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Thursday, November 15 2018 @ 10:28 AM UTC

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Dischter And Neira's Survey For This Month

Politics

The Democratic Change Presidential candidate, José Domingo Arias, leads the voting intention of Panama with 36%, going down 1 point in relation to last month, according to the Dischter and Neira survey.

On the other hand, the presidental candidate for the Panamanian party, Juan Carlos Varela, is on second place with 27% of the votes, while the presidential candidate for the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro, fell to third place with 22%.

According to the figures, Varela rose 5 points and Navarro 2 in the last month.

The number of "undecided" went down to 11% in the survey made by Dichter and Neira.

Meanwhile, the survey for mayor of Panama is led by José Luis Fabrega of the PRD with 33%, followed by José Bladon of the Panamanian party with 27%, and Roxana Mendez of Democratic Change with 26%.

In relation to the previous month, Fabrega rose 8 points, Blandon rose 6 points and Mendez went down 1 point.

The acceptance of President Ricardo Martinelli went down 9 points for this month, going from 69% to 60%, while the government approval also recorded a decline of 3 points, going from 66% to 63%.

40% of the 1200 respondents said they would vote for the current government and 38% said they would vote for the opposition.(La Critica)

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A Meeting Was Organized At Balbina Herrera's Home To Show Support For Her Case

PoliticsApproximately 50 people gathered last night at Balbina Herrera’s home after she was sentenced to three years in prison for revealing e-mails of the President, Ricardo Martinelli, related to the case of international corruption for granting contracts from the Panamanian Government to Italian companies.

Underneath two canopies and using approximately twenty chairs and at candlelight, relatives, politicians from the PRD and Herrera’s neighbors gathered at her home located by the Cerro Ancón to show their solidarity to what they consider as an unfair sentence.

Among the highly recognized figures was Benjamín Colamarco, minister of Public Works during the administration of President Martín Torrijos (2004-2009). Colamarco said he believes the civil society must stand in solidarity with Herrera because this sentence is an “implausible injustice.”

“Today it is her, (but) tomorrow it could be any other citizen who democratically opposes the brutality of the current administration. The sentence is absurd, but appealable. But not in the courts, but through the citizens, because they (the courts) are controlled by the government party,” said Colamarco, who was the commander of the battalions in the 80s.

"Why are they sentencing me?"

Herrera thanked the solidarity at her own home and called on the society to raise awareness about her case.

“If these are only rumors or a lie, why am I being sentenced? I want to listen to the National Bar Association, to the specialists on this topic because right from this moment not a single Panamanian that opposes Ricardo Martinelli will have real conditions of a transparent justice administration,” she said.

The leader of the PRD said the possible presidential pardon promised by the president a day before of the sentence is “an insult.”

Martinelli, during an interview with Telemetro on Thursday, said he was willing to pardon her.

“A pardon is him mocking the Panamanian people. He (Martinelli) wants to send a message. (Is like) when you punish a child and then you tell them ‘here’s your present.’ The President is wrong,” she said.

Herrera will be notified of the sentence today before the First Municipal Court.

The former mayor of San Miguelito (1984- 1989), and former candidate for the City Government of Panama, was sentenced and disqualified from holding public office. Herrera is expected to go to this meeting together with the presidential candidate of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro. (Prensa)

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The President Dropped The Lawsuit Against Varela A Month Ago

PoliticsEven though President Ricardo Martinelli recently said he was going to drop the lawsuit for $30 million against the vice president Juan Carlos Varela, he actually dropped it a month ago through his lawyers.

Sources from the Gil Ponce Palace of Justice informed he dropped the lawsuit on September 10 and they are only waiting on the final resolution of Carlos Trujillo, magistrate of the First Superior Court.

Jaime Montero, Martinelli’s lawyer, didn’t want to talk about the issue.

On the other hand, Varela’s lawyers said they are waiting for this lawsuit to be filed, because it was impulsively filed.

