of the newly elected Mayors in the country and right now everything seems to indicate that Bosco Vallarino will not receive his. Magistrate Erasmo Pinilla confirmed yesterday that these credentials could be given to the Vice Mayor Roxanna Méndez. Experts in electoral material say it is possible that new elections will be held in the Capital District.
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Bodyguards for Pedro Miguel González Eliminated

Politics
- Pedro Miguel González Loses His Bodyguards -
- Pedro Miguel González Loses His Bodyguards -
Panama America - The elimination of the use of government paid security escorts for the former presidents of the Panamanian National Assembly, as established in the most recent reform of the Internal Reglamentaiton of the Legislative Branch, is a done deal, after the full session of the Assembly approved in third debate Bill Number 514 that eliminates the bodyguards. This new law replaces Article 37 of Law Number 28 of 3 June 2009, that adopts reforms to the Internal Reglamentation of the National Assembly to adapt them to conform with the Constitutional Reforms of 2004. On the point, the current President of the National Assembly Raúl E. Rodríguez Araúz, seconded by his colleagues and the former presidents of the National Assembly Jerry Wilson Navarro, Elías Castillo and Pedro Miguel González, who previously had indicated they would not make use of the bodyguards. This new law also eliminates Article 31, which refers to a regulation on how to conduct a vote of censure for those with the rank of Minister, and establishes a sanction with the approval of a special majority.
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Rogelio Alba Resigns Designation as New Kuna Yala Governor

Politics
- Rogelio Alba -
- Rogelio Alba -
La Critica - After a swell of criticism over the designation of lawmaker Rogelio Alba as the Governor of the Kuna Yala region, Alba asked President-elect Ricardo Martinelli to be released from the designation. Alba presented a letter at the headquarters of the Cambio Democratico political party in which he argues that while the judicial cases pending against him are "unsubstantiated" they required his undivided attention, which is why he is asking to be removed from the designation. There are six legal cases pending against the lawmaker, two in the Supreme Court for crimes against the public faith and the administration of justice, and he is also being investigated for supposedly having received money originating from drug trafficking and from contraband liquor.
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Humberto López Tirone Calls For Resignation of PRD's National Executive Committee

Politics
- Humberto López Tirone
- Humberto López Tirone
- By Getzalette Reyes for La Prensa - The calls demanding the resignation of the National Executive Committee (CEN) of the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) do not stop. This time it was party member Humberto López Tirone's turn who invited the Secretary General of the PRD, Martin Torrijos, to "honor the memory of his father" and to have the honor and nobility to resign his post. In addition he asked Torrijos to call upon the rest of the members of the CEN to do the same "for the shame of having destroyed us in the last ten years." López Tirone denounced that within the party there is a "cast of the newly rich who want to remain in power and to dominate our party as of 1 July." He added that he speaks in the name of the thousands of PRD members "who are tired of the people who have been imposed on us who have come from other organizations." Lopez Tirone denounced in addition that today the PRD is “demobilized and disintegrated.” This Wednesday around 350 members of the PRD met with the aim of organizing themselves to request the renovation of the leadership of their party.
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Pinilla Raises The Possibility Of New Mayoral Elections

Politics
President of Electoral Tribunal, Erasmo Pinilla
President of Electoral Tribunal, Erasmo Pinilla
By Carlos Estrada Aguilar for La Critica - The President of Panama's Electoral Tribunal, Erasmo Pinilla, recognized yesterday that among the possible legal outcomes in the case of Mayor-elect Bosco Vallarino, is a call for new elections. Although the judge said he hoped to not arrive at this decision to hold new elections, he did accept that it is within the realm of possibilitites. He also raised the scenario that Vallarino might retain his credentials as the Mayor-elect, and that Juan Carlos Navarro must remain in the position until they resolve the case of the Panameñista, because the Mayorship cannot be without a leader. "This is a case that is following due process, it is a jurisdictional case, and until it is resolved no other criteria can be advanced," he said. Pinilla said the advance of the case depends on Bosco Vallarino turning over some required documents to the Civil Registry, such as his US passport and this naturalization papers. The Director of the Civil Registry, Sharon Dumanoi, said yesterday Bosco has not gone to be notified of a resolution in which authorities ask him to present those documents. (See Comments)
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Here Comes The Bull - "El Toro" Smells Blood In The Water

Politics By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Another recurring theme that has been popping up in the last couple of days - apparently former Panamanian President Ernesto Perez Balladares is teaming up with Juan Carlos Navarro to make a run for control of the PRD. There have been all different kinds of news stories, leaks about meetings, discussions that either did or did not take place, or what have you. What matters is that the General Secretary of the PRD, Martin Torrijos, made a pact with Juan Carlos Navarro and Balbina Herrera in order to maintain control of the party and, more than anything else, to keep "El Toro" at bay. Now Balbina Herrera is damaged goods and Juan Carlos Navarro is apparently changing ships - back to El Toro and the two of them will try to rip down the CEN of the PRD in order to build it back up again, but in their image this time. Let's see if Martin Torrijos can hang onto the party and face the charging bulls.

