The weekend passed with continuing speculation about the future of Panama’s Minister of the Presidency Jimmy Papadimitriu who reportedly resigned on Friday July 13.
Some political commentators were tossing around names for his successor before the body had cooled, and speculation was not helped by the first words from President Ricardo Martinelli.on the resignation of his key aide.
Early on Friday, while cabinet ministers were at Papadimitriu’s residence to persuade him to stay, Martinelli and his spokesman claimed they were not aware of the resignation.
Martinelli, further muddied the waters surrounding the alleged resignation when late in the day he said: "No resignations comes via a newspaper."
But no source in the executive has confirmed or denied the report.
Aurelio Barria civil group leader described the official silence as “dark.” The reported resignation came the same day as the government announced "expropriation without compensation" of 54 hectares in John Hombrón, of which Papadimitriu’s parent parents were the beneficiaries by titration.
The scandal has rocked the government and led to a court case in which former land titling authority (Anati) Annabelle Viallmonte and six others were acquitted, but the decision,has been appealed. Meanwhile Viallmonte is facing trial in another land titling scandal in Paitilla while she was director. This time, the name of another close friend of the president surfaced.