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Laurentino Cortizo has declared that two of the main policies of his government will be government transparency and the economic reactivation
On Sunday, May 5, the general elections of Panama took place in which six candidates participated, among them were Laurentino Cortizo, ex-Minister of Agricultural Development and member of the center-left party, the Democratic Revolutionary Party; and Rómulo Roux, member of the center-right party, Cambio Democrático.
In the hours of the night, the president of the Electoral Tribunal, Heriberto Araúz, announced the victory of Cortizo with 33.18% of the votes against the 31.04% that Roux achieved. According to this, Cortizo will be president of Panama from next July 1 until 2024.
In his first words as president-elect, Cortizo said: "Victory is ours (...) Thanks to God today Panama decided its future, today Panama won!". In addition, he called on Panamanians to join in the project to rescue the country without stealing, an idea he had already declared at the end of the campaign on May 1.
The fight against corruption will be key
According to the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, Cortizo's detractors have accused him of surrounding himself with deputies accused of corruption scandals. However, the president-elect has proclaimed that there will be no untouchable people in his government and has promised to improve government transparency as an anti-corruption policy.
Insisting on this, Cortizo declared on May 10 that "with this responsibility that now falls on my shoulders I declare today, now and here, for the country to hear: public resources are sacred and belong to the people, and we are going to administer with strict honesty and transparency ".
One of the anticorruption proposals of the incoming government consists of a decentralization policy based on transfers from public budgets to municipal governments. However, as reported by the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts have expressed concern that this measure, instead of stopping the country's corruption, works as a seedbed for it.
A plan to 'reactivate' the Panamanian economy
In addition to fighting corruption in the country, Cortizo, along with Hector Alexander, who will be his Minister of Economy and Finance, plans to boost the Panamanian economy through a reform that aims to change the country's economic institutions.
According to La Prensa, the reform would involve two bills that would create an Institute of Planning for Development, attached to the Presidency of the Republic, and replace the Ministry of Economy and Finance with a new Ministry of Public Finance. In addition, in view of the public debt of up to USD $ 25,893 million that, according to TVN news, the Cortizo government will inherit, the president-elect has declared that one of the first economic strategies to be carried out by his government will be to pay linked debts to State contractors.
According to Forbes Mexico, the incoming government has already identified a series of maintenance and rehabilitation projects for roads, bridges, and roads for which tenders will be held that will give priority to Panamanian companies, which would help reactivate the country's economy. Despite this, Cortizo has also stated that "We have to guarantee, as a country, the contractors or companies that wish to invest in Panama, both national and international, that the field is level for all."
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Diego Bogotá
Translated from "Panamá: anticorrupción y reforma a la economía son los planes de Cortizo"