Elections and Events 1981-1999


Ardito-Barletta 1997: After Torrijos death, National Guard leaders forged a pact outlining an "agreement wherein they would take turns as presidents and commanders (of the National Guard)" (page 36).

Zimbalist 1991: "Panama’s post-1969 period of political stability definitively ended with the sudden death of Torrijos on July 30, 1981, in a mysterious plane crash. The political leadership vacuum was filled by a three-man struggle within the National Guard" (page 127).


Pearson 1982: "Panamanian politics was clouded in mid-1982 by the ouster of Colonel Florencio Flórez Aguilar in a shakeup of the National Guard in a surprise announcement by President Aristides Royo on March 3, 1982. Assuming the post of Commander in Chief...was Lieutenant Colonel Rubén Dario Paredes" (page 324).


Black 1989: "With National Guard backing, Paredes forced Royo and most of his cabinet to resign on July 30, 1982...Royo was succeeded by Vice President Ricardo de la Espriella" (page 60).

Zimbalist 1991: "Alleging nothing more than an earache, President Aristedes Royo resigned in July 1982 and was succeeded by his vice-president" (page 128).


Black 1989: "In November 1982, a commission was established to draft a series of proposed amendments to the 1972 Constitution...These amendments reduced the term of the president from six to five years, created a second vice presidency, banned participation in elections by active members of the National Guard, and provided for the direct election of all members of the legislature" (page 61).


Black 1989: "In December 1982, Noriega became chief of staff of the National Guard" (page 60).


April 1

Pearson 1983: "Under October 1978 legislation, eight parties had met quotas of 30,000 valid signatures by 1 April 1983, in order to legally nominate candidates in future elections" (page 583). Gives the name of the party, its secretary general, and the number of signatures presented to the Election Tribunal.

April 24: referendum

Ardito-Barletta 1997: "A multiparty commission was formed to draft changes to the constitution. Their recommendations were approved in a national plebiscite...A new electoral code was prepared, and the Electoral Tribunal was created to organize and supervise elections" (page 37).

Black 1989: The amendments to the constitution "were approved in a national referendum held on April 24, 1983" (page 61).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 17 1983: "On 24 April 1983, the electorate overwhelmingly approved by popular referendum a number of amendments to the 1972 Constitution. Among the changes proposed is the replacement of the existing 505-member National Assembly of Municipal Representatives by a national legislature of 70 members, and empowering this body to appoint high-ranking government officials, which until now was left to the President of the Republic" (page 12).

Country profile. Panama 1997-1998: "An April 1983 referendum largely revamped Colonel Torrijos’s authoritarian constitution, recasting it along traditional liberal lines. Among the changes approved were the reintroduction of direct elections for president, two vice-presidents and a unicameral Legislative Assembly. Presidential and legislative elections are now held every five years. Municipal councils in the country’s 68 districts are formed by bringing together the elected representatives of 511 lower-level units called corregimientos...Executive power is exercised by the president, who appoints the cabinet and also names the governors of Panama’s nine provinces" (page 5).

Gandásegui 1993: "The reforms to the 1972 Constitution (approved in 1983 and still in effect in 1993) dismantled the system of political representation drawn up by the National Guard. The country returned to a system of political parties, a legislature elected by popular vote, and elections for president of the republic. The role reserved to the PDF was twofold: (1) guaranteeing public security and (2) preparing itself to be able to defend the Panama Canal" (page 10).

Millett 1989: "The National Legislative Council was eliminated, and the unwieldy, government-controlled National Assembly of Municipal Representatives, which had 505 representatives, one from each...municipal subdistrict, became the Legislative Assembly, with 67 members apportioned on the basis of population and directly elected" (page 175). "On April 24, 1983, nearly 88 percent of the voters in a national referendum approved further amendments to the Constitution designed to set the stage for the 1984 presidential and legislative elections" (page 187).

Pearson 1983: "Over 556,000 Panamanians went to the polls on Sunday, 24 April 1983, and overwhelmingly voted in favor of changes in the 1972 Constitution. Some 66 percent of those eligible to vote went to 2,809 voting places in the nine provinces and the San Blas Islands. With 97 percent of the votes counted, 476,716 or 85.5 percent voted in favor of the changes in 32 articles while 66,447 or 12 percent voted against the changes...The only group to openly oppose the changes was the...PAP which has insisted on elections to select a constituent assembly rather than accepting a group appointed by the president. The Constitutional Reform Commission was made up of representatives from all the political parties and other sectors of Panamanian life" (page 581). Describes the two "most controversial items" (pages 581-582).

Schooley 1987: "In preparation for elections in 1984 a series of constitutional amendments were drafted in 1983, including a reduction of the presidential term of office from six years to five, a ban on serving members of the National Guard from taking part in the elections, and the introduction of a system of direct election of all members of the National Legislative Council after nomination by political parties. The amendments were approved in a referendum held on April 24" (page 121).

Smith W. 1992a: Gives total votes cast and number of votes and percent of vote for yes, no, blank, and null (page 154).


Modglin 1984: "An August 1983 law created an Electoral Tribunal consisting of one each member appointed by the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The tribunal was given ultimate authority to interpret and implement electoral rules. A national vote-counting board was formed to process election returns and report to the Electoral Tribunal" (page14).

Zimbalist 1991: "After some skillful maneuvering, deceit, and possible support from the United States, Manuel Antonio Noriega emerged as the maximum leader of the National Guard in August 1983, which he promptly expanded and upgraded into the Panamanian Defense Forces" (page 127).



Black 1989: "The resignation of President Ricardo de la Espriella and his cabinet on February 13, 1984, was barely noticed during the intense election campaign. De la Espriella was forced out by Noriega. De la Espriella had opposed the military’s manipulation of the election and strongly advocated free elections for 1984" (page 63).

Zimbalist 1991: Ricardo de la Espriella resigns in February 1984 and his vice-president Jorge Illueca assumes the presidency (page 128).

May 6: General elections (Ardito Barletta / UNADE)

Ardito-Barletta 1997: "I have collected and preserved the most reliable information and proof of the results. They show that UNADE won by 4,500 votes" (page 43).