Martinelli filed a lawsuit against Varela on May 10, 2012, after the vice president said the president had allegedly collected bribes from the Italian businessman Valter Lavítola, who is currently under house arrest in his country. (Prensa)

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The President Dropped The Lawsuit Against Varela A Month Ago

PoliticsEven though President Ricardo Martinelli recently said he was going to drop the lawsuit for $30 million against the vice president Juan Carlos Varela, he actually dropped it a month ago through his lawyers.

Sources from the Gil Ponce Palace of Justice informed he dropped the lawsuit on September 10 and they are only waiting on the final resolution of Carlos Trujillo, magistrate of the First Superior Court.

Jaime Montero, Martinelli’s lawyer, didn’t want to talk about the issue.

On the other hand, Varela’s lawyers said they are waiting for this lawsuit to be filed, because it was impulsively filed.

Martinelli filed a lawsuit against Varela on May 10, 2012, after the vice president said the president had allegedly collected bribes from the Italian businessman Valter Lavítola, who is currently under house arrest in his country. (Prensa)

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Balbina Herrera Convicted To Three Years In Prison

Politics

Yesterday, one of the PRD leaders, Balbina Herrera, was convicted by the First Municipal Court to three years in prison and was disqualified from holding public office.

The sentence was given for committing the crime of inviolability of the right of privacy, after revealing email conversations of President Ricardo Martinelli relating to the alleged international corruption in government the of Panama to Italian companies. In addition to the penalty of three years in prison, she is not allowed to serve in public office for three years after serving his sentence.

As she was leaving the courthouse she said "I want to tell the country, everyone, today they have condemned women, today they condemned the PRD, to independent opposition parties and condemned the truth"(Dia a Dia,Prensa)

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Juan Carlos Navarro Criticized The Lenguage Used By The President

PoliticsThe presidential candidate of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro, criticized the language and expressions used by the President, Ricardo Martinelli, who during an interview in Telemetro talked about the radars, Finmeccanica, his relationship with Lavítola and other events related to the current national scandal.

Navarro said he was hoping for a more conciliatory approach from the president and expecting him to repeal Law 69, because the medical unions have stopped working since it was approved. He also asked Martinelli to file any complaint he may have before the authorities.

"This is not a President for the Panamanians, who uses an obscene language, and attacks without having any evidence. We were hoping he would clarify any doubts on the corruption accusations made against him and his family,” said Navarro. (Telemetro)

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First Lady Demanded Respect From Navarro

Politics

The First Lady of the Republic, Marta Linares de Martinelli, demanded respect for her family, from the presidential candidate and secretary of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro.

Linares stated "I demand respect for myself and my family, Navarro is wrong if he thinks he will win the Presidency of the republic by defaming," via twitter.

However, within a few hours, the post was removed.

Publications of Linares de Martinelli occured after the PRD presidential candidate stated "A family that steals together will stay together," referring to the accusations against the President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, and his son on alleged links with Italian entrepreneurs.(Panama America)

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PRD: "Mimito" Arias Spends Over $300 Thousand In His Dirty Campaign

PoliticsThe PRD accused the presidential candidate of the Democratic Change (CD), José Domingo “Mimito” Arias, of being responsible for the dirty campaign against the presidential candidates from the opposition parties which is currently being aired on television under the responsibility of the group known as Panama Avanza.

“We dare Mimito to sign the Electoral Ethic Pact, to sign the propaganda of his dirty campaign and to come forward for what he is doing. He must accept his responsibility. Once and for all, he must accept he is the one who is paying large amounts of money from his campaign and the government to finance this dirty campaign,” said the leader of the PRD, Rubén De León.

De León also said Mimito Arias has paid over 300 thousand dollars in commercials and newspaper announcements for his dirty campaign, using the money that many Panamanians believe comes from the State.

“Even though we presented a formal complaint before the electoral authorities, Mimito and the government are still going forward with their dirty campaign from the group Panama Avanza which was already reported for suspiciously inscribing in the Ministry of Government and Justice in only 3 days, but the Electoral Prosecutor has not done anything to remove this dirty campaign from the television,” said De León.

