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Weekly Report - 09 July 2020 (WR-20-27)

PANAMA: Cortizo marks one year in office with mini reshuffle

Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo recently marked the first year in office of his Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) government, unveiling 12 priority actions aimed at helping economic recovery in the face of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Days earlier he replaced his health minister, Rosario Turner, in a mini reshuffle. Her departure was not a huge surprise given calls for her to go over the scandal involving the breach of quarantine by PRD members [WR-20-25] while Panama has the most confirmed Covid-19 cases and third highest number of deaths in Central America (40,291 cases and 799 fatalities as of 7 July). Some suggest, however, that Turner has been the scapegoat for the government’s handling of the pandemic, which has attracted complaints over irregularities and politicisation of aid [WR-20-18], and question the continued presence of other ministers whose role in the government response have proven more contentious.

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