Juan Carlos Varela, Panam's new president.
Juan Carlos Varela, Panama’s new president.

TODAY PANAMA NEWS – Juan Carlos Varela assumes today the presidency of Panama with a legislative minority that forces him to make alliances and promises to be fulfilled immediately such as lower the price of basic food.

So far eight heads of state or government have confirmed their attendance at the ceremony that begins in parliament, continues at Rommel Fernandez Stadium and ends at a free party at the Avenue of the Cinta Costera Bay.

In addition to an emergent control of prices of 22 basic food products, Varela promised the inhabitants of the northern province of Colón to initiate a comprehensive program of housing construction for which he will travel to that territory after receiving the presidential sash.

He also promised to build lines 2 and 3 of the Metro announced by the outgoing president, Ricardo Martinelli, decreasing to 65 years the age to be registered in the subsidy of $ 120 dollars monthly, install latrines in over 300,000 houses, provide 25,000 houses of social interest and drinking water for the entire population.

English education in all public schools, to build 50 new schools, increasing the number of existing scholarships and the minimum wage are other promises.

The new administration is criticized for having left in the government the minister of the Canal and the Metro, Roberto Roy, despite allegations of cost overruns in the construction of the subway, and appointing for the Ministry of Education Mercedes Paredes Vasquez subaltern of the outgoing Lucy Molinar.

Other criticism is related to leaving in office the heads of the National Border Service, Commander Frank Abrego; and his colleague Belsio Gonzalez as Director General of the National Air Service, considered responsible for repression deaths in Bocas del Toro, San Felix and Colon.

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