Arias de Para 1984: Gives the number of votes for each independent party and each party within each coalition for president and two vice-presidents as reported by the Tribunal Electoral (page 210). This is a photocopy of the official report of the Tribunal, which declares Ardito Barletta the winner. "Elecciones presidenciales de 1984: resultados (por partido)" (page 247). Gives by party and coalition the number of valid votes cast and total votes cast, including contested votes. This and the following tables are based on "actas de mesa" collected by ADO. "Elecciones presidenciales de 1984: resultados (por provincia)" (page 248). Gives votes for ADO and UNADE. "Elecciones presidenciales de 1984: resultados (por Circuito Electoral)" (pages 249-250). "Elecciones presidenciales de 1984: comparación entre votantes y resultados (por circuito)" (pages 251-252).

Black 1989: "The election results were made public on May 16. Ardito Barletta won the election with 300,748 votes; Arias came in second with 299,035; retired General Paredes received 15,976" (page 63).

Bossert 1984: Describes the struggle within the PRD to determine who would be the presidential candidate (page 628-630). Gives the number of votes for three candidates (page 631).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 18 1984: "Elections were held for all the seats of the new Parliament approved by popular referendum in April 1983. The unicameral Parliament of Panama, the Legislative Assembly, comprises 67 members elected for 5 years" (page 75). Describes the electoral system and the election. "Results of the Elections and Distribution of Seats in the Legislative Assembly" (page 76). Gives the number of registered electors, the percent who voted, and the number of seats for UNADE and ADO.

Gandásegui 1988: "Un candidato impopular, Nicolás Ardito-Barletta, fue impuesto por la Guardia Nacional y el Departamento de Estado en una maniobra que disgustó a los partidarios torrijistas y que la oposición calificó de fraudulenta" (page 124).

Jayan Cortés 1989: "Los resultados electorales, después de larga espera, dieron el triunfo al oficialismo con 300,748 votos contra 299,035 de la oposición" (page 41). Gives breakdown of opposition vote.

McDonald 1989: "Panamanian election results by party, 1984" (page 248). Gives by party the number of votes, percent of total votes, and number of legislative seats won.

Madrid 1989: "En las últimas elecciones realizadas en Panamá (1984), si bien efectivamente las mujeres votamos, no es posible saber, por ejemplo, qué porcentaje de mujeres votantes se abstuvieron, a qué partidos políticos y tendencias ideológicas se inclinan las mujeres o si las mismas respaldaron masivamente a las candidatas femeninas" (page 74). "37 mujeres fueron postuladas a legisladoras, para un total a elegir de 67, de las cuales resultaron electas 4 (5.97%); 120 mujeres fueron postuladas como suplentes de legisladores para un total de 134 a elegir, de las cuales fueron electas 21 (15.67%)" (page 77).

Menjívar 1986: "Panamá: resultados elecciones presidenciales. 1984" (page 60). For seven parties gives the total votes for that party and the percent of valid votes, percent of total votes, and percent of registered voters they constitute. Gives total valid votes, null and blank votes, total voters, and abstentions and percent they constitute of total votes and total registered voters. Gives number of registered voters.

Millett 1989: "Charges of fraud...were launched against the winners of several legislative seats. In these races, official returns gave a large majority to members of the government coalition; the PRD won thirty-four seats, the PPA fourteen, PALA seven, the PDC five, the PR and MOLIRENA three each, and the PLN one" (pages 188-189).

Modglin 1984: "On May 6, for the first time in 16 years, Panama held direct popular elections for President and as part of the Presidential ticket newly-constituted First and Second Vice President positions. At the same time voters chose approximately 67 legislators to fill a substantially powerful Assembly created under recent constitutional reforms" (page 4). Describes electoral process (pages 15-17), parties and candidates (pages 18-28), and issues (pages 28-32). "Results (by province) of Panama’s 1984 presidential elections" (Appendix A). "These results were published in the Panamanian media, but do not reflect the final adjustment which reduced the Barletta final margin from 5,000+ to 1,715." Gives by province total eligible voters, total votes, percent of total eligible, votes for Barletta and percent they constitute of total provincial vote, votes for Arias and percent they constitute of total provincial vote, others (including blank and null votes), and percent of total country vote. "Tentative composition of the National Assembly, based on May, 1984 elections" (Appendix B). "As of mid-June, 1984 only a fourth of the seats in the Assembly had a certified victor. The election of the remaining three-quarters of the legislators remained under appeal." Gives by province and electoral circuit the successful candidate’s name and party.

Pérez 1995: "May 1984 elections (official results)" (page 130). Gives results by alliance (number and percent of vote) and by individual parties (percent).

Schooley 1987: The presidential elections were held on May 6, 1984, and the PRD candidate, Nicolás Ardito Barletta, gained a majority of only 1,713 votes over the nearest contender, Arias Madrid...Supporters of Arias made allegations of fraud" (page 121). "In the concurrent elections to a 67-member Legislative Assembly to replace the National Assembly of Community Representatives, Unade...gained 40 seats against 27 for ADO" (page 121).

Scranton 1991: "Preelection reports suggested that the procedures enacted during 1982-1984 to ensure a free and fair national election would achieve that result. Events on and after election day, however, were tainted with fraud. The vote count was stopped early and then suspended three days later, on May 9...On May 12, the tallies stood at 319,671 for Barletta and 314,714 for Arias, but the trend, with challenges, was favoring Arias. On May 16, the Tribunal declared Barletta’s victory. Of some 640,000 votes cast, they found Barletta the winner by 1,713 votes. The process looked suspicious: the announcement came ten days after the election, and one of the three members of the Tribunal abstained" (page 76).

Smith 1992: Ardito Barletta is "proclaimed winner of the 1984 elections by less than 2,000 votes" (page 222).

Smith W. 1992a: "Panamá: partidos políticos y nominas. Elecciones generales, 1984" (page 157). "Panamá: elecciones para presidente, mayo de 1984" (page 158). Gives the number of votes and percent of vote won by each party.

Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 25 1987: "Panama presidential election results, by political party (May 20, 1984)" (page 197). Gives party and number of votes won. Source is the U.S. Embassy in Panama.

Weeks 1991: The ADO is "a coalition of right-wing parties founded...to fight the 1984 Panamanian election, in which it won 27 seats out of 67" (page x).