“The Electoral Law clearly prohibits the use of the image of an opposition candidate to make a dirty campaign like this, but since he is a fellow party member of Mimito, we can see the Electoral Prosecutor allows the violation of this regulation with impunity,” he said.

“Mimito Arias is the only one in Panama who says he doesn’t know anything about the dirty campaign from Panama Avanza, a spurious and coward movement formed by officials of the CD who worked in the Presidency or in the government and are now allies with Mimito,” said De León. (Estrella)

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The Government Approved A Salary Increase For Specialist Doctors In Its Budget

PoliticsThe Cabinet Council approved a resolution to modify the General Government Budget for the year 2014, making adjustments to obtain 10 million dollars to increase the salaries of specialist doctors who work in hard-to-reach areas and 20 million dollars for scholarships.

The National Secretariat of Science and Technology will be in charge of granting scholarships for medical specialties.

This redistribution of the Budget Proposal does not entail an increase, because these resources are obtained through budget redistributions.

The resolution will be presented before the Budget Committee of the National Assembly. (Panama America)

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Varela Goes Up Two Points While The CD And The PRD Remain The Same

PoliticsThe presidential voting intentions in the last survey from “Panamá Opina” registered an increase of two points for the presidential candidate of the Panameñista Party, Juan Carlos Varela, while the other presidential candidates had no movement.

1,500 people were interviewed and out of the 1,383 citizens who said they will vote, 21% said they would vote for Varela, being the only candidate who had any movement since the previous survey.

This would be the first time the consultancy company Ipsos makes its field study in such a short spell, the previous one was applied between the 18 and 22 of September, while the current field study was done between October 2, and October 6.

According to the results, José Domingo Arias, candidate of the government party, the CD; and Juan Carlos Navarro, from the PRD, remained in 29% and 27%, respectively, which would place them in a technical tie, considering the 2.63% error rate of the survey. The citizens who are still hesitant about who they will vote for did not change their position. They are still in 15% since July.

THE GOVERNMENT PLANS

The results also position the government candidate as the one with the best plan to maintain the economical growth in the country and resolve the issue of public transportation.

But the sympathy margins are still narrow when you take a look at the vote evaluation towards the political groups if the elections were today. 50% of the interviewed are willing to vote for the opposition parties, versus last month’s figure of 49%. While only 32% will give this to the government alliance led by Democratic Change.

PRD: THE FAVORITE

The PRD is still in advantage and positioned as the favorite party. 26% believe the PRD is the political party with the higher acceptance among the rest. They are followed by Democratic Change, who registered a 24% preference, three points less than last month. And at last the Panameñista party has a 17%, four points more than the figures from August and September.

However, 28% of the interviewed do not have a specific political preference towards any party, and only 1% prefer to vote for the independent political candidates. (Estrella)

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Dirty Campaign Against Navarro And Varela Might Be Removed From TV

Politics

The Nuevo Panama Movement called for the suspension of the dirty campaign by the pro-government Movement against the opposition candidates by the Panamanian Party and the PRD, Juan Carlos Varela and Juan Carlos Navarro, respectively.

They stated they will go the Electoral Tribunal tomorrow to seek for the removal of the political propaganda against Navarro and Varela.

According to the Youth Movement spokesman, Carlos Abrego, the campaign signed by the Panama Avanza organization is government sponsored and promoted by the presidential candidate for Democratic Change, Jose Domingo Arias.(TVN)

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Juan Carlos Navarro Asked For The Help Of The Catholic Church

Politics

The general secretary of the PRD and presidential candidate for this party, Juan Carlos Navarro, asked for the Catholic Church to intercede in the conflict of the specialist doctor's strike.

Navarro also called for the suspension of Act 69, this act allows the recruitment of foreign doctors and raises the initiative to cover a shortage of specialists in the country.

