Panama’s political debauchery fed by pride

634Views 0Comments Posted 09/09/2021

To the serious current circumstances, the deputies of the ruling party - the PRD - have added another crisis: a political one, which is also unnecessary. These are the reforms to the Electoral Code, legislation that is reviewed after each election. To this end, a permanent commission is set up that meets every week - for months - to discuss and reach consensus on the reforms, acquiescence which is reached with the active participation of both civil society and the political parties represented in the National Assembly (AN).

Despite the consensus, many reforms approved in the aforementioned commission, upon reaching the AN, are eliminated or modified, losing their essence and spirit. But this time, things in the AN have gotten out of hand. The magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) –which supports the reforms before the deputies– left the discussion table and asked to suspend the debate on the project.

This request was openly ignored by the deputies, who continued to approve their own reforms, tailored to their needs and convenience, completely distorting the work done and creating justified concerns in society, since what they want is a clear setback in electoral matters.

The debauchery witnessed in the session of the Government Commission of the AN provoked reactions from organized civil society that, in addition to the request of the TE, asked the deputies - also without success - to immediately suspend the discussion of the project. The deputies have come so far in their insatiable thirst for power that the President of the Republic himself has had to intervene in a kind of mediation, so that the TE magistrates and the deputies meet next week, “bearing in mind that every five years the country must modernize and strengthen its regulations in this matter, with responsibility and respect to contribute to the consolidation of our democracy ”.

The response of the president of the AN, Crispiano Adames, is not only defiant, but also overloaded with a pride that does little help, and rather irritates even more the already heated spirits. According to Adames, the opinions that arise on this issue should lead to conciliation "and not exacerbate or create conditions of unrest that only increase the level of hopelessness." But he warned that "the Assembly will not condition or decline or renounce its constitutional role of restructuring the laws ...".

Although the deputies have this role, it is no less true that Panamanian society has lost confidence in their work - and proof of this is in all the major reform dialogues that take place outside of their bosom - given that they do not legislate for the country, but for themselves and for the interests of their party, which delegitimizes any reform they pass in that direction. The country does not deserve to go through these moments of unfortunate politics and the deputies owe greater respect to institutions and democracy.

For this reason, it is worth reminding the Legislative Branch that the alleged sovereignty demanded by the deputies to approve their alleged reforms to the electoral processes is not a matter that concerns only a small handful of politicians. In this matter, the sovereign is the Panamanian people, who demand decency, equal conditions, transparency and respect for the popular will. We will not renounce our sovereignty in matters that concern electoral institutions and democracy. It is up to Deputy Adames to define whether the Assembly will rise to the occasion. – LA PRENSA , Sep. 9.


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