Panamanian businessmen insist on constitutional reforms by legislatures

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  • Sun, 01/06/2019 - 19:04
Gabriel Barletta, presidente de la CCIAP
  • Gabriel Barletta, presidente de la CCIAP
  • Twitter @cciap

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture of Panama insisted today to make that the country Constitution changes through two continuous legislatures (in the National Assembly) "as a less complex route," instead of introducing a fifth ballot as the Executive Branch proposes.

This union, one of the most representative political groups of Panama, argued that its proposal will be the next President's prerogative. To call the public consultations he considers appropriate in this matter.

On January 2, the outgoing president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, in his final speech to the country in the National Assembly (Parliament) proposed the inclusion of an extra ballot in next May elections as a mechanism to reform the Constitution.

That same day, Varela personally delivered his request to the Electoral Tribunal magistrates, shortly after communicating his intention to make valid his campaign promise to introduce constitutional reforms.

"That is why I announce to the country that we will deliver this day to the Electoral Tribunal magistrates this note to consult the feasibility of including the fifth ballot so that the people decide to make the necessary constitutional reforms through a parallel constituent assembly, an original one, or by way of traditional reforms through two assemblies," said Varela before the deputies at the ceremonies last January 2.

However, the Panama Chamber of Commerce believes that including the fifth ballot requires to educate people on its possible repercussions.

"With just four months before the general elections, we believe that we do not have enough time, and at the moment, the Electoral Tribunal must concentrate on the planning, development, and execution of elections in peace and transparency," said Gabriel Barletta, president of this Chamber through the opinion customary weekly column, that this time titles "2019, a Decisive Year for Panama."

In that context, Barletta reminds that Panamanians should aim to achieve "the country standards that attend the electoral justices to renew their institutions, without uncertainties that alter or traumatize the performance of their economies or their normal stability."

He argued that this task corresponds, in the first place, to political forces, called to become entities that privilege respect for citizens and promote values and principles that, in turn, commit to the common good and the purposes of society.

"Otherwise, they will continue to be clientele and alien to the essence of a true democracy," says the leader of this business association.

He also assures that with each new electoral tournament, Panama must move towards structural and organic modernization that demands the dimension and importance that currently scales on the international scene.

"This depends, obviously, on the vision of the aspirants to conduct the national affairs, and of their capacity as statesmen to carry, from promises to practice, their electoral offers," Barletta said in his statement.

On May 5, 2019, Panama will have general elections to choose the president and vice president of the country, 71 deputies of the National Assembly, 20 deputies of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), 75 mayors and 620 corregimiento representatives.


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