Panama- President's lackluster performance said lacking leadership

(MENAFN – Newsroom Panama) Panama President Laurentino Cortizo whom many had sePresiden’en as a more honest leader than most of those who have plundered the country since the overthrow of the dictatorship is under scrutiny from abroad and at home, including rumblings within his own party as he reneges on his commitment to root out corruption ‘whenever it appears.

 He has failed  to explain to the country some crucial issues on the management of the pandemic, four months after decreeing a national emergency  over COVID-19, on March 13 and senior members of his cabinet are perceived to have sticky fingers

Analysts, politicians, and members of organized civil society argue that there is a disconnect between the Government and the citizens. They also note a lack of leadership from the president and his team says

After the removal of Dr Rosario Turner as Health Minister and his  July 1 report on the first year of the government (he has been seen publicly on five occasions. 

At none of these moments has he allowed himself to be approached by journalists? When was the opening of the third block? What decision will be made about the Social Security Fund (CSS) retirement program? How will unemployment and the impoverishment of large sectors of the population be stopped due to the economic crisis? They are questions without clear answers.

The first public outing was last week. He met with, the director of the CSS, for the installation of the “inter-institutional” purchasing table.

The second was last Sunday when he released a video in which he reported that he had met with the health advisory committee and that he would make an important announcement. “Important decisions have been made … they will probably be announcing tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, mid-week I will be announcing what measures I should take related to the health and economic issue,” he said.

The video as widely rejected.rejection. His insecurity in the definition of the day of the announcement even generated mockery in networks. Thursday, a day after Vice José Gabriel Carrizopresent to the Assembly the project that establishes a temporary reduction in salaries for senior officials, and amid questions about alleged irregularities in hiring for the laundry service in hotels where patients with the are staying, Cortizo appeared in the Operations Center for Community Control and Traceability. In addition, he visited San Miguelito, to announce the appointment of 20 community promoters who will help in the traceability of cases in that area. Who are these promoters? How were they chosen? Do they belong to the ruling party? More questions without answers say  numerous media

In that event, Cortizo, who has compared the pandemic to a “war”, spoke of the creation of a monument to thank health personnel. It was the same day that medical personnel protested late payments and lack of equipment. The president closed the day with an announcement: July 17 would be a reflection, for the thousand deaths from the coronavirus in the country. Since the first case was reported on March 9, more than 50,000 have been infected.

For  José Isabel Blandón ,  president of the Panameñista Party, the Government “is living an alternative reality”, in which they have done everything well and the people idolize them.

He claims that Cortizo does not seem to understand the level of “disappointment” and “frustration” that exists. “The people demand leadership and deeds, not histrionics and empty words,” he says.

  Rómulo Roux , president of Cambio Democrático, said that Cortizo’s words last Thursday deepen his ‘concern about the handling of the crisis. “I never heard a general or commander in the middle of a war that produces one death every hour, talking about reflection or building monuments for the deceased, which unfortunately we continue to count on a daily basis,” he said. ‘If the president really wants to pay tribute to the victims of this pandemic, he adds, “let him do it by working, acting and showing his face with transparency.”

Roux agrees with Blandón that Cortizo’s words represent “complete ignorance and disconnection with the reality of the country.”

For political analyst  Edwin Cabrera , decreeing a day of reflection for the victims is not bad, but he is struck by the fact that Cortizo published a video on Sunday in which he reported that he had met with the advisory commission and that he would make an important announcement to the country, but that the only thing he spoke about on Thursday was the day of reflection. In his opinion, the population expects him to tell him where we are going.

Freddy Pittí,  from the Juntos Decidimos movement, described it as “lack of consideration by the president,” making Panamanians wait so many days, and then simply sending the population to reflect.

He considered that the day of reflection is not bad; The bad thing is “the wide disconnect between the Presidency and reality.”

Politician Lisímaco López  thinks  Cortizo is wasting time with bland messages.

López, said that he supported Cortizo’s candidacy but  “the people want to know how they eat if they don’t have money … another opportunity that Cortizo misses to rescue the leadership.”

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