He also requested the suspension of a TV commercial against him and the presidential candidate by the Panamanian Party, Juan Carlos Varela, and for the money used for this propaganda to be used to supply hospitals with medical supplies.(TVN)

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Vallarino: "There Are Still Issues Between Moscoso And Varela"

PoliticsI feel there are still issues between the former president Mireya Moscoso and the presidential candidate Juan Carlos Varela, said the vice president of the Panameñista Party, Alberto Vallarino.

"They have known each other for a long time and have worked together, but Juan Carlos Varela is the candidate and he is the one who must bring the Panameñistas close together because they are not as active as he would want them to be in his campaign,” he warned.

He said they have agreed in several areas, but there is still a great distance.

When he was asked if he could mediate in this conflict, he said this was not his function.

I don’t see the enthusiasm of the electorate as in other elections and I’ve never seen so much criticism towards the opposition. “It is clear that the three campaigns have external consultants and this could be a strategy,” he said.

However, he said everything will be different in 2014, which is why he can’t really tell who will be the winner among the presidential candidates. “In the middle of this entire situation I’m surprised by how Juan Carlos Navarro’s preference has dropped,” he said. (Panama America)

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Roberto Henriquez Talks About The PRD

Politics

The Presidency Minister, Roberto Henriquez, said the PRD is penetrated by the drug trafficking and international crime.

Henriquez's statements were given after the presidential candidate and General Secretary of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro, said "the country is ruled by thugs."

Henriquez insisted "all of the crime we've seen so far has been a show by the PRD, breaking legs, sending people to kill each other and scandals coming out on Youtube, this is proof of the extremely low human qualities of some of its members."

He also said "if Navarro becomes president we will have a president who doesn't even know how to control his own party."

Henriquez warned the real danger is a government already penetrated by the drug mafia to have the power to institutionalize international crime.(Panama America)

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"The Green Rebels" Allied With The PRD

PoliticsA group from the Popular Party (PP) formally joined Juan Carlos Navarro’s campaign, but said they are not aiming for a nomination in the vice presidency.

The group, called Independent Greens for Panama (VIPP), is led by the vice president of the PP, Aníbal Culiolis, and by Luis Castillo, one of the three deputy secretaries of the party. They didn’t give any hint on how many members form this group.

Sources from the PRD said Culiolis would run for a spot in the circuit 8-8, party that reserved its own spaces for these political movements in June.

“We are not aiming for the vice presidency… Milton Henríquez (leader of the PP) is the one who wants to run together with Juan Carlos Varela,” he said.

Culiolis and Castillo’s support, even though it did not represent big news in the PP, made the directive start figuring out if they should punish the rebels or not, because in August the delegates of the party decided to go their way after the PP joined Juan Carlos Varela.

The vice president of the PP said he does not fear the “retaliation” of his party: “retaliations in the PP started a while back… the failure of the PP is a direct answer of its political and organizational failure of its president.”

Culiolis statements scrambled up more an already mixed up electoral climate. The issue between the opposition parties is a reality that, according to analyst, is only beneficial to the government party.

Regardless of this issue, Navarro received them with hands wide open: “we are truly grateful that the PP, the independent and leaders of the civil society are supporting us.” (Estrella)

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Concern After Reports Of Infiltration Of Narcotics Money In Politics

PoliticsThe reports of infiltration of narcotics money was analyzed by experts in the program called Radar.

The magistrate president of the Electoral Tribunal, Erasmo Pinilla, said the Electoral Tribunal has insisted in the “tone and volume” of the transmission and projection of political propaganda for the society.

Pinilla said the infiltration of narcotics money in electoral campaigns is not exclusive in our country, because this is something going on in the entire continent. He also said the use of illegal money is punished in the Criminal Code.

“There are people who provide large amounts of money in political campaigns, to assure the impunity of their crimes, which is dangerous for the democratic stability of the country,” said the magistrate.

This way, the former vice minister of Government and Justice, and the former director of the Forensic Sciences Institute of the University of Panama, Severino Mejía, said Panama does not have a government public policy on this issue and said it is necessary to identify drug trafficking as an important issue in which criminal events affect the citizen.

