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POLITICS

Deputies asked to perform duties

Temas:

Sectors of civil society have demanded that deputies fulfill their constitutional role and approve laws and make appointments without personal and partisan interests.

Only 33 bills were approved in the session that ended last week and the National Assembly failed to name a replacement for Electoral Court Judge Erasmo Pinilla.

The session was marked by the constant absences of members and friction between the Panameñista and PRD caucuses. These factors prevented the discussion of several important pending matters, including the proposed electoral reforms. 

Of the 33 approved projects, at least 20 were initiatives of the Executive Body and the remaining ones were submitted by members themselves.

For Freddy Pittí, of the civic group Movimiento Juntos Decidimos, there cannot be good governance if the members do not understand that they must attend sessions.

"We all know that members come to work on Monday in the afternoon and leave Thursday for their circuits. What we see is a lack of commitment of members to meet their responsibilities," he said.

He said that many of the members placed a priority on partisan activities and ignored their commitments to the Assembly and their constituents who elected them.

"They were devoted mostly to the partisan political issues," he stressed.

Political scientist Maria Cristina Torres Ubillus said many of the proposals could not even be raised for discussion due to the divisions in the Assembly.

"There was no time given to coherent discussions. There was a lack of political will by the interests that members represent," the political scientist said.

Lorena González Ortega, president of the Forum of Women of Political Parties, said that members should change their attitudes and have the political will to work for the benefit of the country.

"Many fear the political cost, however, there must be a greater commitment to approve these projects in a transparent manner," she said.

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