Monday, October 29, 2018

The mayor José Isabel Blandón prevailed in the Panamanian

The mayor José Isabel Blandón prevailed in the Panamanian

Mayor Blandón promised to carry out a great administrative revolution with the revision and modernization of the organic laws of many institutions that, he assures, have become obsolete.

By: La Estrella de Panama

The capital's mayor, José Isabel Blandón, who has distanced himself from the government of the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, was elected yesterday as the presidential candidate of the official Panameñista Party for the 2019 general elections.
In the process of primary elections of this political group, made yesterday, Blandón surpassed the former Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning (Miviot) Mario Etchelecu, who was his closest contender in the search for the presidential candidacy of this group. There were ten participants in these elections.
At 6:09 in the afternoon, the mayor of the capital received the official communication from the Electoral Tribunal (TE), that he had been elected as the winner of these primaries in which a 49.1% participation was registered.
Blandón obtained the victory with 56.74% of the preferences (91,209 votes), while Etchelecu added 38.1% (61,380 votes) and Ada Romero, who was in third place, achieved 1.3% support, 2083 votes.
After the triumph, Blandón expressed in his speech that with this result a new stage begins and that he and the Panamanians begin to write a story never before written in Panamanian politics.
'It is perhaps the first time in the history of the Republic that a presidential candidate has been a deputy and mayor before; It is the first time that the acting mayor of the capital district is the presidential candidate. But that is not the only difference with this candidacy, this aspiration does not arise from the bowels of the Creole oligarchy, but is genuinely popular, championed by a professional of the middle class, born inside the Republic, from the bosom of a humble family with no surname of ancestry, "he said.
He added that it was time to end the practice of using 'band-aid' and propose half solutions. "The country is not built on solid foundations only with megaprojects, but, mainly, on public institutions that have legitimacy and credibility."
He announced that, if elected President of the Republic, he will call a referendum in the first week of the government so that it is the people who decide whether or not they want a new constituent.
Throughout this campaign, the candidate indicated, will present concrete proposals explaining what and how it will be done.
'The reform of the State will be one of my main objectives, that includes the constitutional change. I think it's the most democratic way to equip ourselves with a new constitution; a new constitution to change the way to elect the deputies, to change the way to choose the magistrates of the Court, to take power from the Executive, to strengthen local governments, "he said.
He also committed to make a great administrative revolution, the revision and modernization of the organic laws of many institutions that have become obsolete.
He added that decentralization will be one of his priorities and in that sense, he acknowledged to President Varela 'the courage, the detachment from initiating this process of decentralization. With me this process will not only continue, but it will deepen ",
The presidential standard-bearer of Panamaniacism announced that it will face problems whose solutions are well known, but that have been evaded for years, for fear of the so-called political cost.
Among these, he mentioned the crisis of the Social Security Fund (SSC), the high cost of medicines, the modernization of education, the rescue of the agricultural sector, the clean-up of the administration of justice.



If elected president, Blandón promised to allocate an additional budget to local governments throughout the country, starting in 2020, equivalent to 1% of the general budget of the State, which currently means an additional $ 240 million for local governments.

"These are some issues on which, the most important thing is to have the political will and the ability to make the changes that these sectors require," he said.

He also stated that he looks forward to the moment of the presidential debates. 'I hope and trust that there is not a candidate who flee from these debates and I assure you something, I will always do my homework, because they will not see me committing plagiarism or repeating which papagallo what another political consultant wrote to a candidate in another country'.

He informed that it will give continuity to projects that have been positive and beneficial for the population.

'What has been of benefit to the people will continue; what presents good opportunities, will improve and what has meant delays, will be eliminated, "he said.

In a message on Twitter, President Varela praised the internal process of his party. 'Congratulations to the @ Panameñistas for a strong, decent and fair campaign. I also congratulate @BlandonJose for his official nomination and @MarioEtchelecu for a great campaign, 'he said.


In other positions of popular election that were in dispute in this internal struggle of Panamanianism, the deputy Adolfo Valderrama won his candidacy for the Mayor of Panama.

The majority of Panamanian deputies won their seats to elect re-election in their posts, except Gabriel 'Panky' Soto, of the circuit 8-1, in Arraiján, who was outbid by the former director of the Institute for Training and Achievement of Human Resources (Ifarhu), Yessenia Rodríguez.

In this circuit, Panamanianism reserved two positions of the three seats available for this constituency.

While for the mayor of La Chorrera, Panamanianism will lead as its standard bearer to the ex-deputy Alberto Barranco.