Copyright 2009 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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Electoral Tribunal - Not In A Hurry In Bosco Vallarino Case

Politics
Panama City Mayor-elect Bosco Vallarino
Panama City Mayor-elect Bosco Vallarino
By Yessika Valdés for the Panama America - The President of Panama's Electoral Tribunal, magistrate Erasmo Pinilla, reiterated there is no time limit or date stipulated for them to decide the case pending against Mayor-elect Bosco Ricardo Vallarino. He said the Administrative Code does not allow for a substitute of the mayor-elect to assume the position, which is why the present Mayor of Panama City (Juan Carlos Navarro) will have to remain in the position until there is a new mayor. "The (party) most interested in resolving this problem is the Electoral Tribunal, which is why we have asked Mr. Vallarino to turn over this US passport and his letter of naturalization, which he has not done," said Pinilla. Upon hearing of Pinilla's statements, lawyers for Vallarino said they have not been notified of this request. (See Comments)
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Giselle de Calcagno Charges Balbina Herrera With Treason

Politics
Giselle de Calcagno
Giselle de Calcagno
By Yessika Valdés for the Panama America - Calcagno says she has powerful proof. The member and founder of the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD), Giselle de Calcagno, just presented at the party headquarters a complaint against the former presidential candidate and the actual president of the party, Balbina Herrera, asking for her expulsion from the party. Calcagno said her complaint consists asks the Disciplinary Board of the PRD to investigate Herrera for treason which caused the party's defeat in the past elections. "There is proof of the treason she (Herrera) did to Juan Carlos Navarro and the PRD, which is why I request her immediate expulsion," said the party member and founder. At this moment Calcagno is the Director of the Micro, Small, and Medium Business Authority (AMPYME), a position she will continue to hold with the incoming government and with the rank of Minister.
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Ana Matilde Gómez Backs Unconstitutionality In Parlacen Case

PoliticsBy RAFAEL PÉREZ G. for La Prensa - Panama's Solicitor General of the Nation, Ana Matilde Gómez, asked the Supreme Court of Justice to declare unconstitutional a resolution issued by the Electoral Tribunal that annulled the candidates from the Cambio Democratico political party who were running for positions within the Central American Parliment (Parlacen). The Chief the Public Ministry sent her opinion to the Supreme Court in which she warns that in the case taken up by the Electoral Tribunal, that concluded with the cancellation of the 13 candidacies of CD to the Parlacen, a series of proceedings were omitted that guarantee due process and that are consecrated in Article 32 of the Constitution of the Republic. This demand of unconstitutionality in this case was put forth by Bernardino González, David Arce and Manuel Hernández who appeared on the list as CD candidates to the Parlacen. Panama sends a total of 20 deputies to the Parlacen and the number of representatives are assigned to the various active political parties in the country according to the number of votes obtained by that party in national voting for the President of the Republic. President-elect Ricardo Martinelli has warned that once he assumes power he would remove Panama from this Central American organization.
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Politics in Transition

Politics(Prensa Latina) The transition agenda is leading the Panamanian political panorama, with activities in ministries and autonomous entities only 30 days before the change of government. The country's provinces are expected to join the process this week, after the governors appointed by President elect Ricardo Martinelli were released. Martinelli also exchanged with the future ministers and heads of decentralized institutions to assess the goals to be accomplished by the executive. The designated officials are working on specific projects to be implemented on July 1, as requested by the next president. The transition also reaches the National Assembly, where officials are readying conditions for the coming legislative body with a majority by the Alliance for Change, grouping four opposition parties. At the same time work groups are polishing details for the handover of power, including such processes as national and foreign press accreditation.
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Martinelli Asks Torrijos To Veto Pedro Miguel Gonzalez Protection Act

Politics
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez
La Critica - Panama's President-elect Ricardo Martinelli said he would sponsor a bill that would remove the security escorts of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) for former presidents of the Republic and he asked current Panamanian president Martin Torrijos to veto the article of a new law passed this week by the National Assembly providing a detail of five SPI security agents to the former presidents of the National Assembly. Martinelli says that only in wages the security escorts would cost the state more than $750,000 dollars. (Editor's Comment: Outgoing lawmaker Pedro Miguel Gonzalez is afraid the United States of America will pursue their case against him for the alleged terrorist assassination of US Army Sergeant Zak Hernandez in 1992. He leaves the National Assembly as of 1 July 2009, and he loses all immunity upon leaving office, where he's been effectively hiding in plain sight for the past ten years.)
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Lawmakers Plan To Charge For Two Extra Months

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The Deputies of Panama's National Assembly are trying to get paid for the months of July and August 2009, even though they won't be working and actually many of them will be out of a job as of 1 July 2009. The problem arises from the fact that Panama recently changed the transition time from four months to two after a national election, so now President-elect Martinelli will be taking over on 1 July. The budget was never changed, however, and there was money programmed to pay the lawmakers under the old four-month plan, until 1 September. They are just trying to snatch the money, but it probably won't work because the Nation's Comptroller has already said the lawmakers can not be paid for time not worked.