June: municipal elections

Madrid 1989: "En 1984 también se eligieron alcaldes para los 65 distritos y representantes de corregimiento, para los 505 corregimientos. Cuatro mujeres fueron electas como alcaldesas--2 de ellas en los distritos de la capital--(6.15%) y 16 como suplentes, en tanto que 21 mujeres resultaron electas como representantes de corregimientos (4.15%) y 29 como suplentes de representantes de corregimientos" (page 77).

Millett 1989: "In 1984 municipal officials were elected in a separate election, held on short notice after the election of the president and the legislature. Opposition parties protested the timing and conditions of these elections, but participated. The great majority of offices, including those in the capital, were won by pro-government candidates, but opposition parties did gain control of a few municipalities" (page 184).

Modglin 1984: Local municipal elections are held on June 10, 1984 (page 4).

Pearson 1985: Gives the results of the June 10, 1984 municipal election for mayor of Panama City (page 593). "The governing PRD and UNADE won an estimated 70 percent of the 65 mayoralty posts and 505 seats in the Assembly of Community Representatives at stake. An estimated 60 percent of the eligible voters failed to go to the polls" (pages 593-594).


Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 23 1984: "As a result of the elections for and the installation of a new 67-member Legislative Assembly on 6 May 1984, the 505-member National Assembly of Municipal Representatives--which was hitherto the country’s national legislature, last elected in August 1978--is to be abolished on 2 November 1984. Abolition had been approved by popular referendum in April 1983" (page 14).


September 13

Scranton 1991: "On September 13, 1985, a long-time opponent of Noriega, Dr. Hugo Spadafora, was murdered...by PDF officers" (page 85). "President Barletta called for an investigation of Spadafora’s death and allegations of PDF complicity. These actions, in conjunction with a power struggle between Díaz Herrera and Noriega, caused the PDF to oust this increasingly unpopular president" (page 87).

September 27

Ardito-Barletta 1997: "Then, after a fourteen-hour discussion during which I was detained in Noriega’s office, I was forced to ‘separate’ myself from office--an unconstitutional action. I used the word ‘separation’ because it allowed me to maintain that I was still constitutional president while I sought outside support" (page 52).

Schooley 1987: "Ardito resigned on Sept. 27, 1985, and was replaced by First Vice-President Eric Arturo del Valle...who promised to return to ‘Torrijista’ principles’" (page 121).

Zimbalist 1991: "In part because of a yet more austere fiscal program and in part because he intimated investigating the killing of Hugo Spadafora, Barletta’s tenure too was short-lived; he was forced out by Noriega in September 1985. Barletta was followed by his vice-president, Eric Arturo Delvalle" (page 128).



Cerdas Cruz 1993: "En el mes de junio de 1987 se produjo la denuncia del Jefe del Estado Mayor de las Fuerzas Armadas de Panamá, coronel Roberto Díaz Herrera, quien públicamente acusó al régimen de corrupción generalizada y al general Noriega de [muchas cosas]...A raíz de estas declaraciones la ciudadanía inició jornadas de protesta pacífica y huelgas, organizadas por la Cruzada Civilista Nacional...El 11 de junio de 1987 se impuso el estado de emergencia nacional para controlar el brote de protestas populares" (pages 105-106).

Dunkerley 1994: On June 26 a "US Senate resolution calls for Noriega to stand down and for new elections" (page 34).

Gandásegui 1993: "In 1987, the situation grew more critical, producing paralysis within the PDF. The crisis came to a head in June 1987 when Colonel Roberto Díaz Herrera, recently retired head of the PDF High Command, denounced the internal management of General Noriega’s military organization. Díaz Herrera’s act was the first public manifestation of a breach. In the face of the PDF’s demonstrated weakness, the political sector began to mobilize and call for a confrontation with the military. Following the leadership of groups that appeared to have little political experience, they formed the ‘Cruzada Civilista’ for the purpose of overthrowing the Delvalle government and convening a ‘constituyente’ assembly to draw up a new constitution" (page 12).


Dunkerley 1994: On July 1 an "OAS resolution [calls] on US to cease interference in internal Panamanian affairs, as guaranteed under [the] 1977 Canal treaties" (page 34).


Dunkerley 1994: On August 8 "US military and economic aid [is] suspended" (page 34).


Weeks 1991: The PL is formed in 1988 "with support among elements of the army and the business sector" (page xi).


Ardito-Barletta 1997: "The State Department offered Delvalle U.S. support if he were to remove Noriega. Delvalle tried to do so in February 1988 but instead was himself removed from office by the Legislative Assembly" (page 56).

Cerdas Cruz 1993: "El 26 de febrero de 1988 asumió la presidencia de la República Manuel Solís Palma...elegido por el Consejo de Gabinete tras la destitución por parte de la Asamblea Nacional, por presión del General Noriega, del Presidente Eric Arturo Delvalle y del Vicepresidente Roderick Esquivel" (page 107).

Loser 1989: "By late February the crisis further deepened as Delvalle attempted to fire Noriega from the PDF. Instead, Delvalle was sacked by the PDF-controlled National Assembly and Manuel Solis Palma was elected ‘minister in charge of the presidency’" (page 4).


Dunkerley 1994: On March 11 "US withholds payments to Canal Commission and freezes assets of Panamanian state in USA" (page 34).


Millett 1992a: "The death of Arnulfo Arias in August 1988, a few days before his eighty-seventh birthday, removed a major obstacle to opposition unity, but also created several new problems. It left the opposition without a charismatic national leader to place at the head of any 1989 electoral ticket...Leadership of the party and of the political coalition ultimately devolved upon Arnulfista Dr. Guillermo Endara" (page 26).


Millett 1992a: "When the United States insisted that Delvalle, who took refuge with the U.S. military, was still Panama’s true president, the opposition faced a major dilemma...Reluctantly, the opposition accepted his claim to be president until after the 1989 elections, but made it clear that he would play no significant role in determining either their tactics in that election or in the formation of any government after his term of office expired. On the whole, the addition of Delvalle and his supporters probably did more to weaken than to strengthen the opposition" (page 25).

Zimbalist 1991: "Delvalle still claimed the presidency of Panama with U.S. blessing. To improve this claim as legitimate president of Panama, Delvalle in November announced that along with five opposition parties he would form a provisional government, with the purpose of holding elections once Noriega was removed from his position as head of the Defense Forces" (page 151).


