Weekly Report - 29 April 2021 (WR-21-17)

PANAMA: Cortizo faces renewed demands over key pledge

Panama’s leading private-sector lobby, Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP), has issued a statement reiterating calls for constitutional reform. Citing an “administration of justice complicit with impunity”, “aberrant rulings”, and “broken institutionality”, CCIAP’s statement followed a supreme court (CSJ) decision acquitting a national legislator for the ruling Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD), Arquesio Arias, of sexual misconduct charges - a decision which sparked protests. CCIAP’s call, which comes amid other signs of institutional weakness, ups the pressure on President Laurentino Cortizo to make good a key promise upon taking office in July 2019: enacting constitutional reform in order to bolster Panama’s institutions.

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