With six weeks to go before President Ricardo Martinelli’s promised Cabinet clean out time, speculation is rife about who’s going and who’s coming.
With the government reeling from multiple corruption allegations, the rumor mills are grinding at full speed.
La Prensa on Thursday , May 19, quoting sources within the government listed names that are being circulated as fresh faces in the Cabinet Council.
Most likely on his way out is Saloman Shamah manager of Panama’s tourism authority, who has been the center of a scandal following allegations of links to drug trafficking and money laundering, and the revoking of his U.S. visa..
Businessman Jaime Figueroa has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Shamah..
Figueroa is a member of the Tourism Committee of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives and owner of Allinone, providing services to tourists and new residents in Panama. He is also a contributor to Newsroom Panama, and is recognized as an innovative thinker, with a strong patriotic streak and some firm ideas on how to build Panama’s image as a tourist destination.
Figueroa had been considered for the position before Martinelli named Shamah, a key advisor during the presidential election campaign, to the post.
Another name going the moving-up rounds is Anibal Galindo, as a replacement to Juan Carlos Varela as Foreign Minister, leaving him with his role as Vice President and allowing him to focus on his upcoming presidential campaign
Customs Director Gloria López Moreno has been named as the possible new director of Immigration, replacing Maria Christian Gonzalez, who has been engulfed in a corruption scandal.