Mejía said drug trafficking is not something new, but something that comes from way back, sharing the same opinion of the magistrate Erasmo Pinilla.

On the other hand, Mejía said the highest strength in organized crime is its capacity of corrupting, not only politicians but the entire system.

The former general attorney and lawyer Ana Matilde Gómez said drug trafficking is infiltrated throughout the entire judicial system and all the different levels of government, not only politics.

Gómez said when public politics are focused on prevention only, it is doomed to failure, which is why the system must stimulate transparency networks, so the system itself can be purified.

Institutional control must be present, because criminal incidence is unavoidable, and organized crime is in this world to stay, said Gómez.

At the same time, Rosendo Miranda, former Drug Prosecutor, said money of this kind must be banned from financing political campaigns because democratic structures are on stake.

“We are living in a society of permanent risk, which takes us to a regulatory State,” he said. (TVN)

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The FAD Will Choose Its Representatives For The Central American Parliament

PoliticsThe Broad Front for Democracy will also fight for a seat in the Central American Parliament (Parlacen). The party announced they will nominate candidates for deputy for this regional forum.

The party is doing this regardless of the criticism made by union leaders on this organism due to the immunity it offers to its deputies. For February of next year, the FAD hopes to have its representatives for the Parlacen. Fernando Cebamanos, president of this party, said the system works that way and even though they will choose their deputies they can resign to their immunity given the case, because they have nothing to be afraid of.

“We can perfectly resign to the immunity as well as any other benefit that comes with being a deputy in the Parlacen,” said Cebamanos. He said even though the system works like this the members of the FAD are responsible for what they do, unlike traditional politicians.

Currently, other political parties are working on finishing the list of who their representatives will be in this forum. Panama must send a list of 20 deputies once the general elections are over.

However, the party that receives more votes in the 2014 elections, will have more representatives. (Prensa)

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The Government Organized A Meeting With The Health Unions

PoliticsThe National Government organized a meeting with the health unions for October 7, at 11:00 a.m. at the Lobby of the Health Ministry. Health unions are currently on strike, and at the meeting they will review the draft of Law 69, which allows the hiring of foreign health professionals.

Félix Bonilla, secretary general of the Health Ministry said the purpose is for them to review it and give their suggestions, “to finally put an end to this strike,” and for them to go back to work.

According to Bonilla, all the requests made by the health doctors and technicians are stated in this document, which is why they wait to have an agreement in a few hours.

Medical unions have been on strike since September 26, showing their rejection towards this law, after it was approved on Third hearing at the National Assembly, requesting President Ricardo Martinelli to evict the document; however, on Thursday the President ratified the law. (Telemetro)

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"There Is No Institutionalism In Martinelli's Government"

PoliticsThe political analyst, Menalco Solís, said there is “no institutionalism” in Ricardo Martinelli’s government.

"Remember when the president said he liked when things are done fast… and doing things fast means skipping rules and this is where this government is doing wrong.”

During an interview with La Estrella, Solís, who is not inscribed in any political party, said this is a bad precedent for next governments after doing things like removing Control from the comptroller for certain entities and ministries.

When he was asked about what’s the scenery he sees for the elections in May 2014, and he said: “very bad, I see it very bad, unfortunately it is pretty bad.”

He said even though he does not want to be a “bird of ill omen,” the entire environment “stinks.”

"Horrible things are being prepared…when you have a lot of money, which is the case of this political campaign, temptation during these elections is going to be noticeable, for selling and buying people’s consciousness,” he said.

Also, he talked about the famous phrase “Look at me in the eye, I’ve never lied to you!” said by the former president, Guillermo Endara, who was Panama’s president from 1990 to 1995 and he was also running for president in 2009, and he always asked his rivals to show if they were real or liars.

“Which politician could really say this slogan?” he asked.

According to Solís, the political parties from the government do not want to sign the Electoral Ethic Pact and say this is because it is not complete, but Solís says this is “a lie” and a “completely hypocrite” excuse.