Zimbalist 1991: "(A)t the end of the year the sitting government of Panama announced that the presidential election scheduled for 1989 would be held on May 7" (page 151).



Ardito-Barletta 1997: "(B)oth U.S. parties asked Noriega to leave Panama. Moreover the January 1990 date was nearing when canal administration would be turned over to a Panamanian who would be designated by Noriega, should he still be in power. Because the United States did not want to see that happen, it was only a question of time before there was another confrontation between Noriega and the United States" (page 57).

Dunkerley 1994: On January 19 "Reagan threatens to renege on 1977 treaty if Noriega remains in power" (page 35).

May 7: General elections

Ardito-Barletta 1997: "The opposition won the elections hands down as predicted in polls taken during the campaign; there was no room for vote fraud to change the results. The elections were supervised by large observer groups, among them one headed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Noriega and his group then voided the elections because of the ‘imprecision of the results and foreign influences’" (page 58).

Cerdas Cruz 1993: "Según las cifras publicadas por el Tribunal Electoral, el total de electores hábiles para esta elección era de 1,184,320, quienes deberían votar en 4,255 mesas de votación ubicadas en un total de 1,944 centros" (page 109).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 24 1990: Describes the electoral system (page 173). "The 1989 parliamentary elections were combined with those for President of the Republic and 505 municipal representatives" (page 174). "Results of the Elections and Distribution of Seats in the Legislative Assembly." Gives the number of registered voters and the number of seats won by each party. "Distribution of deputies according to sex."

Dunkerley 1994: There are "widespread allegations of fraud to deny victory to ADOC candidate Guillermo Endara" (page 35).

Elecciones de 1989: una encrucijada para la patria 1989: "Los comicios electorales del 7 de mayo de 1989 tienen que ser convertidos...en un verdadero y auténtico plebiscito en el que el pueblo escoja entre un militarismo represivo o una patria libre" (page 2). Discusses the election in the context of Panamanian history (pages 16-22).

Furlong 1993: "As their candidates, the new coalition [ADO-C] selected Guillermo Endara, who was associated with the original Arnulfo Arias party...to run for president, along with vice-presidential candidates Ricardo Arias Calderón (of the PDC) and Guillermo Ford (of the MOLIRENA). The Noriega government...chose Carlos Duque to run as candidate for the...PRD, the official government party. When the elections were finally held in May 1989, not only was Duque defeated, but the anti-Noriega forces had won by a margin of more than 2-1. In frustration, Noriega cancelled the results of the election and destroyed all the official ballots" (page 20).

Gandásegui 1990: Discusses in detail the 1989 election. "Resultados computados por el Centro de Informática de la ADO-Civilista" (page 385). "Resultados de la muestra efectuada por la iglesia católica (%)."

Gandásegui 1993: "The elections of 1989 turned into the ultimate test of the PDF and its commander. The United States abandoned the subversive tactics of the ‘Cruzada Civilista’ and shifted to giving its support to political parties" (page 13).

Goodman 1992: "Legislative assembly elections, Panama, 1989 (annulled)" (page 384). Gives coalitions and parties and number of seats won. "Legislative assembly elections, Panama, 1989 (annulled)" (page 384). This has different seat allocations from the previous table and may be the results of the 1991 elections.

Hoffman 1990: Discusses the elections in detail.

Keesings’s record of world events May 1989: "The turnout was estimated to be as high as 90 per cent of the official electorate of 1,180,000. In the presidential poll both the opposition and the pro-government candidate claimed victory, but no firm result emerged" (page 36645). Describes the election and the aftermath.

Leonard 1998: "Noriega’s opponents remained disorganized until plans were made for the 1989 presidential elections. Then...ADOC nominated for the presidency Guillermo Endara an ally of Arnulfo Arias...Noriega’s eight-party coalition, dominated by PRD, nominated Carlos Duque...The May 7 elections were marred by fraud, voter intimidation and violence" (page 107).

Loser 1989: "(N)either the pre-election environment nor the latter’s administrative framework suggest that the upcoming elections will, in fact, permit Panama to return to Latin America’s community of nascent democratic nations. Instead, present trendlines suggest that these elections will be utilized by the regime as a means to constitutionally sustain itself, albeit under a new cast of civilian ‘leadership’" (pages 1-2). Describes the electoral process (pages 5-9), the composition of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama (pages 9-10), voter registration and electoral registry (pages 10-11), political party registration (page 11), voting table political party representation (pages 11-12), political parties and candidates (pages 12-15), the electoral climate (pages 15-16), and the international election observers (pages 16-18).

Loser 1989a: "On May 7, 1989 Panama held elections for president, first and second vice president, as well as 67 legislators and 505 municipal district representatives...for five year terms. The electoral contest pitted an eight-party coalition (COLINA), supportive of the Noriega regime, against a three-party coalition (ADO-Civilista) which has sought General Manuel Antonio Noriega’s removal from power and attendant return to democratic rule" (page 2). Describes election day and ballot counting (pages 7-11). "Since the TEP annulled the elections, final resuilts were not generated. However, on Monday morning, May 9, the COLINA ticket proclaimed victory with 33 percent of the vote counted" (page 19).

Millett 1992a: "On election day the alternate vote count system and the presence of [Jimmy] Carter’s observers proved crucial. As returns began to demonstrate a massive rejection of the regime’s candidates, Noriega tried to rig the results, using every means at his disposal. But the defeat was too massive and the reports of observers too unanimous to permit this. The general was forced to suspend the count, destroy many of the ballots, and ultimately have the tribunal annul the election" (page 35).

Musicant 1990: "As the ballots were counted, it was clear that Noriega’s hand-picked presidential candidate was being trounced three to one at the polls. Fearful of defeat, Noriega ordered the PDF and...the Dignity Battalions, to seize the ballot boxes, close the polls, and brutally intimidate the opposition and its supporters. The election, he declared, was null and void due to "foreign interference" (pages 392-393).

Pérez 1995: "May 1989 elections (unofficial results)" (page 134). Gives results by alliance (number and percent of vote) and by political parties (percent).

