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Kevin Painter of Azura – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Partido Revolucionario Democrático, or PRD, Democratic Revolutionary Party of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe had right-wing government headed by the former President Martinelli.  Now, the new government I would say more to the left.
 
Panama changes its government every time without fail. Here in Panama, there are three political parties, and they all seem to take turns, one after one another. So the politics change from one extreme to the other, per election.
 
As a foreigner and a businessperson, I think a bit about what government is in power.  For example, under this government, the workers have more rights. We’ve had more checkups for the workers and we obviously abide by their rules. I respect my staff so as long as we comply, and they have toilets and a canteen and we do everything like a human being should have, you're fine.
 
(Flag for the Democratic Revolutionary Party, in Spanish, Partido Revolucionario Democrático, or PRD has 26/71 seats in the National Assembly, pictured.) 
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The politics in Panama is pretty democratic. Other than that, it is the same as anywhere in the world. All the officials are out filling their pockets. They’re a bit corrupt on that side.  I don’t have a very high opinion of politicians in general, not anywhere; America, Holland or anywhere. If you look at any country, you’ll find exactly the same thing going on.I’m sure of it.
 
Panama has a very stable government. They have elections every five years. The current president cannot run for re-election after he is out. He can only do so after another term. You cannot re-elect him term after term.
 
The Panamanian governmental system is parliamentary, similar to the Spanish system. You have a bunch of different parties and each one has a minister. You have the socialist party, the conservative party; about five or six parties, I think. They have democratic elections. There’s never any fiddling with the elections. It’s not like what you see in South America where they’re always calling for a recount. You don’t get that here.
Robert Reichert of Cuesta del Sol Condominiums – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The results of the recent election in Panama and the new president are just what the country needs. Panama has gone through five years of excess spending, back-room dealing and corruption in government under Ricardo Martinelli. Presidents can only run for one term of office in Panama. The prime opponent of Juan Carlos Varela, the newly elected president, was Jose Domingo Aries who would have been a ‘Puppet President’ controlled by Martinelli, continuing the same corrupt government of his predecessor.
 
From all accounts and actions over the past five years as vice-president under Martinelli, Varela has been an upstanding, forthright, honest and caring politician. Through the coalition of Varela’s Panamanista party and Martinelli led Cambio Democratico party in the previous election on 2009, Martinelli managed to become the president; largely due to Varela’s reputation. But shortly thereafter, Martinelli stabbed Varela in the back and proceeded to preside over one of the worst governments since Noriega.
 
The expectation of the people is that Varela will be an excellent President and that Panama will really prosper under his leadership, not just engage in series of expensive, mega-projects. Varela will have the best interests of the country and the citizens in mind presiding over an honest, just and transparent government. During the past five years Martinelli did a lot of ‘big’ but very expensive things, resulting in a rapid increase in the national debt as a result. He was a crude, rude, ‘bag-boy millionaire’ leader whose goal seemingly was to go down in history as the guy that did the most in the shortest possible time; regardless of the cost or consequences. He did too much, too fast. Varela, on the other hand, an engineer and successful businessman in his own right, will have a firm, even hand on the controls and will lead the country forward in an honest, disciplined, thoughtful and continuous way. When Panamanian voters feel deceived or mistreated by a president, their vote will reflect that, as it did in the May 2014 election.
 
I don’t think Panama needs to worry about Varela. He has chosen some very good people for keys posts and was out of the gate quickly, reaffirming and beginning to implement his campaign promises. His promised price control program on the ‘canasta basica’, a basket of 22 staple food items, was implemented within the first week and is being rigorously monitored to ensure compliance. This should have a meaningful effect on the national economy by putting money into the pockets of people who will turn around and spend it on other items. Other measures to help the underprivileged are; running water and an indoor bathroom in every household.
 
On a more general level, and something very important to foreign residents and visitors is his promise to take a tough hand with street crime and eliminate corruption in the police force. He will also place great emphasis on improving foreign relations, creating a more secure foreign investment climate and decentralizing many government departments and services, making for more autonomous and responsible regional and local governments.
 
Based on the media coverage since July 1st when Varela took office, he is receiving enthusiastic public and legislative support for his sound, stable programs and Panamanians should expect he will continue with a well thought-out plan.
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Like politics everywhere, elections can get contentious in Panama.  However, the Panamanian voter tends to be very independent minded and election results are often unpredictable.  Unfortunately, negative political campaigns have become more common (primarily due to foreign campaign consultants) but this type of campaigning can backfire as shown in the recent election where the presidential candidate who ranked third in the polls wound up winning the election.  Many people attribute his win the negative campaign conducted by the two rival candidates.
 
Voter participation is high and the Panamanian people hold their election tribunal (the agency responsible for running elections) in very high regard.  Elections are held once every five years for all elected positions so, happily, the campaign period is limited to this five year cycle.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panamá's independence from Spain was in 1821.  Then, Panamá' belonged to Colombia, until 1903.  So, technically, Panamá' is a young democratic country.
 
Diplomatically and impartially talking, after the military era that took place for 20 long years, Panamá bloomed in democracy and prosperous economical growth.  In the present, Panamá has 3 major political parties and one in formation.  Our present administration is a total democracy with full respect of human rights and with a 68% acceptance.
 
Panamá' has implemented numerous social programs and great improvements like the new metro, highways, the expansion of the canal, hubs for ports and airports, and many good things nationwide.  The political campaigns are about to start, and the new elections will be in July 2014.
 
For what I can see, foreigners feel very safe and good in Panamá'.

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