On March 6, 2013, the Electoral Ethic Pact was sign by representatives of the Church, the media and members of the political parties; but Democratic Change and its ally Molirena have not subscribed and government spokesmen question this document. (Estrella)

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Balbina Herrera Said Martinelli Did Not Show The Evidence During The Hearing

PoliticsBalbina Herrera, member of the PRD, said the President, Ricardo Martinelli, did not show the evidence she presented during the ongoing process after she published certain emails between the president and the Italian businessman Lavítola.

Today, the judge Yorlenni Fruto, announced she will give her sentence on this case after 30 days.

After she left the First Municipal Court in Ancon, Herrera said the President, with the complaint filed against him, wants to send the message in the sense that the complainants will turn into the defendants.

The former presidential candidate of the PRD also said she felt as if Martinelli’s lawyer, Jaime Montero, was disrespecting her. Montero requested the maximum penalty for Herrera, as well as for the third municipal attorney, Edna Morales, who was in charge of handling the process at the Public Prosecutor.

WE DID WHAT WE HAD TO

On the other hand, the politician told the media she does not regret what she did. “We did what we had to do.”

She insisted on her innocence and said her lawyers left no space for arguments from the counterpart. After she left the hearing and spoke with the media, Herrera could not hide her emotions and at some point she even cried. (Prensa)

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Navarro Proposes To Turn The ANAM Into The Ministry Of Environmental Affairs

PoliticsThe presidential candidate of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro, proposed to change the National Environment Authority (ANAM) to become the Ministry of Environmental Affairs.

Navarro said the ANAM “is a joke dressed as an institution.” He also talked about the price control in the XXI century, considering it a “lack of respect to intelligent and educated Panamanians.”

Through Twitter the presidential candidate informed he was receiving from the president of the Panama Industrial Union (SIP), Aida Ureña de Maduro, ideas and proposals of the union for them to be part of his government plan. He said the industrial sector will have his full support.

Navarro gave this statement while he was having a dialogue/lunch at the headquarters of the SIP.

Starting today, the SIP will start meeting with all the presidential candidates to present the “Industrial and Exportation Strategy” developed by this union, in order to be integrated in the government plans.

Yesterday, the candidate said the doors are open to have an alliance with all the political parties, except the Democratic Change.

In light of his statements, the spokesman of the Alliance “The People First” (Popular Party and Panameñista Party), Jorge Barakat said they will not have an alliance with Navarro because he represents the same economical and political interests that are currently affecting the Panamanian people.

“Navarro is the same thing as everything we know. He does not share our vision of putting the people first,” said Barakat.

According to a press release, his statement is given as an answer to the dialogue invitation received by Juan Carlos Varela, through the media, from the candidate of the PRD, to create an alliance. (TVN)

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Arias Says He Is Closer To The People Than Any Other Candidate

PoliticsThe presidential candidate of the Democratic Change Party, José Domingo Arias, denied he was hiding as a response to the accusations made by the opposition candidates such as Juan Carlos Navarro who asked him to stop hiding behind Martinelli.

Arias, together with the deputy of the CD Rubén Frías, said he was touring La Chorrera today, and on the weekend he was in Guararé, Los Santos; also, he was touring different areas of Arraiján such as Loma Cová and Burunga and in Kuna Nega, Ancón.

The government candidate laughed as he was answering all those questions and said: “why should I be hiding from… have you seen the skirt of the president somewhere around here?”

"I was touring the country and tomorrow I will go to Capira, on Friday I will go to La Chorrera again. You can tell I’m not hiding! I’m closer to the people than any other presidential candidate,” said Arias without mentioning names, but Navarro and Juan Carlos Varela are the only other presidential candidates. (Estrella)

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Juan Carlos Navarro Will Make An Alliance Against CD

Politics

The presidential candidate for the PRD and secretary of this party, Juan Carlos Navarro, said he will make an alliance to defeat Democratic Change (CD) in May, 2014.

