OFF THE CUFF: Varela creates China cabinet

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AS  TOUGH QUESTIONS from civil society about the ruling party’s acceptance of “donations” from Odebrecht remaining hanging, the government of Juan Carlos Varela has created a “China Cabinet” to push for the implementation of the 19-point  agreement signed during the recent trade mission by over 60 government officials and businessmen.

The cabinet consists of Chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, and Ministers directly related to the agreements: The Ministries ’ of Economy and Finance,  Commerce, Agricultural Development and the Maritime Authority, among others. A new level of bureaucracy or an action group as Panama’s gaze moves from the US to the Chinese mainland?

HONOR  – The  CD party founded by Ricardo Martinelli to further his political ambitions, is struggling to maintain a semblance of unity. Eleven months ago the Capo,  ordered his deputies in the Assembly to sign a loyalty agreement or face expulsion. Few complied, and the Assembly’s CD president has said that no one should be kicked out. Now it is reported that half of the party’s ethics committee, responsible for disciplining members has resigned.

Martinelli, before he was locked up in a Miami detention center had promised to return to triumph and head a parade of loyal supporters across the country, as the party headed for victory in the 2019 elections.

HOPE –  and ambition continue to flicker for  Juan Carlos Navarro, a former Panama mayor who went down to defeat as the PRD candidate in the last presidential election. He has announced that he will seek the  party’s nomination for another run. Before he made the announcement over half a dozen wannabees had said they would be aiming to warm a seat in the presidential palace. La Prensa ran a thumbnail poll on Navarro’s decision to reach for the orb, which showed a  small majority were not impressed – roughly the same as in the last election.

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