Friday, October 12, 2018

More than 230 cruises will transit the Panama Canal in the 2018-2019 season

More than 230 cruises will transit the Panama Canal in the 2018-2019 season

The Norwegian Bliss, the largest passenger ship to transit the interoceanic route, will return to the neopanamax locks this season, along with the Caribbean Princess, the Carnival Freedom and the Disney Wonder.

Around 234 cruises will travel through the Panama Canal during the 2018-2019 season, which will begin on Friday the 5th with the passage of the Seven Seas Mariner, in transit north, traveling from the west coast to the east coast of the United States.

"This would be the second complete cruise season with the expanded Canal in operation and we hope to surpass our recent milestones and successes.In the next year, we hope to welcome more than 237,000 passengers through the Panama Canal," said Albano G. Aguilar, specialist leader in international trade of the Panama Canal.

Ten new cruises will travel through the panamax or neopanamax locks for the first time this season, including vessels of the following lines: Princess Cruise, Carnival Cruises, MSC, Norwegian Cruise, Viking Ocean Cruises, Hurtigruten, Iles Du Ponant and Blount Small Ship Adventure.

By Panama America
The Norwegian Bliss, the largest passenger ship to transit the interoceanic route, will return to the neopanamax locks this season, along with the Caribbean Princess, the Carnival Freedom and the Disney Wonder. Norwegian Bliss, which transited the Panama Canal for the first time in May 2018, weighs more than 168,000 gross tons and can carry nearly 6,000 passengers.

Also, the Carnival Triumph, the Carnival Valor and the Emerald Princess will travel for the first time the neopanamax locks.

As in previous years, major shipping companies such as Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, among others, offer itineraries this season with full and partial transits that include Panama and the interoceanic route. Smaller cruise ships, such as the Wind Star and the National Geographic Quest expedition cruise, include seven- and eight-day itineraries, respectively, with the west coast of Central America as their destination.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The works of restoration of the National Theater advance

The works of restoration of the National Theater advance

By La Estrella
One of the most striking is in the dome of the main room or ceiling, called: "Birth of a Republic"

In the centennial infrastructure of the National Theater of Panama - currently undergoing restoration and rehabilitation work - the last details that will add brilliance and color, again, to famous shows that national artists hope to perform, said today in charge of the project.

The architectural jewel, located in the heart of the Old Town, was closed in June 2015 for showing problems of deterioration in its foundations, paintings and murals, so the government authorities decided in 2017 to begin a project to recover the artistic essence of the property .

Olga Espinosa -architect resident of Aprocosa, a company that won the Integral Architectural Rehabilitation project of the National Theater- told Efe that until now, there is an advance of 60 percent, so she foresees that this theater will open its doors in December.

This icon -whose construction was ordered in 1904 by the president of Panama, Manuel Amador Guerrero- was designed by the Italian Genaro Ruggieri, with an Italian-style operetta theater architecture, and its auditorium and the two amphitheater areas form a moon .

The cultural colossus was inaugurated on October 1, 1908, coinciding with the inauguration of José Domingo de Obaldía, as president of the recently inaugurated Republic. In addition, it premiered with the opera "Aida" by the Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi.

But this story for the restorer of the artistic part, Angela Camargo, has its complement with the works of the Panamanian painter Roberto Lewis (1874-1949), who are scattered in different parts of the building.

One of the most striking is in the dome of the main room or ceiling, called: "Birth of a Republic", which evokes the independence of Panama, with regard to the construction of the interoceanic canal that runs through the country, and dating from 1941 .

"Lewis studied in Paris, they hired him to paint the vault of the theater (...), he managed the support of the dome to work it, and when he arrived in Panama, he had everything done to be able to bring his colleagues," he said. expert

He expressed that one of the peculiarities of the paintings is that they were glued with animal tail -made with horse leather- and a plaster film, but after more than 100 years, temperature changes in the theater due to the introduction of the air conditioning and light, ended up deteriorating the cool.

One of the events that suffered the painting happened in 2003, in which a piece of canvas collapsed, and had to be restored, although maintenance was not continued, so the deterioration of the piece of art continued.

"Everything was very damaged, that is why we are doing the impossible to leave it as it should be," said the specialist who works with another colleague the restoration work pictorial in the foyer (resting place), the stalls and the lobby.

Meanwhile, the general director of the National Institute of Culture (Inac), Janelle Davidson, mentioned to Efe that the entire intensive process of the works amounts to 15 million dollars.

He added that since the closure, both artists and citizens have suffered from the closure, affecting also businesses that mounted shows, but adds that it was necessary to perform the work in a comprehensive manner for the first time in the theater.

