Panama



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Panama Government 2008


Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Panama conventional short form: Panama local long form: Republica de Panama local short form: Panama
Government type: constitutional democracy
Capital: name: Panama geographic coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 11 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Comarca Kuna Yala, Comarca Ngobe-Bugle, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*(Kuna Yala), and Veraguas
Independence: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Constitution: 11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2004
Legal system: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (not eligible for immediate reelection; president and vice presidents must sit out two additional terms (10 years) before becoming eligible for reelection); election last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held on 3 May 2009); note - beginning in 2009, Panama will have only one vice president election results: Martin TORRIJOS Espino elected president; percent of vote - Martin TORRIJOS Espino 47.5%, Guillermo ENDARA Galimany 30.6%, Jose Miguel ALEMAN 17%, Ricardo MARTINELLI 4.9% note: government coalition - PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party), PP (Popular Party)
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in 2009, the number of seats will change to 71 elections: last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 3 May 2009) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 41, PA 17, PS 9, MOLIRENA 4, CD 3, PLN 3, PP 1 note: legislators from outlying rural districts are chosen on a plurality basis while districts located in more populous towns and cities elect multiple legislators by means of a proportion-based formula
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges appointed for 10-year terms); five superior courts; three courts of appeal
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI]; Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hugo GUIRAUD]; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Gisela CHUNG]; Panamenista Party or PA [Juan Carlos VARELA] (formerly the Arnulfista Party); Patriotic Union Party or PU (combination of the Liberal National Party or PLN and the Solidarity Party or PS)[Jose Raul MULINO and Anibal GALINDO]; Popular Party or PP [Rene ORILLAC] (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO; National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP; National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS); Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE; Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP; Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP
International organization participation: BCIE, CAN (observer), CSN (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Federico HUMBERT Arias chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407 FAX: [1] (202) 483-8416 consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Honolulu, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador William A. EATON embassy: Edificio 783, Avenida Demetrio Basilio Lakas Panama, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002 telephone: [507] 207-7000 FAX: [507] 317-5568
Flag description: divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white (hoist side) with a blue five-pointed star in the center and plain red; the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center

NOTE: The government information regarding Panama on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Panama Government 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Panama Government 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.