Rodríguez E. 1989: "La Constitución de la República de Panamá establece que cada cinco años, el primer domingo de mayo, deben celebrarse elecciones generales...(S)e convocó a elecciones para el domingo 7 de mayo, con el fin de escoger Presidente y dos Vicepresidentes; Legisladores y Suplentes; Representantes de Corregimiento y Suplentes y Consejales y Suplentes de 14 Distritos Electorales" (page 30). "Según las cifras publicadas por el Tribunal Electoral, el total de electores hábiles para esta elección era de 1.184.320 quienes deberían votar en 4,255 Mesas de votación ubicadas en un total de 1,944 centros" (page 31). "Resultados en la Escuela Naciones Unidas de Chorreras" (page 34).

Scranton 1991: "An exit poll of 1,022 voters gave the opposition an overwhelming victory: 55.1 percent for Endara, but only 39.5 percent for Duque. The margin shocked Noriega, who either was misled by advisers or really believed that the election would be close enough to manipulate with minimal fraud...Reports of raided voting tables and missing tally sheets began to accumulate, confirming, as Carter had correctly anticipated, ‘It’s the counting that’s the problem’" (page 161).

Smith W. 1992a: "Panamá: partidos políticos y nominas. Elecciones generales, 1989" (page 160).

Weeks 1991: ADO, renamed ADOC, "put forward Guillermo Endara (after much dispute) as the candidate for the May 1989 election, which he won by a substantial majority. The elections results were, however, annulled. ADOC was installed as the government during the 1989 US invasion" (page xi).

Zimbalist 1991: "It is true that the Endara slate had nearly a three-to-one margin with roughly 80 percent of the votes counted in the May elections, but it is also true that this vote was more of a plebiscite against Noriega than it was a presidential election" (page 199).

May 8

Scranton 1991: "At about 2:30 p.m. [on May 8], the Catholic Bishops Conference anounced the results of their exit poll--a ‘quick count’ of 115 voting tables: Endara gained 74.2 percent of the vote, while Duque had only 24.9 percent" (page 162).

May 9

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 24 1990: "On 9 May, government-released results gave a clear-cut lead to Mr. Duque. Opposition forces--as well as foreign observers and the clergy--thereupon claimed massive election irregularities since by their own count there had been a contrary outcome, with Mr. Endara the overwhelming winner. Parliamentary results for their part indicated an opposition victory" (page 174).

May 10: TE annuls the elections

Central America report volume 16 number 18 May 12, 1989: "After a night of violence and amid widespread charges of fraud, the Panamanian government annuls the May 7 presidential elections claimed by both sides. International leaders call for Noriega to step down while pleading with the US to back off" (page 137). Describes situation and controversy.

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 23 1989: "Regularly scheduled elections for the 67-member Legislative Assembly took place on 7 May 1989. Three days later, amid charges of fraud, the Government annulled the vote" (page 14). "The same day, the main opposition candidates for President and Vice-President were physically assaulted by pro-Noriega paramilitary forces" (page 174).

Perez 1995: "(O)n the 10th the president of the Electoral Tribunal read a statement signed by all three magistrates annulling the elections. The statement alluded to the fact that the great number of irregularities across the country made counting the votes impossible" (page 133).

Dunkerley 1994: On May 10 the "electoral tribunal annuls [the] election results on [the] grounds of public disorder and irregularities" (page 35).

Gandásegui 1990: "El gobierno panameño justificó la decisión del Tribunal Electoral sobre la base de la intromisión de Estados Unidos...Ello se verificó por medio del financiamiento oficial de candidaturas, del apoyo propagandístico y de la participación activa de la embajada estadunidense en las giras" (page 386).

May 11

Dunkerley 1994: On May 11 "2,000 US troops [are] sent to Canal Zone" (page 35).


Dunkerley 1994: On August 31 the "Council of State dissolves the National Assembly and names [a] provisional government headed by ex-Attorney General Francisco Rodríguez" (page 35).

Furlong 1993: "In September 1989, General Noriega appointed his Comptroller-General, Francisco Rodríguez, to serve as Provisional President...It should be noted that Rodríguez’s name had not appeared on the ballot in May, nor had he ever been considered as a candidate by the electorate" (page 20).

Leonard 1998: Noriega "named Francisco Rodríguez provisional president, created a new national legislature, and announced that he would consider holding another election in six months" (page 108).


Dunkerley 1994: On October 3 a "coup attempt by Major Moisés Giroldi fails;...Giroldi and others [are] executed" (page 35).


Country report. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama 1990, 1: "In a further attempt to return to the ‘glory days’ of General Torrijos it was announced in November that the Asamblea de los 510...would be reconvened to take power. This body existed in the period between 1972 and 1984 as a quasi-legislative body designed to give General Torrijos almost unlimited powers" (page 24).

Ropp 1990: "During late 1989, General Noriega attempted to strengthen his grip over the civilian government by restoring the larger legislature that had supported military rule during the 1970s" (page 558).

December 15

Country report. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama 1990, 1: "The assembly served its purpose with one action, on December 15, which also made it redundant: it created the new post of ‘head of government’ which General Noriega as ‘maximum leader of the struggle for national liberation’--a post previously held by General Torrijos--was appointed to. Then the assembly declared Panama to be ‘in a state of war with the USA’" (page 24).

Musicant 1990: "On December 15 the immediate events that triggered the invasion began when Panama’s hand-picked National Assembly declared Manuel Noriega the de jure head of state, draping him with the title of Maximum Leader. Then...the assembly, citing aggression against the (Panamanian) people, declared the republic ‘in a state of war’ with the United States" (page 396).

December 20

Ardito-Barletta 1997: The United States installed in office the candidates who had been elected in the May 7 elections (page 59).

Dunkerley 1994: On December 20 "24,000 US troops invade in ‘Operation Just Cause’" (page 35).

Millett 1996: "The fact that President Guillermo Endara was installed in office on a U.S. Air Force base during the 1989 invasion provides Panamanians with a graphic illustration of American influence" (page 94).

Scranton 1991: "President Guillermo Endara and the two vice-presidents, Ricardo Arias Calderón and Billy Ford, were taken to Ft. Clayton to be sworn into office by Osvaldo Velasquez, the head of the Panamanian Commission on Human Rights, just forty-five minutes before the invasion began" (page 203).

Zimbalist 1991: "The immediate cause of the U.S. invasion of Panama in December 1989 was the desire of the Bush administration to remove Manuel Noriega from power and install a pro-U.S. regime" (page 136).

