National Assembly Ready To Readdress Law 3

National Assembly Ready To Readdress Law 30

Tuesday, July 20 2010 @ 09:48 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 20
The Executive branch of government in Panama and the National Assembly have differences of opinion regarding the demands coming from some sectors to repeal Law 30, known as the “Chorizo Law.” Trade Minister Roberto Henriquez insisted yesterday the repeal of Bill 30 is not on the government’s agenda. Meanwhile, the President of the National Assembly, José Muñoz, said Law 30 “is not written in stone” and that ” it may amended in its entirety.” Similarly, lawmaker Jose Isabel Blandon from the Panameñista political party said he would present a proposal to extend the suspension of the three contentious articles of Law 30 – Articles 12, 13 and 14 – so that it would cover the entire law, except the part dealing with aviation. Blandon said the bill submitted by the Executive intends to postpone the entry into force of Articles 12, 13 and 14, is “not enough”, therefore a “total repeal” is necessary to lay the groundwork for a real and “frank” dialog.
Despite having acknowledged a lack of public consultations when passing Law 30, president Ricardo Martinelli reiterated last week they would only review the three articles as agreed in Bocas del Toro. Minister Henríquez, a member of the Democratic Change (CD) political party and a top government spokesman, said they would wait to see the results of the dialog based on the agreements of Bocas del Toro, and if the repeal of Law 30 is proposed, the Executive would consider the recommendation.

Debates Begin: According to the President of the National Assembly, who is also a member of the CD political party, the Working Committee intends to conduct all of the consultations and to devote the time necessary to discuss the Executive’s proposal and to include items that best suit the country. Law 30 modified the Labor, Criminal, and Judicial Codes, as well as the laws governing environmental protection and the National Police, among others, and gave rise to the protests in Bocas del Toro and other provinces. Starting today, the Labor Committee will begin the discussions.

The groups opposed to Law 30 reacted yesterday. Saul Mendez, leader of the SUNTRACS labor union, said that regardless of what the executive says or what the lawmakers do, they insist on a total repeal of the law, because it never should have been passed in the first place. Meanwhile, Andrés Rodríguez, a teachers union leader, insisted the postponement of some of the items in the law is not enough, and insisted on a total repeal of the law. He said the law was approved with violence and a violation of due process. For her part, environmental activist Raisa Banfield said it was “worrying” that the Government thinks it is necessary to come to extreme situations involving death and violence. (Panama America)

Editor’s Comment: The government has lost the initiative. They are now reacting to the labor unions, who are being politically manipulated by the PRD. This is all one huge political game, with the PRD trying to throw down banana peels for Martinelli – to give him opportunities to slip and make mistakes – in order to make him look bad, cause political damage, etc. Without a doubt Martinelli did overstep his bounds. He underestimated the PRD and the labor union’s willingness to sacrifice their own people to protect the millions of dollars their receive every year in union dues. In my humble opinion most of these problems come from the fact that Martinelli is at heart a “hard nosed businessman” who is accustomed to simply giving orders and getting shit done. He’s not accustomed to having to listen to anyone.

Why Not Repeal? In the case of Law 30 and the elements and articles contained within – they easily could (today) repeal the entire law. By throwing out the famous “Law 30” then they would be seen as having listened to the people, learned from their mistakes, and being responsive and sympathetic. Nobody likes a hard ass, which is why his approval rating dropped like 14% in just a couple of weeks. They could then pass a dozen new laws, the first containing only those elements and articles of Law 30 regarding commercial aviation. It would be easy because the law is already written. It would also be easy because they dominate the National Assembly, so they can do – both practically and literally – anything they want. Once that’s done, they can slowly and calmly pass new individual laws to recreate each and every article that currently exists in the controversial Law 30. There would be just one new law containing articles 12, 13, and 14 which the union leaders hate so much. They could hold talks, discussions, consultations, public debate, conduct polls, whatever. By the end of that public discussion, which would only take about a week or two – everyone would be fully aware of why the content of articles 12, 13, and 14 are a better deal for the individual workers, and (admittedly) a bad deal for the labor unions. “We know the labor unions don’t like this. We have heard their complaints, but we are going to pass this law because it’s a better deal for the individual workers. We are siding with the people, and not with the special interests of the labor unions.” That message has never come into the public debate on these issues – not once – because the headlines have been dominated by the labor unions who seized the initiative along time ago.

Take Your Time: Of course it would take longer to pass a dozen new laws to create each of the controversial elements of Law 30, about six months or so, but in the end they would have completely diffused the situation, they would have separated the different protesting organizations that now come together under one “Law 30” banner, regain the initiative, divide the opposition, buy time, be more professional and serious, and have ample opportunity to fully discuss and explain why they want to pass each individual article. They should slow, down, take their time, and do the same thing anyway. Slowly let the air out of the SUNTRACS tires. Or, instead of slowly letting the air out, they could go back to trying to blow the tires away with a shotgun and see how that works.

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One Response to “National Assembly Ready To Readdress Law 3”

  1. Андрей says:

    Finally now there`s a russian translation of panama laws!

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