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Warning in Panama about anti-popular policies of elected Government

Panama City, May 21 (Prensa Latina) Social organizations in Panama warned today about anti-popular policies of the elected government that José Raúl Mulino will lead, when he takes office next July.

“We do not believe in the famous “honeymoon” of the first 100 days of the new Executive, which early announced parametric measures to save the Social Security Fund,” said the coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of Economic and Social Rights, Jorge Guzmán.

When asked by Prensa Latina about the social security crisis, Guzmán told other international media such as Telesur and HispanTV that the announcement to increase the retirement age and the contributions paid by future retirees will threaten basic living conditions of the most humble population.

We describe the Government that takes office in just over a month as a transition to more of the same, that is, its inclination to promote private enterprise against public services such as water or care for pensioners.

Another issue to take into account is the repressive way in which they could confront the people’s right to strike and demonstrate peacefully in the streets, a resource that organized movements do not rule out in the case of impositions such as open-pit metal mining.

Guzmán alluded to the project announced by Mulino to open the Minera Panamá company in Donoso (Colón), a subsidiary of the Canadian transnational First Quantum, and then close it, which contravenes the will of thousands of Panamanians who paralyzed the country in October and November 2023 and forced an orderly and safe closure plan of the largest copper mine in Central America, but which causes severe damage to nature.

The appointment of the new Minister of Security, Frank Ábrego, indicated, and the same trajectory of Mulino who held that position in the administration of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), his mentor now, but asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy to escape justice after being sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for money laundering, is another example of personalities in power with a record of repressive actions against the sovereign.

The post-election propaganda, he added, shows that at the polls on May 5, Mulino won the majority support of the electorate, which is uncertain, he said, because in a country that does not have a second round of voting, he won with 34.2 percent of the valid votes, which is respectable, as must also be considered the rest, the immense majority, that opposed him.

Behind those more than 700 thousand votes supporting the new 64-year-old ruler, according to Guzmán, are those who did so for Martinelli and his promises of more money (chen chen) in the pockets of the lower-income sectors.