The Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), reacted on Monday, October 11, to the first debate of the electoral reform package and the modifications made by deputies of the Democratic Revolutionary Party and Democratic Change in the Government Commission of the Assembly General.
Apede president Elisa Suárez, accompanied by the members of the board of directors, said that the association requires, as a minimum, that the principles of equity, transparency, and accountability be respected when making any modification.
The Apede understands the power of the legislature to make changes to the proposals, while warning that, " modifications cannot be a tailored suit that favors any of the participants in a fair electoral contest."
In addition, the Apede has requested that the strongly expressed citizen clamor about safeguarding democratic principles, be heeded and those they elected really represent them.
They ask that "democratic principles be safeguarded and preserved, observing with concern the sister countries that are struggling in instability and chaos by choosing stone idols that only involve scenarios which we never want to see in our country."
"As a defender and guarantor, since its foundation, of the rule of law, freedom, and democracy, Apede has participated for several electoral exercises, as a representative of the employer sector, together with other organizations of civil society, in the National Commission of Electoral Reforms. That is why we have the power to demand that the proposals be reviewed with the respect that our Electoral Code deserves and, we deplore any action that does not lead to the purpose that the voters feel confident that their vote will be respected with absolute transparency and clarity … We are concerned that democracy will continue to be trivialized in the midst of populism, prebendary politics, and insider networks. Therefore, we strongly deplore any modification to the Electoral Code that does not comply with the principles that we have indicated.