December 27

Central America report volume 18 number 5 February 8, 1991: "Panama’s Electoral Tribunal annulled the results [of the May 7, 1989 election] from certain areas, where they considered that the conditions had been too irregular to permit valid vote counting procedures" (page 34).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 24 1990: "On 27 December 1989, the Electoral Tribunal revoked the annulment of the general elections held on 7 May 1989" (page 20).

Gandásegui 1990: "Adjudicación de curules a legisladores por el Tribunal y porcentaje de votos" (page 388). Assembly is constituted based on results of May 7 election.

Leonard 1998: "Panama’s path to democracy began on December 27, 1989, seven days after the U.S. invasion, when the Electoral Tribunal validated the May 7 election results. Endara assumed the presidency and the ADOC coalition controlled the national legislature. The PDF was disbanded" (page 108).

Selser 1990: Describes the Electoral Tribunal’s decision to reverse their ruling on the May 7 election and gives the results of the election as now accepted by the Tribunal (pages 178-182).

Weeks 1991: "The PDC had grown into an important opposition force during the latter half of the 1980s, largely as a result of its consistent stand against military rule and its alliances with older, richer parties. When the new government reconstructed the results of the 1989 election, the PDC won almost half the seats in the legislature, and was undoubtedly the party with the greatest number of members prepared for government" (page 90).


Furlong 1993: "Following the 1989 invasion, the new Endara-led government had to decide whether to maintain the Torrijos-Noriega constitution, amending it to fit the demands of the new democratization process, or to call for a national constitutional assembly to draw up a new constitution that would establish new, more democratic ‘rules of the game.’ President Endara and his two vice presidents were not in favor of the latter alternative for a number of reasons, the most important one being their fear that a constitutional assembly might well insist upon establishing an interim government and call for new elections to be held before 1994. The new leaders preferred to continue in power under the old rules rather than risk losing that power completely to a transition government and new elections...(T)he Endara government chose to forego the constitutional assembly alternative and opted to follow the path of amendment. For nearly two years (1990-92), the ‘Asamblea Legislativa’ deliberated, debated, and discussed a variety of proposed amendments" (pages 24-25).


Dunkerley 1994: "Noriega surrenders to US forces, is shipped to Miami and indicted on drugs charges" (page 35).


Country profile. Costa Rica, Panama 1994-1995: "(O)n February 23, 1990, the electoral tribunal, working on voting returns of the May 1989 elections confirmed the election of 57 of the 67 legislators with 51 seats going to the ADOC coalition and only six to the pro-Noriega PRD" (page 33).

February: Panamanian Defense Forces replaced

Millett 1996: "Panama’s military, the Panamanian Defense Forces, was destroyed in the 1989 U.S. invasion, and the successor institution, the Public Force (FP) is little more than a national police" (page 92).

Pérez 1995: "The minister of government and justice...decided ...to replace the Defense Forces with a Public Force composed of three services: the National Police, the National Air Service, and the National Maritime Service" (page 135).


Oppenheimer 1992: "Panama’s first post-invasion efforts to reassert itself as an independent nation-state suffered a major setback on December 5, 1990, however, when the Endara government asked for U.S. military help to quell a rebellion" (page 46).


Mujeres latinoamericanas en cifras: Panamá 1993: "En los municipios, organización política autónoma de la comunidad establecida en cada distrito, en 1991 había nueve mujeres alcaldesas de un total de 65. En cada distrito hay un Alcalde y dos suplentes que son elegidos por votación directa por períodos de cinco años" (page 94).

January 27: Partial congressional elections

Central America report volume 18 number 5 February 8, 1991: "Half of the 200,000 eligible voters abstain from the ‘partial’ elections for Panamanian municipal and congressional representatives held on January 27...Panama’s Election Tribunal decided to hold ‘partial’ elections affecting one sixth of the electorate in 9 legislative and 160 local government constituencies and 10 councils. In January 1990, days after the US restored the May 1989 election results, the Tribunal ruled that the records and voting conditions at particular polling stations had not been adequate to ensure a fair result" (page 33). Describes the controversial issues involved. "Number of deputies before and after the elections held January 27, 1991" (page 34).

Cerdas Cruz 1993: "Sumados ambos resultados--los de la elección de mayo de 1989 y de enero del 91--, los partidos obtuvieron estos porcentajes" (pages 112-113). Gives the percent of the vote for each party.

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 25 1991: "On 27 January 1991, by-elections were held for the nine seats of the Legislative Assembly which could not be filled at the May 1989 general elections" (page 19). Gives the number of seats won by each party.

Country profile. Costa Rica, Panama 1994-1995: "The Endara administration’s flagging popularity was revealed in January 1991 when elections were held for the nine vacant Legislative Assembly seats. The PRD’s victory in five of the seats deepened internal divisions in the government coalition" (page 33).

Keesings’s record of world events January 1991: "Elections were held on Jan. 27 to nine National Assembly seats which had remained vacant since the May 1989 elections, when the relevant voting papers were spoiled or destroyed, and also to 170 local government posts...Turnout for the local elections was exceptionally low, but was much higher in the nine districts where National Assembly seats were at issue. The left-wing opposition National Liberation Coalition (Colina), which had supported Noriega in 1989, won five of these seats and Endara’s Democratic Civic Opposition Alliance (ADOC) the remaining four" (page 37957).

Oppenheimer 1992: "In the January 1991 elections for nine seats in the National Assembly, the PRD won three seats, while the Christian Democrats won two,...[the] MOLIRENA party won two, the Liberal Pary won one, and the PALA party won one. The resulting balance of forces within the 67-member National Assembly was Christian Democratic party (PDC) 28, MOLIRENA 16, Democratic Revolutionary party (PRD) 10, Arnulfista party 6, Authentic Liberal party 5, PALA 1, and Liberal party 1" (page 52).

Pérez 1995: "In 1991, partial legislative elections were held to fill nine seats for which results could not be determined in the 1989 elections; the PRD won five of the nine seats, and the government accepted the outcome" (page 136).

Smith W. 1991: "Panamá: resultado de las elecciones parciales del 27 de enero de 1991" (page 15).

Smith W. 1992a: "Panamá: votos validos según partidos políticos en las elecciones de legisladores de circuito, 1989 y 1991" (page 162). "Panamá: conformación del cuadro de representantes de corregimientos por partido a raiz de las elecciones de 1989 y 1991" (page 163).


