Cortizo, Nothing comes before Panama

Laurentino Cortizo speaks to the nation. Photo by the Presidencia.

Panama comes before private interests and political parties

by President Laurentino Cortizo, from his October 31 address to the nation

I understand the separation of powers, but we have a commitment to. the country and I and the President of the Republic, representing the executive branch, and I am not going to allow any article, in which anybody, absolutely anybody, puts Panamanians, notwithstanding color, sex or ideloogical position, in confrontations among ourselves. I want to leave this very clear, and this includes articles [that have been proposed for the constitution] about which we do not agree.

Rest assured that things are going to be done well. Constitutional reforms are going to be done as they should be done. Nobody is going to play with Nito Cortizo. I am here for a mission and I will fulfill it.

I am not here for more of the same. Believe what I am telling you: those who are on my team must be very clear, including the deputies of my party, because above the party, there is the country.

Don’t get confused. If you want to test me, put me to the test. Don’t get confused, because the country is above everything.

What I don’t want to be left with the old constitution.

I believe that if we do things right, read what is written there and make the adjustments that need to be made, we can have not the perfect, but the practical. If we do it well.

We are a democracy and we have to respect the position of all sectors. Peaceful marches are part of democracy, and we have to respect the diversity of opinions, respect differences, respect people. Just because someone is a deputy, a minister or a president does not give him the right to disrespect people. I will not allow anyone to disrespect the people of this country.

What happened a couple of days ago with a deputy – I was very displeased and I will not allow it. This is not the country I want, nor do most Panamanians want it. I was quite displeased.

We have to respect the rule of law, the laws and public order here. We cannot allow people to enter a political party’s offices or a business or a home to vandalize it. We can not allow that.

No interest – economic, political, of my party or any other party – is above that of the Republic of Panama.


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