PANAMA has a new Electoral Tribunal (TE) judge after a political deal between the ruling Panamenista Party and the “opposition” Democratic Change who united to elect Alfredo Junca, widely seen as a flawed candidate after revelations that he had engineered a sweetheart deal during his time working in the legal office in the National Assembly.
He got s leave of absence to travel to the Philippines for a two year study course to gain a doctorate in Political Science, and improve his marketability.
He was supposed to repay the time away from his duties to the state by completing another four years in his well padded job.
That went by the board when he decided that sitting behind the Greco-Roman façade of the TE’S splendid new pile offered more opportunities for a continuation of his public servant career, already paved with some healthy benefit packages.
So he resigned, without fulfilling his obligations and threw his hat into the ring, and was duly chosen on Tuesday, not because of his suitability for the job, according to outraged civil groups, but because of political wheeling and dealing.
The temporary alliance of CD and Panamenista served to block the PRD nominee, and perhaps garner payback in future TE decisions.
He replaces Erasmo Pinilla whose last months in office were tainted by reports of nepotism, and who was finally persuaded not to seek an extension of his tem.
The man who will rule in cases of political hokey pokery owes money for hipaid leave of absence while impriving his own marketability,
He will have to pay back, from his newly increased salary, his wages, per diems and tuition costs, among others.
Junca received the vote of 21 CD deputies, 17 from the Panameñista Party, Popular Party and Molirena 2 apiece
Yara Campo supported by the PRD got 26 votes and Arturo Vallarino 3 votes (one from his sister)
The last major cuddle up between the Panamenista’s and CD was during the ill-fated Coalition when Martinell ruled and reneged on his promise to give Varela the next shot at the presidency.