Search

 

Cablegate: Fm Lewis On Torrijos Travel, Party Future, Court

VZCZCXYZ0020
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #2442 3621912
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281912Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9556
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0060
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL//J/J2/POLAD//

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 002442

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/26/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL PM
SUBJECT: FM LEWIS ON TORRIJOS TRAVEL, PARTY FUTURE, COURT
REFORMS

Classified By: AMBASSADOR WILLIAM EATON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
PRESIDENT TORRIJOS TO SEEK MEETING WITH PRESIDENT BUSH

1. (C) President Torrijos plans to visit the United States
in February and may seek an appointment with President Bush,
Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro told the Ambassador
December 27. The most likely day for the meeting request
with President Bush is February 26, the same day Torrijos is
scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Gates, said Lewis.
Torrijos also plans to visit College Station on February 28.
TORRIJOS TRIP TO CUBA

2. (C) Lewis indicated that President Torrijos planned to
travel to Cuba January 46, where has requested meetings with
both Fidel and Raul Castro. Torrijos will be accompanying
his daughter to Cuba for physical therapy.
LEWIS ON FUTURE OF PRD AND HIMSELF

3. (C) Current Housing Minister Balbina Herrera will run for
president of the ruling Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD)
in the 2007 internal party elections, said Lewis. Herrera's
bid for party president is a move to "edge out" and lessen
the influence of former Panamanian President Perez Balladares
and current Panama City mayor Juan Carlos Navarro in the
runup to the 2009 presidential elections, he said. In
particular, Lewis appeared hopeful that Herrera's position as
PRD president would avoid the appearance of Navarro as heir
apparent for the presidential election. Lewis said they
would have to "play this carefully" as Herrera's plans are
not yet public knowledge.
4. (C) Lewis told the Ambassador he may well step down as
Foreign Minister (while still maintaining the first vice
president position), "but not imminently." He said it is
still too early and the timing is not right for him to step
down now. (Comment: Although Lewis did not mention any
specific timeframe, he gave subtle indications that it would
be within the next six months, possibly after the internal
party elections. End Comment.)
REFORMS

5. (C) Lewis said plans are to move ahead with the creation
of the Sala V (an added group of three Supreme Court
justices). The GOP plans to convene an extraordinary session
of the National Assembly in January to approve the formation
of the Sala V and hopes to start appointing additional
justices in January or February, added Lewis. He said this
would help change the balance of power in the notoriously
corrupt Supreme Court by bringing in respected apolitical
figures similar to those appointed previously appointed by
Torrijos. He also mentioned ongoing attempts to reform the
Judicial Technical Police (PTJ). The PTJ is "rotten to the
core," said Lewis. He acknowledged the courts' opposition to
bringing the PTJ under control of the Executive, but said
reform was necessary.
Eaton

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>