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    Panama Government - 1989

      Long-form name: Republic of Panama

      Type: centralized republic

      Capital: Panama

      Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (provincias, singular--provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*, Veraguas

      Independence: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)

      Constitution: 11 October 1972; with major reforms adopted in April 1983

      Legal system: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

      National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)

      Branches: under April 1983 reforms, a president, two vice presidents, and a 67-member Legislative Assembly are elected by popular vote for five-year terms; nine Supreme Court Justices and nine alternates serve 10-year terms; two justices and their alternates are replaced every other December by presidential nomination and legislative confirmation

      Leaders: Eric Arturo DELVALLE Henriquez, President (since September 1985); Roderick ESQUIVEL, First Vice President (since October 1985); Second Vice President (vacant) (recognized by the United States); President Delvalle was ousted by Defense Chief Manuel Noriega in 1988 and Manuel Solis Palma was imposed in place of Delvalle as Minister-in-Charge of the Presidency

      Suffrage: universal and compulsory over age 18

      Elections: seven electoral slates made up of 14 registered political parties were on the May 1984 ballot, with the president and other winners decided by simple pluralities; mayoral and municipal elections last held in June 1984; presidential and legislative elections announced for 7 May 1989

      Political parties and leaders: Coalition for National Liberation (COLINA, government coalition)--Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD, official government party), Carlos Duque; Labor Party (PALA), Ramon Sieiro Murgas; factions of the former Liberal and Republican parties; Revolutionary Panamenista Party (PR), Luis Suarez; People's Party (PdP, Soviet-oriented Communist party), Ruben Dario Sousa Batista; Democratic Workers Party; National Action Party (PAN); Opposition Democratic Alliance--Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Ricardo Arias Calderon; Authentic Liberal Party (PLA); faction of Authentic Panamenista Party (PPA), Guillermo Endara; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA), Alfredo Ramirez; other opposition parties--Popular Nationalist Party (PNP), Olimpo A. Saez Maruci; factions of the former Liberal and Republican parties; Popular Action Party, Carlos Ivan Zuniga; Socialist Workers Party (PST, leftist), Jose Cambra; Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT, leftist), Graciela Dixon

      Voting strength: in the May 1984 election the government coalition received 300,748 votes, narrowly defeating the opposition alliance, which received 299,035 votes; the government coalition won 45 seats in the 67-member Legislative Assembly, and the Opposition Democratic Alliance won the remaining 22 seats

      Communists: People's Party (PdP), pro-government mainline Communist party, did not obtain the necessary 3% of the total vote in the 1984 election to retain its legal status; about 3,000 members

      Other political or pressure groups: National Council of Organized Workers (CONATO); National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP); Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE)

      Member of: FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IRC, ITU, IWC--International Whaling Commission, IWC--International Wheat Council, NAM, OAS, PAHO, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO

      Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Juan B. SOSA; Chancery at 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 483-1407; there are Panamanian Consulates General in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Tampa, and Consulates in Dayton (Ohio), Ft. Lauderdale, Lansing (Michigan), Orlando, and Pittsburgh; US--Ambassador Arthur H. DAVIS; Embassy at Avenida Balboa and Calle 38, Apartado 6959, Panama City 5 (mailing address is Box E, APO Miami 34002); telephone �507� 27-1777

      Flag: divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white with a blue five-pointed star in the center (hoist side) and plain red, the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center

      NOTE: The information regarding Panama on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Panama Government 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Panama Government 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)