governmentThe Republic of Panama is an independent and sovereign State, located in its own territory, from which individual and social rights are observed and respected, and where the will of the majority is represented by the free right to vote.

The public power emanates from the people and is exercised by three bodies: legislative, executive, and judicial. In their separation they are harmonized, united in cooperation and limited by the classic system of checks and balances.

There are three independent organizations whose responsibilities are clearly defined in the Political Constitution:

  • The Comptroller General of the Republic has the obligation to oversee public funds.
  • The Electoral Tribunal has to guarantee freedom, honesty and effectiveness of the popular vote.
  • The Public Ministry oversees the interests of the State and its municipalities.

Panama’s political institutions

The 1972 Political Constitution of Panama, as amended by the Reformatory Acts of 1978 and the Constitutional Act of 1983, presents a unitary, republican, democratic and representative government.

Executive Body

Formed by the president of the Republic and ministers of state. The President shall be elected by direct universal suffrage for a period of five years, and in the same manner the vice president will be elected (Title VI, Chapter 1, Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama).

Judiciary Body

Responsible for administering constant, free and rapid justice. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Justice Court, the Courts and Judges established by law under the Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama (Title VII, Chapter 1).

Legislative Body

It consists of an organization called the National Assembly of Panama (formerly called Legislative Assembly) and its main activity is issuing laws. The National Assembly shall be formed by Representatives (formerly called legislators) chosen through party candidacy and direct popular vote to serve for a period of 5 years (Title V, Chapter 1, Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama.)