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POLITICS

Varela says stopping his projects would punish the people

Temas:

In a speech that lasted nearly an hour, President Juan Carlos Varela called on members of the National Assembly to support his programs as he begins his second year in office.

Among his most important announcements was the delay in constitutional reforms, a central promise during his campaign.
"It is not the time," said the president while acknowledging that such reforms are needed. He said they will happen when there is a higher level of coordination between the political forces of the country and civil societies.

He then sent a message to the media.
"I respect and listen to their views. It is important to inform the people about the problems we face, as well as also the progress that we're making as a nation," Varela said,

He asked Panamanians with accounts in social networks to use them "for the building of the country."

He announced that he instructed his ministers and directors of entities that take measures to raise the minimum wage of civil servants to $500 a month.

This measure is accompanied with a reform to the administrative career act to professionalize the public service. He also pledged to increase the salaries of security officers.

Varela called for the respect of the rights of indigenous residents, and expressed hope that the dispute over the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project could be solved through dialogue. He also pledged to continue operating a government committed to transparency. He pleaded with the Assembly to work with him on his agenda, saying the country would benefit.
Varela was able to avoid having to deal with an adversarial legislature in his second year as a coalition led by the Panameñistas was able to retain control of the legislature in an election yesterday. 

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