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Government deputies warn of possible Committee "assault" by opposition majority

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  • Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:08
Parlamentarios Panama
  • EFE

Government deputies claim having information that the opposition majority of the Panamanian parliament would allegedly prepare the "assault" of legislative committees, after the recent configuration of the Credentials Committee, according to information released by EFE.

José Luis Varela, deputy, president of the Panameñista Party and brother of President Juan Carlos Varela, said that the new Credentials Committee seeks to "blackmail and pressure the government," which in his opinion generates unrest, according to EFE.

 "They want to change (the configuration) of the Budget Committee," chaired by their party leader Luis Barría, Varela said after a meeting held with other members of the group he represents with directors of the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP), said EFE.

The 26 deputies that make up the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and the 25 deputy members of Cambio Democrático Party voted to approve the reconfiguration of the Credentials Committee, to achieve equity in the representation of political parties, and stripped 2 seats to Panameñista party, which previously had 4 seats out of the 9 that make up this area of ​​the legislative body.

The ruling party regarded this action as "illegal", while President of the National Assembly and member of Cambio Democrático Yanibel Abrego warned that this decision was "inadmissible", considering that the Judicial Branch ordered the suspension of the act, after the government parties filed an illegality notice.

Pedro Miguel González, PRD deputy, main promoter of the reconfiguration of the Credentials Committee, and who said that this instance could investigate the President. In an exclusive interview with TVN, González said that if his political group concretes an alliance with Cambio Democrático party on July 1, date of the beginning of a new legislative period, "all the committees are going to be in the hands of the opposition". Given this possible scenario, deputy José Luis Varela said that "it does not make sense" that he is investigated or taken to trial because in 45 days left to this Committee, until a new Committee is created on July 1, "there is no chance." (EFE)

In recent statements in the PRD congress , González mentioned that the President's reactions have been a response to the rejection of his proposals of magistrates in the National Assembly. "He wanted to take control of the judicial system and we stopped him. The opposition rejected his appointments and now he wants and has vowed to take revenge," said the deputy of the Panamanian Parliament.

"He must explain the country how he intends to impose his authority on this small group of deputies. Could it be in violation of the Constitution and the law that he swore to defend? Could it be by abusing his power through economic strangulation of an independent state organ? Could it be preventing its operation? How is it that you intend to impose your authority before this small group of opposition deputies? Will it be using blackmail and judicial extortion now that you have control of the investigative police and the Public Ministry? Could it be that you intend to put pressure on the Supreme Court of Justice to achieve a desired result?" asked the Secretary General of the PRD.

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