Panama

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 3
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 57%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.5%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 75,520


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Half-caste65
African15
Native European10
Indian6
Asian4



Main Cities Population
Panama City 415 964
San Miguelito 293 745
Las Cumbres 90 368
Tocumen 82 419
San Jose de David 77 057
Arraiján 58 597



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Panama (GMT-5 ).



Languages
Official language: Spanish
Business languages: Spanish and English, due to numerous relations, business connections and others, with the United States

Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free English-Spanish-English translation of texts and web pages

Systran
Free French-Spanish-French translation of texts and web pages

Dictionarios.com
Free Spanish-Catalan-English-French Dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Catholics 80%
Protestants 10%
Muslims 5%
Others 5%.


Political context

Panama is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Panama (official name: Republic of Panama) is of immense commercial importance because of its strategic locational advantage.
President is both the chief of state and the head of the government. President is elected by a popular vote to serve a five-year term, and enjoys the executive powers which include implementation of the law within the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The Cabinet is appointed by the President.
The legislature in Panama is unicameral. The parliament called National Assembly has 78 seats, with its members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The legislature is a power branch which is equal to and independent of the executive. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. President cannot dissolve the parliament directly; needs approval of the latter. The people of Panama have considerable political power.
Though constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but it remains inefficient, politicized and prone to corruption. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1972 (reformed many times, latest in 2004). The legal system is based on civil law system and judicial reviews of the legislative acts. Panama accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but with reservations. Spanish is the judicial language used in the country, having an interpreter is possible.
On the whole, Panama is ruled by law but the country faces the challenge of shaking off its reputation as a major transit point for US-bound drugs and illegal immigrants, as well as a haven for money-laundering. Foreign nationals cannot be guaranteed an impartial trail from the country’s judicial system. Panama is plagued with a high degree of corruption particularly in administration and political system.


Major political parties

Panama works under a multi-party system, resulting generally into making of coalition governments. The major political parties in the country are:
- PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party) – a centre-left political party,
- PA (Panamenista Party) – party is a homage to Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid who was a three-time president of Panama,
- PS (Solidarity Party) – a nationalist party,
- Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement – a liberal party,
- PP (People's Party) – Christian democrats,
- PLN (National Liberal Party) – liberals.


Major political leaders

President: Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since September 2004) –PRD, heading a coalition government with PP


Next political election dates

Presidential: May 2009
National Assembly: May 2009




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Panama 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 652 702 843
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
The numerous islands which are spread over in the Pacific Ocean as well as in the Caribbean Sea.
The vast plain of Darien.

For more information about tourism in Panama , check out the following web site(s) :
IPAT (Panama Tourims Bureau)



Food


Traditional dishes
Ceviche: fish fillet marinaded in a lemon sauce with onions and peppers.
Palacones of plátano: fried plantains.


Last modified on December 2006

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