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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06PANAMA1411 2006-07-18 17:37:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Panama
Cable title:  

GOP SETS CANAL EXPANSION VOTE FOR OCT. 22

Tags:   EWWT ECON ETRD PM 
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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #1411 1991737
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181737Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8586
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC
					  UNCLAS PANAMA 001411 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT ECON ETRD PM
SUBJECT: GOP SETS CANAL EXPANSION VOTE FOR OCT. 22

REF: (A) PANAMA 1287 (B) PANAMA 1292



1. (U) President Torrijos announced Saturday, July 15 that
the referendum on the $5.25 billion expansion of the
Panama Canal would be held October 22, 2006. The National
Assembly approved the expansion legislation on Friday July
14th in a unanimous 72-0 vote. Three amendments were made to
the original bill submitted by the Executive (Ref A): 1)
inclusion of a tunnel/bridge for Colon; 2) an ad-hoc
oversight committee to support transparency and
accountability; and, 3) specifications as to whom in the GOP
can speak publicly on behalf of the referendum.



2. (U) President Torrijos signed the bill on July 17 in a
public ceremony at the Presidential Palace. The GOP will
likely publish the bill to in the official Gazette on
Wednesday, July 19, thus completing the formal approval
process. Meanwhile, the National Front for Economic and
Social Rights (FRENADESO), which spearheaded last year's
protests against social security reforms, stated that it
would launch its campaign against expanding the Canal today.
LATTIMER