Panama: A President Bails Out

A President Bails Out

He was the country's first elected President in 16 years. But nearly twelve months after he took his oath of office to begin a five-year term, Nicolas Ardito Barletta, 47, a former World Bank vice president, had had enough. In a nationwide television address late last week, Barletta complained that forces within his governing coalition and in Panama's powerful, 15,000-member National Defense Forces "consider that they can no longer work with my presidency." With that, he announced that he was resigning. He was succeeded by First Vice President Eric Arturo Delvalle, a businessman with little political experience.

Barletta's tenure had never...

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