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Panama’s Parliament Suspends Debate on Sale of Share in Joint Ventures Due to Public Unrest

Article Summary:

The Panamanian Parliament suspended debate on a controversial project for the sale of shares in joint ventures, after two protesters stormed the Panamanian Assembly. Public protests ensued in the streets at the same time over the scheduled ratification of the appointment of three judges to the controversial Constitutional Room V of the Supreme Court (CSJ).

Original Article Text From Mis Fianzas en Linea via Google Translate :

Panama: Parliament Suspended Debate on Sale of Shares in Joint Ventures

The Panamanian Parliament suspended debate on a controversial project for the sale of shares in joint venture power, after two protesters stormed the meeting in which also ratify three new judges of the Supreme Court room of Justice.
The debate went on even when the Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, addressed the plenary to request authorization for the Government may also sell shares of the state in British Cable & Wireless phone.

The legislative session, scheduled to start in the afternoon, was moved up for the morning, which caused discomfort among the opposition MPs who considered the action a violation of the bylaws of the National Assembly.

The vice president of the legislature, the ruling Marco Gonzalez, the Democratic Change party (CD) President Ricardo Martinelli, tried to call a vote to approve on third and final reading of the proposed amending an Act 6 of 1997, which regulates the operation of the electricity ventures, to allow the sale of shares.

The situation became tense when two people made it through the stands to the full area, while the shouts and slogans against repeated legislative initiatives from the stands.

This led the board of the National Assembly suspended the legislative session until tomorrow, when you decide to take measures to “ensure security” of the deputies and journalists, said the president of the National Assembly, the governing Hector Aparicio.

Aparicio it was “unfortunate” incidents and some damage to the premises of Parliament in the rough session, and denounced the presence of opposition leaders among the protesters who were in the stands.

For his part, President Martinelli described the events in the Assembly of “truly regrettable” and awarded movements ‘political’ of his opponents, he said, lack of “popular acceptance”.

The president complained that his detractors accuse him of undermining “democracy and institutions when they” who, in his view, it incurred with the “violence” staged in the National Assembly.

For his part, Archbishop of Panama, Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa, called “upon all parties to listen” and do what “best interest of the country,” he told local radio.

The main leaders of the opposition Panamanian Party, the Democratic Revolutionary Party and Popular Party, which last week formed a Front for Democracy came to the legislative headquarters to express their opposition to the sale of state shares in telephone companies and Electric.

The opposition also rejected the appointment of three judges of the controversial Constitutional Room V of the Supreme Court (CSJ).

Vice President of Panama and the Panamanian Party president, Juan Carlos Varela, distanced Martinelli since late last year, requested the governor to suspend the special sessions in which both initiatives are discussed.

Room V is rejected by the opposition because, its leaders will allow Martinelli “control” the Supreme Court having appointed seven of the twelve judges that the integrated, allowing the law.

According to the opposition, the president can use this situation to prepare their supposed immediate reelection, prohibited by the Constitution, or favor the candidate of his party in the elections of 2014.

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