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Yearbook 2011

Panama. A strange political situation arose in September when President Ricardo Martinelli first dismissed his Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela and Varela declared at the end of the month that he intends to remain as Vice President but will henceforth act as opposition. The alliance between Martinelli's Cambio Democrático (CD) and Varela's Partido Panameñista (PP) was thus practically over.

2011 Panama

According to Countryaah official site, the government coalition had already been hit by a series of corruption scandals and falling confidence, among other things. as a result of a bill to amend the legislation so that foreign companies' exploitation of Panama's mineral resources would be allowed. Martinelli's proposal for a replacement for Varela led to further layoffs of PP members in the government, including the successful Minister of Finance and Finance, Alberto Vallarino, who is considered to be behind economic growth of 7% in recent years.

The reason for President Martinelli's decision to dismiss Varela was that the latter tried to use his position to obtain support from CD for his candidacy for the presidential office in the 2014 election. CD, in turn, replied that the party will launch its own candidate. Another reason was that Martinelli tried to push through a constitutional reform to allow a second round of elections in the presidential election, a proposal which Varela opposed.

On December 11, former dictator Manuel Noriega was brought back to Panama after more than 20 years in prison in France. He was deposed by a US campaign in 1989 and now faces another 60 years in Panama for crimes committed during his time as the country's leader in the 1980s.

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