Navarro said the doors are open to all political parties who want to join the coalition to defeat the ruling political party.

Navarro reiterated his call to President Ricardo Martinelli to veto the bill 611, this bill allows the recruitment of foreign doctors to cover a shortage of specialists in the country.(TVN)

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Martinelli Got More Done In 4 Years, Than In The Previous 40...

PoliticsBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - In case you haven't noticed, the political environment in Panama is starting to heat up considerably, with an eye towards the next national general elections to be held in May 2014.

All of the important political parties have held their primary elections and selected their candidates. Here are the three most important politicians who will be making headlines over the next seven months;

Cambio Democratico: José Domingo Arias is the candidate for the currently ruling Cambio Democratico (CD) party of sitting president Ricardo Martinelli. Obviously if José Domingo Arias is elected, it would represent a continuation of the CD rule and the plans set forth by Martinelli. He is being challenged by the candidates from the two traditionally strong political parties in Panama.

PRD: Juan Carlos Navarro is the candidate from the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) political party. He is clearly the strongest contender, and the mostly likely to upset the CD apple cart. Well, at least he stands a chance of getting close. Navarro was Balbina Herrera's running mate in the 2009 election.

Panameñista (Formerly Arnuflista) Political Party: Last weekend the Panameñista political party held their primary elections and simply went through the motions of cementing what everyone already knew - that Vice President Juan Carlos Varela would be their official presidential candidate for the May 2014 elections. Varela became Panama's Vice President thanks to an alliance made with the CD for the 2009 elections, but then that alliance fell apart in August 2011 due to Varela's central role in the Finmeccanica corruption scandal. President Martinelli fired Varela from his position as the Foreign Minister, but Varela hung on as the Vice President - although he has clearly been marginalized and holds the position in name only. He has no real power or influence in the current administration.

Arias Trending Up: According to the most recent polling by Telemetro and Ipsos, over the last three months (July - Sept) support for Jose Domingo Arias and the CD has grown and strengthened, while support for Juan Carlos Navarro and the PRD is drying up. Arias has gone up five points and passed Navarro, while the PRD has lost six points and seems to be falling off. This makes sense, because it took the CD much longer than the PRD and the Panameñistas to hold their primary and name their candidate. By now, the entire (multi billion dollar) CD machine is fully behind Arias, and that support is starting to register in the polls.

Editor's Comment: I have been predicting a win for the CD (now in the form of Arias) since the end of August 2011. The Panameñistas have been replaced by the smaller MOLIRENA party as their outside alliance. The PRD will have an alliance with the statistically insignificant People's Party (PP) - good for a couple of percentage points at most. To their left there's a small upstart group of communist radicals who are trying to form their own party, further hurting their chances. And the sinking ship of the Panameñistas, led by their damaged goods candidate Juan Carlos Varela, have third place all locked up.

Panamanians Are Happy and Proud: For the first time in a long time, your average Panamanian can look back on the past four (plus) years of the Martinelli administration and answer the most basic of questions - "Did they do a good job of running the country?" - with a positive response. Ricardo Martinelli had a plan and a master strategy from the very first day of their administration. They were going to do more, build more, and get more done than any other administration in the history of the country. Without any doubt whatsoever, they have met every goal and complied with those promises. Their campaign slogan now is "we have done more in the past four years than what was done in the prior forty years" and for the most part, they are right. I'm predicting that for the first time since the end of the military dictatorship and the start of the modern era of democratically elected presidents in the Republic of Panama - that the Panamanian people will vote in May 2014 to continue and extend the reign of the Cambio Democratico political party. Because those guys can make this video to highlight their accomplishments...

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"Navarro Or Arias: Change Of Manager With The Same Owners"

PoliticsFor the second day in a row, the presidential candidate of the Panameñista Party, Juan Carlos Varela, accused his counterpart from the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro, of being financed by a group of businessmen close to the President, Ricardo Martinelli.

