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"Narco-politics" and corruption: Varela's war for 2018

The president delivered a speech on the major achievements of his 42 months of administration and the process of administration of justice
  • EFE

On Tuesday, Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela said before the parliament that he will not allow the narco-politics and people who face corruption cases investigated in the country to undermine the current government's actions, and hence he noted his commitment to fight against this scourge.

Varela was the main speaker at the beginning of the second session of the fourth term of regular sessions of the National Assembly (AN), with an opposition majority, held after the Christmas recess.

The president delivered a speech on the major achievements of his 42 months of administration and the process of administration of justice.

"I will not allow the return of the ghosts of narco-politics, or corruption, or that leaders who face justice in cases of corruption or are fugitives, intend to lead the country to the path of uncertainty. I'm ready to fight another battle to defend our democracy," the president said.

During the protocol ceremony, the head of state argued that the fight against corruption will be a case study, and that for now the funds diverted to the Panamanian people are recovered without affecting the works carried out, as well as their jobs.

The president's speech is framed within the Panamanian Justice investigations of dozens of high profile corruption cases, including the bribes of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and the scandal of offshore companies known as the Panama's papers.

Several national sectors criticize excessive delays and reserves of the investigations of the Prosecutor’s Office. But it defends itself and denies its actions upon the orders of the President’s Office, according to allegations of several of those investigated people.

To act against this issue, Varela also supported before the 71 deputies the proposed appointment of Attorneys Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak and Zuleyka Moore as magistrates of the First Civil Chamber and of the Second Criminal Chamber, respectively, of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), whose term of their ratification will be resumed tomorrow.

"I know that they have the capacity for contributing to the transformation of the judicial system, who along with two other officials with a long career, guarantee high standards of professionalism, ethics, technical capacity and independence," he said.

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