Keesings’s record of world events March 1991: "A new party...MPDL was formed in March by leaders of the National Civic Crusade" (page 38093).


Country profile. Costa Rica, Panama 1994-1995: In April 1991 "Endara sacked his five Christian Democrat ministers for ‘disloyalty’; this caused the...PDC, the strongest of the government parties, to leave the coalition. The departure of the PDC deprived ADOC of a majority in the Legislative Assembly, giving the PRD the chance to hold up government legislation" (page 33).

Furlong 1993: "In April 1991, the ADO-C coalition finally unraveled when President Endara accused the ‘Partido Demócrata Cristiano’ and its leader, Vice-President Arias Calderón, of attempting to undermine and weaken his government" (page 48).



Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 26 1992: "On 29 June 1992, a general revision of the Constitution was approved...The amendments are to be submitted to popular referendum in November 1992" (page 23).

Furlong 1993: "(O)n 29 June 1992, the Assembly approved a package of nearly 60 amendments to the constitution which were then to be placed before the electorate" (page 25).


Major 1993: "On 10 July 1992 the erstwhile ‘caudillo’ of Panama, General Manuel Antonio Noriega, was sentenced by the U.S. District Court in Miami to forty years in jail for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States. So ended a five-year campaign against Noriega waged by the U.S. government, begining with the suspension of economic and military aid to Panama in July 1987" (page 1).

November 15: Referendum on constitutional reforms

Central America report volume 19 number 44 November 20, 1992: "In a November 15 referendum the Panamanian people give a resounding NO to 58 constitutional reforms proposed by the Endara government and its allies but also skew results with nearly 60% voter abstention. The vote is seen as an expression of widespread discontent with the administration but does not signal clearly where the people want to go, especially on the issue of abolishing the military...For the first time in a decade electoral results were accepted by one and all. The NO vote was a resounding 64%, more than double the 31% who supported the reforms" (page 345).

Country profile. Costa Rica, Panama 1993-1994: "Following President Endara’s defeat in the November 1992 constitutional referendum, Ricardo Arias Calderón, the leader of the main opposition PDC, resigned as first vice-president, severing the PDC’s last remaining link with the ADOC administration and further eroding its stability" (page 32).

Dunkerley 1996: "(T)he results of the referendum of 15 November 1992 on reforms to the 1983 Constitution [were that] 64 per cent of the voters rejected the proposal that, ‘the Republic of Panama shall have no army’ along with 57 other (less publicised and controversial) proposed amendments" (page 77).

Furlong 1993: "During the long-drawn-out amendment debate, the number of proposals under consideration had multiplied into a complex and bewildering package. As the package grew, public interest waned. When the Referendum on the amendments was finally held, in November 1992, it was soundly defeated by a margin of nearly 2-to-1" (page 25). Lists reasons the referendum failed. "Most telling of all, a majority of the electorate (almost 60%) chose ‘not’ to vote at all by abstaining from the election."

Keesings’s record of world events November 1992: "President Guillermo Endara Gallimany suffered a humiliating defeat in a referendum on Nov. 15 which had been intended to strengthen his government’s credibility. The referendum was monitored by 12,000 members of the security forces, 490 delegates from the Catholic Church, 50 international observers and 300 foreign journalists, and was considered the cleanest and most peaceful poll ever held in Panama, but was marked by a high abstention rate (the turnout was only slightly over 40 per cent)...Voters thus rejected 58 assorted reforms, principal among which were the constitutional abolition of the armed forces and the elimination of all references to the military’s role in the life of the nation" (page 39185).

Millett 1993: "The populace had...clearly demonstrated its discontent with the current political order in November 1992 when it voted by a better than two-to-one margin to reject the administration’s proposal for a package of constitutional reforms that had also been endorsed by the principal opposition party. This action left Panama still saddled with the Noriega-era constitution and solved none of the problems afflicting the government" (page 34).

Millett 1996: "While a proposed constitutional amendment to formally abolish the military was defeated in a referendum in 1992, it has since been adopted by the national Assembly" (page 92). "Only 38 percent of the voting population participated in the 1992 referendum" (page 95). "The nation is still operating under the 1972 Constitution, reformed in 1978 and 1983, which was the product and instrument of the military regimes. The 1992 electoral defeat of the proposed package of changes to this document has frustrated efforts to bring the constitution more in line with the needs of a democratic state. One result has been a movement for convoking a constituent assembly to draft an entirely new basic document" (page 96).

Ropp 1997: "During Endara’s presidency an effort was made to amend the constitution by popular referendum in order to enhance liberties and demilitarize politics. However, the overly complex basket of constitutional changes failed to spark voter enthusiasm and came to be associated with the president’s failed efforts to review the economy. As a result, they were rejected in November 1992 by a margin of two to one" (page 56).

Scranton 1993: "The vote in the referendum was overwhelming (64%) in rejecting the reforms. This vote, along with an unusually high rate of voters abstaining (62%), was widely interpreted as a massive repudiation of the present civilian government" (pages 67-68). "In November 1992, when the government submitted its roster of reforms to the voters in a referendum, they were rejected overwhelmingly: 174,690 (out of 559,651) voters chose ‘No.’ More than 800,000 eligible voters stayed home, giving the referendum the highest abstention rate in Panamanian history" (page 72). "The electorate cast their votes on the referendum at 1,931 polling places, which covered a total of 3,921 separate voting tables (‘mesas’), each of which was assigned a registration list containing up to 500 names. Each ‘mesa’ reported to a regional center, located in one of 43 electoral circuits, where the votes were tallied" (page 85). "Results of the 1992 referendum" (page 86). Gives by province the number of yes, no, and null votes. Source is La Prensa November 18, 1992.



Country profile. Costa Rica, Panama 1993-1994: "Political parties in the Legislative Assembly, May 1993" (page 32). Gives the number of seats held by each party, divided by whether they are pro-government or opposition.


Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 28 1994: "The 1983 Electoral Code was considerably amended by Law no. 17 of 30 June 1993. The modifications applied to the general elections of May 1994, when a total of 71 Deputies--four more than before by virtue of Law no. 28 of 14 December 1993--were elected to the Legislative Assembly" (page 17).

