Top economic officials quit amid bust-up in Panama ruling coalition. Finance Minister Alberto Vallarino resigns
Top Panamanian government officials quit their posts to protest President Ricardo Martinelli's decision to fire his former political ally Juan Carlos Varela as foreign minister.
The resignations were led by Finance Minister Alberto Vallarino who said he and other top officials from Varela's party would quit over his ouster, effectively ending the political alliance that put Martinelli in power in 2009.
Vallarino announced his resignation in a statement. He said he would stay in office until his replacement is named. Martinelli's office swore in new senior officials including Roberto Henríquez, who formerly held the portfolio for trade. Henriquez replaces Varela in the foreign ministry.