Spanish version

POLITICS

Committee appointments stalled by division in the PRD

The divide has stalled progress on 22 proposed laws before the National Assembly.

Spanish version

Temas:

For a second consecutive week, the deputies of the National Assembly have failed to fill the 15 legislative commissions, which have paralyzed the discussion of at least 22 pending bills.

The delay is due to the division in the PRD, where six dissident members have defected from the caucus to join a coalition with the Panameñistas and some members of the CD to form a ruling coalition.

The remaining 20 members of the PRD have sought to freeze the dissidents out of places on the Assembly's primary committees, such as the budget, credentials and government, and relegate them to ones such as social development.

Dissident Leandro Avila acknowledged that there are still differences among the members of the caucus. He said it appears increasingly likely that the party will have to have its representatives appointed by the plenary of the Assembly, rather than through a consensus reached within the caucus.  

"We are not going to go to a meeting of the caucus," said the deputy, who has rejected his assignment to the Transport Committee. 

PRD leaders have said that members should not repeat appointments to committees two years in a row. This argument is somewhat confusing, however, as party President Benicio Robinson has been appointed to the Budget Committee for the second consecutive year.

PRD caucus head Auxentius Palacio said the distribution of commissions was made through a democratic vote within the caucus, but the dissidents clearly want the matter resolved by the full Assembly, where it enjoys an advantage over the other members of their party.

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