Citizens Forum asks public hearings on electoral reform

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THE POLITICAL  deals that led to the appointment of  a new Electoral Tribunal judge, and rulings over donations to political parties have raised a red flag for the Citizen’s Forum for Electoral Reforms.

On Tuesday, Jan. 10 the forum asked the National Assembly to hold public hearings on the proposed reforms to the Electoral Code.

The group, which met at the Faculty of Law of the

University of Panama, stressed that the appointment of the new Electoral Court Judge Alfredo Junca was clear evidence “of the struggle among political groups within the legislative body , a fact that undermined the transparency and impartiality of the choice.”

The discussion of electoral reforms was postponed by the full legislature last October and National Assembly President Rubén De León explained at that time that the discussion of the reforms would not be carried out in a “hurried” way.

Another worry   of the Citizens Forum is that the reforms can be modified “contrary to thesocial needs and expectations of organized civil society.”

Of particular concern are rules regarding political donations.

Roberto Troncoso, a representative of the business sector in the Forum, emphasized that “it is important to know who is donating” to political campaigns.

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