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Panama Government
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Panama
conventional short form: Panama
local short form: Panama
local long form: Republica de Panama
Government type:
constitutional democracy
Administrative divisions:
9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*, 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 and 1994
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); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held NA May 2009)
note: government coalition - PA, MOLIRENA, Democratic Change, MORENA, PLN, PS
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%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 40, PA 17, PS 8, MOLIRENA 3, Democratic Change 2, PP 2, PLN 1, other 5
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
elections: last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 2 May 2009)
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:
Arnulfista Party or PA [Mireya Elisa MOSCOSO Rodriguez]; Civic Renewal Party or PRC [Serguei DE LA ROSA]; Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI]; Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Martin TORRIJOS]; National Liberal Party or PLN [Raul ARANGO Gasteazopo]; National Renovation Movement or MORENA [Pedro VALLARINO Cox]; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Ramon MORALES]; Popular Party or PP (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC) [Ruben AROSEMENA]; Solidarity Party or PS [Samuel LEWIS Galindo]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO; National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS); National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP; Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE; Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP; Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP
International organization participation:
FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto ALFARO Estripeaut
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8416
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa
telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Linda Ellen WATT
embassy: Avenida Balboa and Calle 37, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City 5
mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002
telephone: [507] 207-7000
FAX: [507] 227-1964
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
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