The bittersweet taste of victory
PANAMA. The euphoria of winning the elections is beginning to fade and Ricardo Martinelli faces the difficult task of pleasing his supp...
PANAMA. The euphoria of winning the elections is beginning to fade and Ricardo Martinelli faces the difficult task of pleasing his supporters with jobs within the government.
Martinelli has two big problems: the lack of funds in several ministries and the new administrative career law, which means less jobs to be distributed among the collaborators.
The designated Minister of the Presidency, Jimmy Papadimitriu said that these two aspects had rattled the departing administration, to the point that according to him, they answered in unison.
The current Ministry of the Presidency, Rafael Mezquita said that it must be a mistake, because every ministry has an approved budget, that has been handled carefully. “I believe that they have not understood correctly the subject of the budgets.”
After that was it was the turn of the Administrative Career Department director, Arnulfo De Leon, who explained that the new law should not be seen as “the umbrella where all the civil servants who do not carry out their jobs properly seek refuge, because each civil servant that has received accreditation to comply with the pre-requisites of the legislation.”
De Leon added that if a civil servant has two negative evaluations he is automatically out of the system.
The former presidential candidate of the Revolutionary Democratic Party, Balbina herrera said that she would like to know if the Administrative Career department explains the matter further and pointed out that private enterprise not the government is a facilitator.
However, Herrera added that she will not criticize Martinelli until July 1.
Meanwhile the transition teams are beginning to have confrontations and President Martin Torrijos appears to be determined to preserve his ratings of 56 percent approval until his last day in office.
Suddenly everything is on stand by. The only ones who appear to be at war are the contract teachers who are demanding that the Torrijos’ government make them permanent, before the new Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar takes over the office.
Martinelli has been severely criticized by the opposition and allies alike for choosing a cabinet, in which only a few individuals have the necessary experience for the different post.
The majority of them are business people and the unions feel that they will not understand the needs of the common people.
Over the next five years he will have to resolve the transport, education and health problems. He is facing a shrinking economy and discontented workers.
The question on everybody’s minds is: will he be able to fulfill the expectations of the voters or will he be another disappointment.