President Bush spurned the nominee of the Panamanian government and asked the deputy administrator of the Panama Canal to become acting administrator starting Jan. 1. The canal treaty specifies that the Panamanian government choose the administrator and the U.S. President appoint him, subject to Senate confirmation. But Bush does not recognize the government of strongman Manuel A. Noriega, who has been indicted in the United States on drug-trafficking charges.
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
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