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Thursday, February 23 2017 @ 08:13 PM EST

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Varela Says New Comptroller Will "Guarantee Transparency"

PoliticsThe president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, described as positive the way his appointment for the new Comptroller of the Republic, Federico Humbert, was approved by the deputies in the National Assembly. (more)

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"I don't owe Varela any favors..." Silvia Carrera

Politics"I do not owe favors to Varela," said Silvia Carrera, the General cacica Ngäbe Bugle, who claims to remain as the leader in the region. (more)

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Gioconda Torres de Bianchini - Waiting For A Decision From The Supreme Court

PoliticsThe National Assembly Deputy from the Panameñista political party Luis Barria said the Supreme Court of Justice should issue a ruling in a timely manner, regarding the status of the Comptroller General, Gioconda Torres de Bianchini. (more)

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Jaime Alemán Resigns After A Wave Of Criticism

PoliticsJaime Alemán, the nephew of Minister Álvaro Alemán, who was appointed by him as an executive assistant in the Office of the President, submitted his resignation following a barrage of criticism from various "civil society" groups who rejected this act of nepotism. (more)

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National Assembly's Move Against Comptroller General Gioconda Torres de Bianchini Will Likely Fail

PoliticsThe resolution passed by the National Assembly asking the Supreme Court of Justice to investigate the Comptroller General Gioconda Torres de Bianchini will not achieve the results expected by the deputies who endorsed the action. (more)

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Varela Sets Conditions On Sanction Of Electoral Reforms

PoliticsPresident Juan Carlos Varela, who had steered clear of the subject of electoral reforms, expressed his opinion yesterday and said he would not sanction the bill if it is retroactive to results being challenged in the last elections. (more)

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Electoral Prosecutor Finally Reappears, After Dodging The Press For Months

PoliticsAfter months of avoiding the press, the electoral prosecutor Eduardo Penaloza finally appeared, and he said he would resign from his office and that he has acted in accordance with the law. (more)

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Jovane Thinks He's Being Picked On...

Politics"I will continue in this task," said economist and professor, Juan Jované referring to the questions being asked regarding some of the steps that have been taken by the new President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela. (more)

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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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