The National Assembly today rejected a proposal to suspend the debate on the proposed electoral reforms.
After an hour and 27 minute recess, the Assembly rejected the proposal 38-16.
The motion was made by the oposition based on a recommendation of Panama Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa. He said yesterday that the opposition and the government should go through mediation to reach a concensus on the issue.
But Assembly President Sergio Gálvez was emphatic that there was no need for the church to mediate in this discussion.
"The crisis we are experiencing is an internal crisis that we have 71 legislators to fix," he said.
He added that the opposition is opposed to the reforms because "They only hurt two parties, the Partido Panameñista and the Partido Revolucionario Democrático."
The Assembly will now continue the second debate. But the opposition parties are expected to attempt to derail the issue by presenting a number of proposed bills that will need to be discussed beforehand.