Now, the theater with capacity for 853 people, distributed in amphitheater, stalls, two floors of balconies, pit for the orchestra and a gallery. It will give a new face so that its visitors and artists shine among the beauty of this historic architectural work.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Panama Canal reaches another milestone after the transit of four ships with liquefied gas

Panama Canal reaches another milestone after the transit of four ships with liquefied gas

Four ships with liquefied natural gas traveled Monday through the Panama Canal, which is a new milestone for the waterway.

The Panama Canal reached a new milestone on Monday after the successful transit of four liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships, with sleeves up to 160 feet, in a single day, through the neopanamax locks.

By Panama America
Today the Ribera del Duero Knutsen, of 173,000 m3 and Maran Gas Pericles, of 174,000 m3, and to the south, Torben Spirit, of 173,000 m3 and Oceanic Breeze, of 155,300 m3, facilitating international trade among Korean customers went north. of the South, Japan, Chile and the Gulf of Mexico, in the United States.

Based on the experience gained after the transit of more than 4,200 neopanamax vessels, the Panama Canal modified its reservation system to offer up to two quotas per day for LNG vessels. This experience has also allowed it to optimize the capacity of the expanded Canal, in order to meet specific demands such as the one registered on Monday with the transit of four LNG vessels.

The new rules, announced in August of this year and that came into force as of today, allow the night transit of LNG ships in the neopanamax locks, as well as the encounters of these vessels in Gatun Lake, in opposite directions.

"The transit of these four LNG ships in a single day demonstrates the commitment of the Panama Canal to serve the industry with the highest standards of safety, efficiency and reliability, which has characterized its management as a point of connection between two oceans. ", said the administrator of the Canal, Jorge Luis Quijano.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Ricardo Martinelli easily wins candidacy for deputy in the circuit 8-8

Ricardo Martinelli easily wins candidacy for deputy in the circuit 8-8

Former President Ricardo Martinelli was the most voted candidate in the 8-8 circuit, with 2,548 votes, of 5,870 voters who exercised their right yesterday.

Ricardo Martinelli was victorious in the Democratic Change (CD) primary to choose candidates for deputies.

The former president won 44.17% (2,548 votes) in the 8-8 circuit, in which 5,870 voters participated.

In addition to Martinelli, Miguel Gallardo, with 16.1% (930 votes), and Alejandro Pérez, with 12.4% (720 votes) were chosen as candidates for deputies for this circuit.
By: Panama America
"Today showed that the people want it," said former first lady Marta Linares, who echoed supporters who told her they were only going to vote because it was Ricardo Martinelli.

In this circuit, the Cambio Democrático board reserved two seats, one for the only deputy who has in it, Fernando Carrillo, and another for possible alliances with other groups.

Martinelli was the second candidate with more votes in the circuits of the capital, only surpassed by Sergio Gálvez, 8-7, the only deputy who decided to participate in these elections and obtained 3,930 votes.

Gálvez will accompany Martinelli on the payroll, who will run as a candidate for mayor by free application, since the CD board reserved this position for alliance.

Other winners

In San Miguelito, where there were 3 candidates at stake, Víctor Córdoba (1,928 votes), Marco González (1,829) and Luis Eduardo Camacho (1,161) were elected.

In Circuit 8-9, which includes Panama Norte, Ariel Vallarino won the candidacy with 1,153 votes and narrowly won Genesis Arjona, who was 1,109.

In 8-10, the candidates were Alain Cedeño (1,614 votes) and Kenya Aparicio (1,011).
In Arraiján, the ex-deputy Ricardo Valencia will return to look for a seat, after obtaining 1,800 votes and will be accompanied by César Bernal, who took 1,004.

In La Chorrera, Yuzaida Marín entered the contest, who obtained 2,261 votes and surpassed the former minister Federico Suárez, who did not achieve the candidacy, obtaining 1,477.
In Colon, Gilberto Flores and Leopoldo Benedetti were elected.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Varela renews Panama's commitment to sustainable development and peace

Varela renews Panama's commitment to sustainable development and peace

In a session focused on commemorating the centenary of the birth of former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize Nelson Mandela, the Panamanian leader wanted to recall Mandela's legacy in the first place

The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, today renewed the "commitment" to the objectives of sustainable development and the promotion of peace in the world, in his speech at the summit for peace in the United Nations.

By La Estrella de Panama
In a session focused on commemorating the centenary of the birth of former South African and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, the Panamanian leader wanted to recall Mandela's legacy, who knew how to "overcome social inequality and racial discrimination on a global level".

"We must recognize their service to humanity and the protection of human rights, solidarity and democracy," added Varela, who said Mandela is a "source of inspiration that should guide this organization" to the UN.