“Those who are surrounded and leading this mess in this country are the same leading that campaign [Navarro’s], who take him to meetings. With Navarro and Arias it will be a simple change of manager but with the same owners,” said Varela.

“The candidate of the PRD and the leaders of the party are seeking for the same businesses, the same wealth,” he said.

The vice president of the PRD, Rogelio Paredes, said Varela’s statement rules out the possibility of an alliance with the Panameñista Party. (Prensa)

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"There Will Be Plenty Of Time To Talk About The Vice Presidency"

Politics"There will be plenty of time to talk about the vice presidency of the Republic,” said the president of the Molirena, Sergio González Ruiz, when he was asked if his party would occupy the position in alliance with the Democratic Change.

"Starting on Monday a commission from the CD and Molirena will meet to discuss the topic. Further on we will know we will know which candidate from the Molirena will run with José Domingo Arias," he said.

González Ruiz said they have grown as a party in the last year, an example of this is that they have 120 thousand members.

"This party has foundations, it’s growing and turning into a strong party that will continue with the change,” he said.

The political leader also talked about the people removed from the party, saying they are not missed and it was necessary to take this measure.

González Ruiz gave this statement while they were choosing the Provincial Directory. (Panama America)

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Members Of The PRD May Not Support Jose Luis Fabrega

Politics

A group of the PRD may not be supporting the capital's mayoral candidate for this party, José Luis Fabrega.

However, Fabrega said he doesn't mind supporters of former candidates such as Balbina Herrera and Roberto "Bobby" Velasquez to not support him.

Herrera denied giving guidelines to her supporters to not support Fabrega and stated she's focused on supporting the party's presidential candidate, Juan Carlos Navarro.(TVN)

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Pineda Is Willing To Go Under The Lie Detector

PoliticsRegardless of Kathy Ramos’s direct accusations against the deputy and member of the PRD, Raúl Pineda, for the murder of her husband, he has not been called to give his statement in the investigations of this homicide.

"No one has called me to give a statement and they will not call me because I have nothing to do with this case, I don’t even have a lawyer because I don’t need one,” said Pineda.

Regarding Alberto Vallarino’s recommendations of putting Pineda under the polygraph, the deputy said he was willing to go under this procedure and said “after I do this I will invite all the candidates running for deputy in San Miguelito, with the same questions,” he said.

Like Pineda, Messina’s wife is running for candidate in the same circuit in San Miguelito. (Telemetro)

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The FAD Fears The 2014 Elections Might Be Suspended

PoliticsThe president of the Broad Front for Democracy (FAD), Fernando Cebamanos, said he “fears” the current political situation in the country will serve as a way of justifying the suspension of the 2014 elections.

“We wonder if they are trying to create the perfect scenario to suspend the elections,” he said.

According to Cebamanos, there are economical strengths interested in remaining in power, a concerning situation to his belief.

The leader of the new party talked about the murder from two days ago, and said the issue of drug trafficking is strongly submerged in politics and it is pretty serious.

“Many complaints have been filed reporting this type of situation…which is why we fear the elections might be suspended or manipulated elections.” (Prensa)

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Solis Doubts About An Independent Investigation On Messina's Murder

PoliticsThe former magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal and independent candidate for the presidency, Gerardo Solís, said the Public Prosecutor is managed by President Ricardo Martinelli, which is why he doubts about the investigations handled by this judicial institution for the homicide of the PRD member Juan Ramón Messina.

"I don’t trust an independent and transparent investigation from this government, the Public Prosecutor is managed by the President; besides I can’t trust in Raúl Pineda, who has been seen several times laughing with him on TV.”

Solís believes there are political motives behind this incident, and it is part of a strategy.

On the other hand, Solís said the Public Security Minister, José Raúl Mulino, "does not have morals to talk about drug trafficking in politics.” He said this in light of the statement made by Mulino during the Annual Conference of Executives CADE 2013 saying political parties must be aware of the influences of drug trafficking in political campaigns, especially in vulnerable candidacies such as mayors, deputies and representatives. (Telemetro)

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