Panama approaching failed state say business leaders

Varela and First Lady exchange gifts with Pope Francis

Panama looks like a failed state with little cause for optimism as it nears rock bottom said the country’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (Cciap) in a report issued on Sunday, November 18.

As Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela heads into the final months of his five-year term his legacy looks increasingly fragile with his attention more focused on China and the upcoming World Youth Day(WYD)  than the corruption crisis that has been condemned by all political parties, media, and Transparency International.

Varela. the  country’s most traveled  leader,   hopes that the WYD for which  he and his wife lobbied  so assiduously in Rome, will help put Panama on the world stage, but , like the Panama Papers scandal the corruption in judicial and public institutions is putting renewed focus on  the darker side of a country still trying to escape from under the shadow of its former image as a “Banana Republic”

There is a need to recover the  institutionality, of the country, says the Chamber  since “the lack of widespread credibility makes us look like a failed state, where there is no climate of seriousness.”

Democracy “requires transparent and independent institutions for its proper functioning” .

The Cciap reaction arises after the National Assembly is again questioned about the management of its funds and the rehiring of personnel that appeared in the 080 and 172 forms, without having justified the work done for the deputies of the various parties.

In addition, magistrates of the Supreme Court are accused  “once again”, of alleged corruption and sale of judgments.

“The institutional deterioration that registers the country resists any optimistic forecast, at least in the immediate future ” and “this crisis has hit bottom and does not allow us to continue looking for excuses”.

Cciap members are concerned that the media “reveal facts that require in-depth investigations and we do not see real measures taken to resolve them. ”

In its statement, the Chamber  members remind us  that,  earlier they presented their proposal of constitutional reforms,

And have “carried out conversations with the Legislative Organ to make the call to this discussion”.

“It is of our consideration that the need to proceed with this debate and approval is imminent, respecting the objective of rescuing the administration of justice as the center of life in a democracy.”

Meanwhile, President Varela is preparing to receive a visit from the Chinese president who is set to give him more time than he got from the  US State  Secretary.