After endorsing one of Mandela's appointments - "our best weapon, which our enemy can never resist, is peace" -, Varela said that Panama, "as a multi-ethnic and multicultural country and respectful of diversity and tolerance, believes faithfully in the capacity of countries in favor of the resolution "of conflicts.

"War and conflicts are the main causes of mass migrations," recalled the Panamanian leader, who settled: "My country today renews its commitment to the objectives of sustainable development, with national, regional and global actions to promote peace. , which is essential to achieve the other development objectives "and" global peace ".

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Blandón and Etchelecu polarize contention

Blandón and Etchelecu polarize contention

From September 11 to October 25 is the campaign period for the candidates of the Panamanian party heading to the primaries on October 28.

By La Estrella de Panama
The different political forces within the official Panameñista Party begin to align around the presidential candidate that they will support in the primary elections of this political group, which will take place on Sunday, October 28 next.

Ten are the candidates who aspire to carry the Panamanian flag for the presidential election of May 5, 2019, among them: the mayor of the capital, José Blandón; the former director of the Ampyme Ada Romero; the former Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning Mario Etchelecu; Rodrigo Salamón Pérez Guillén, Ricardo Springer, Luis López, Juan Aguilar Rodríguez, José Díaz, Miguel Batista Guerra and the former director of the Social Security Fund Rolando Villalaz.

However, this just policy, which has the support of deputies, representatives of corregimiento and mayors of Panamaniacism, is practically polarized between the aspirants José Blandón and Mario Etchelecu.
Already the 16 deputies of Panamanianism begin to show their favoritism, either by Blandón or Etchelecu.

Blandón has the support of deputies Jorge Alberto Rosas, Katleen Levy, Jorge Iván Arrocha, José Luis Castillo, Juan Miguel Ríos, Adolfo Valderrama, Luis Eduardo Quirós and Gabriel Soto; while deputies Miguel Salas, Carlos Santana, Juan Moya, Juan Serrano and José Antonio Domínguez would be supporting Etchelecu.

Florentino Ábrego, who will not seek re-election, would be supporting Etchelecu with his political cadres. Meanwhile, Luis Barría remains undecided and has not defined who he will support.

On the other hand, José Luis Varela, who presides over the party, has not publicly shown his intention to back any of the pre-candidacies.


But which of the two pre-candidates will have the advantage in these internal elections?

For electoral expert Javier Ordinola, there is no doubt that the Panamanian presidential election will be polarized between Mayor Blandón and former Minister Etchelecu.

Ordinola said that the support of the deputies will be important; However, he considered that he does not know to what extent this support will be decisive, taking into account that the Panameñistas only have 16 deputies, unlike the PRD, with 26 deputies, who mostly backed Laurentino Cortizo in his presidential election.

"The support of deputies could be that it is not as forceful as it was in the presidential interior of the PRD; it would be necessary to see if that support results in the end in the triumph in the primaries by who they support more strongly, "he said.

Ordinola also said that the deputies have a structure under them and they are able to mobilize voters on the day of the vote, as well as the representatives of corregimiento and the mayors.

He also expressed that if President Juan Carlos Varela bowed down for one of the candidates, his opinion would always be heard by the membership and many people may be inclined towards the direction determined by the president.

He considered that in these Panamanian internal elections the political route, the experience and the political relations within the group will weigh heavily.
"The background of Blandón, who has already been a deputy, is a weighty antecedent and, obviously, Etchelecu has its disadvantage as the fact that he is just a known figure in public life," said the expert on electoral issues.

Meanwhile, the deputy Miguel Salas, who supports Etchelecu, said that in the Panamanians there will be a different scenario from the PRD, because the vote is more dispersed.

He pointed out that although Mayor Blandón has the backing of more deputies, most of the corregimiento representatives and mayors have greater sympathy with Etchelecu.

"There are commitments with deputies, but these deputies have representatives and mayors, who in turn have commitments to their presidential candidates," he said.

Salas added that Etchelecu has been doing a job within the party, from the bottom up, working a lot with the local authorities. "This is Etchelecu's advantage, apart from having experienced deputies and ex-deputies with him."
In addition to having the support of deputies, Etchelecu is supported by the Minister of Social Development, Alcibiades Vásquez; the Secretary of Goals, Jorge González; and the former Minister of the Presidency Álvaro Alemán.

While Blandón is backed by the ministers of Labor, Luis Ernesto Carles; of Agricultural Development, Eduardo Carles; of Environment, Emilio Sempris; and the administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Jorge Barakat.


For Deputy Luis Eduardo Quirós, who supports Blandón, the strength of the capital's mayor lies in different local leaders, experience and demonstrated ability. "He has run for different positions and has always won," said Quirós.