Copyright 2009 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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"Yes - I Was Betrayed" - Juan Carlos Navarro Gives Details

Politics By José Edwin Sánchez M. for La Critica - What was an open secret was confirmed yesterday by the victim of the plot. Juan Carlos Navarro said he was betrayed by Panamanian President Martin Torrijos, who failed to fulfill an agreement reached with him in 2003, in which Torrijos agreed to endorse and support Navarro's aspirations to run for president in 2009 if Navarro would not run in 2004 and support Torrijos' run for the presidency. "Yes they betrayed me. I fulfilled my part because I am a man of my word, but he (Torrijos) and Balbina Herrera did not do what they said they would do, because they did not fulfill their commitments, they betrayed me and now we can see the results obtained in the elections of 3 May," said Navarro on this Sunday's Debate Abierto television program. He said it is not his intention to create more controversies within the party, but that is the truth, because it was President Torrijos was the person together with the Chancellor Samuel Lewis Navarro who asked Herrera to run for the presidency and to avoid at all costs that he (Navarro) was the candidate. (more)
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Martinelli Plans to Remove Panama From The PARLACEN

PoliticsBy LEONARDO FLORES for La Prensa - The news ran like wildfire from Costa Rica. Panama's President-elect, Ricardo Martinelli, reiterated again yesterday, and this time outside of Panama, that as soon as he assumes power on 1 July 2009 he will try to remove Panama from the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN). “The Parlacen, as I have always said, has not represented any added value for Panama ... on the contrary, whenever we have a scandal it involves someone from the Parlacen," said Martinelli after a meeting with the President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias. In fact, the removal of Panama from PARLACEN was part of the discussions of Martinelli's campaign, who realized a plebiscite within the Democratic Change party to decide if they would put forward candidates or not. In the end, Panama's Electoral Tribunal nullified the CD candidates due to the use of an improper procedure internal to the party. Martinelli also questions the prerogatives (benefits) received by the 20 members Panama sends to this regional body. Sources say the mechanism Martinelli could use - in order to remove Panama from the PARLACEN - would be to stop paying the quota required to be part of this organization.
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The PRD - Still Getting A Grip on Utter Defeat

Politics By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - There's no doubt about it - the PRD got hammered into the ground during the national elections on 3 May 2009 - losing by a margin of almost 2 to 1. They also lost control of the lawmaking body of the National Assembly, as well as the important position of the Mayor of Panama City. Since then, Juan Carlos Navarro, the running mate to Balbina Herrera, has been calling for blood. He blames Balbina Herrera and the people around her, specifically Hector Aleman and Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, for having taken the PRD to this level of defeat, and he wants something to be done about it. Over the last couple of weeks since the election the National Executive Committee (CEN) of the PRD has been meeting to discuss the future of the party, and last night they held a bigger meeting that also included the National Directive Council, meaning the party representatives from around the country. After the meeting Martin Torrijos, the party's General Secretary, emerged to say there will be party unity from now on and that they will be washing their dirty laundry in private. Apparently Martin Torrijos has made up with Juan Carlos Navarro, and the big loser will be Balbina Herrera and her "gang." What is clear is that the PRD will move forward with an eye on 2014, but Balbina Herrera's days as a leader within the party or as a national level candidate are, without a doubt, over. Ding, dong, the Balbina's dead... Well, it took awhile, but it seems like they finally "got it" at the party headquarters, figuring out something the rest of us have known for a year. You can't get anything past those guys. Sharp as a whip, I tell 'ya.

Copyright 2009 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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Much "Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth" In The PRD

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Since the resounding electoral defeat handed to the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) by Ricardo Martinelli and his "Alliance for Change" eleven days ago, the National Executive Committee(CEN) of that organization has met several times in an attempt to define a future for the party. The most vocal critic of the PRD has been (soon to be) former Mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro, who has recently said he would quit the party if some serious changes are not made. Balbina Herrera, now the President of the PRD and the big loser in the 3 May 2009 elections, has not made any statements to the press recently, saying she has the flu (whoops...) Martin Torrijos, still the most powerful figure within the PRD as the General Secretary of the party, has said they would not be airing their dirty underwear in public. (more)

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