OPINION: Varela’s Lasting Legacy Opportunity

Will president grasp opportunity?
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Hoyporhoy:  La Prensa, June 12

AT THE END of this year, the terms of Supreme Court judges  of Oydén Ortega and Jerónimo Mejía come  to an  end.

Although the Political Constitution establishes the principle of Presidential designation without delineating any criteria, civil society and public opinion require greater transparency and consultation in the selection and designation of new magistrates.

The experience of 2015 was sobering. The State Pact for Justice and a group of civil society organizations interviewed and studied candidates that the Executive had pre-selected, but in the end the selection was two

professionals close to the Executive Branch. Their first decision was to choose the President of the Supreme Court, Judge José Ayú Prado, provoking with this

action the disenchantment and disappointment of Panamanian society. There is sufficient time for Civil society and the State Pact for Justice to find candidates. The time is ripe for the president to show his commitment to a better rule of law. This will be his most enduring legacy.

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