Country profile. Panama 1997-1998: "An electoral code reform in June 1993 permitted the direct election of mayors for the first time" (page 5).


Country profile. Panama 1999-2000: The November 1992 referendum result "was bypassed in 1994 when two consecutive legislative assemblies in 1994 approved the Fuerza Pública’s abolition" (page 6).

Nickson 1995: "In 1994 [presidential appointment] was replaced by the direct election of mayors" (page 222).

Ropp 1997: "Guillermo Endara, the country’s first postinvasion president, managed to complete his term despite several coup attempts, the collapse of his ruling coalition, and a precipitous drop in public support" (page 55).

May 8: General election (Pérez Balladares / PRD)

Castro Herrera 1994: "Estuvieron en disputa...71 legislaturas, 40 alcaldías y 510 representaciones de Corregimiento" (page 85). Discusses the election and the issues involved.

Central America report volume 21 number 17 May 13, 1994: Pérez Balladares (PRD) wins 33.1% of the vote, Mireya Moscoso de Gruber (Partido Arnulfista) wins 28.5%, Rubén Blades (Papa Egoró) wins 17.7%, and Carles (MOLIRENA) wins 16.5% (page 1). "The PRD won 21 of the 71 seats in the legislature, the PA 12, the Papa Egoró 6 and MOLIRENA 5." Gives the results of the mayoral race in Panamá, the capital.

Cerdas Cruz 1996: "(T)he number of participants in the 1994 elections reached eighteen at one point, although in the end only fourteen took part in the poll. In all these cases, whether based around groups (such as the Solidarity party) or around well-known personalities (for example, the case of the popular singer Rubén Blades), the parties have been devised primarily to meet the legal requirements for registration...This...has necessitated the formation of alliances and coalitions, giving the Panamanian political system a unique character, both in terms of the actors which make it up and of the problems of governability which it faces" (pages 30-31).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections volume 28 1994: "The unicameral Parliament of Panama, the Legislative Assembly, comprises 71 members elected for 5 years. This total was raised from 67 since the previous (May 1989) elections" (page 145). Describes the electoral system (pages 145-146). "The 1994 legislative elections were held simultaneously with those for President of the Republic, municipal and local representatives" (page 146). "Analysts regarded Mr. Balladares presidential triumph as less of an endorsement of his programme than a rejection of the record of outgoing President Endara...The outcome also signaled the revitalization of the PRD as a political force." "Results of the Elections and Distribution of Seats in the Legislative Assembly" (page 147). Gives number of registered voters, voters, and number of seats won by each party. "Distribution of Deputies according to Sex."

Country profile. Costa Rica, Panama 1994-1995: "Results of presidential and legislative assembly elections, May 8, 1994" (page 36). Gives the candidate and alliance/party, the number of votes and percent of total votes, number of seats won and seats held in previous congress for comparison, the total votes cast, null and void votes, and percent of abstention.

Las elecciones de 1994, Panama frente a su destino 1993: Discusses the importance of the 1994 elections to Panama and comments that 70% of the population eligible to vote has never before voted in a democratic election (page 40).

Falcoff 1994: "Primary parties and respective candidates in the May 8, 1994 Panama elections" (page ii). "On May 8, Panamanians will go to the polls for the first time in five years to elect a president, two vice presidents, and nearly 1,900 other officials--including mayors, vice mayors, members of the National Assembly, and their alternates...(T)his election will determine the government that will preside over the final consummation of the Carter-Torrijos treaties of 1978, ending in the turnover of the Canal and its installations to the Republic of Panama by the United States" (page 2). Describes the parties and their candidates (pages 4-6). "This is the first year in which Panamanians will be handed separate ballots for legislative assembly and president. At the same time voters will be allowed to split their party preferences--they need not vote a particular ‘list’" (page 6). Describes the National Assembly (pages 6-7), the presidential candidates (pages 7-9), and the issues (pages 10-12).

Falcoff 1994a: "On May 8, 1994, Ernesto Pérez Balladares of the...PRD was elected president of Panama with about 33.3 percent of the popular vote. HIs party also achieved an effective majority in the new National Assembly. The big surprise was not the victory of the PRD, but the nearly successful challenge of Mireya Moscoso de Gruber, the candidate of the Arnulfista Party" (page 1). "Presidential results (official)" (page 2). Source is "National Scrutiny Board." Gives the candidate and party and percent of total votes won. "Legislative results (unofficial)" (page 2). Source is Embassy of Panama, Washington, D.C. Gives the party and number of seats won.

Gandásegui 1994: Gives percents of vote for top four presidential candidates and abstention rate (page 91). Gives total seats and number won by major parties (page 92).

Keesings’s record of world events May 1994: Gives the results of the presidential and legislative elections and the mayoral election in Panama City (page 40003).

Kurtenbach 1995: Discusses the May 8, 1994 election in detail. "Ergebnis der Präsidentschaftswahlen (in % der gültigen Stimmen)" (page 132). "Ergebnis der Parlamentswahlen (in % der gültigen Stimmen)" (page 133).

Leonard 1998: "Ernesto Pérez Balladares...was nominated by the old PDF party, the PRD. The other candidate was Ruben Darío Carles, nominated by...MOLIRENA...Balladares captured the presidency with 33 percent of the vote" (page 114).

Millett 1996: "In 1994 Panama held what were indisputably its freest and most open elections in the last quarter century. Fifteen parties had achieved legal status, the press and electronic media belabored the incumbent administration and promoted various candidates, and citizens of all regions and social classes were uninhibited in expressing political preferences and criticizing existing situations" (page 92). "Panamanian law makes forming new political parties and gaining legal status relatively easy, a situation that has facilitated a proliferation of parties and, despite numerous efforts at alliance formation, produced seven presidential candidates for the 1994 elections. Alliance formation was even less common at lower levels, and in 1994 eleven different parties won seats in the legislative Assembly" (page 93).

Peeler 1998: "(F)ree elections in 1994 brought to the presidency Ernesto Pérez Balladares, head of the old Torrijos-Noriega Party" (page 91).

Pérez 1995: "Presidential election results, May 8, 1994" (page 139). Gives candidates, votes, and percent of vote. "National assembly results by political party, May 8, 1994, elections" (page 140). Gives party and seats won.

Ropp 1997: "Six candidates ran for president, supported by a cast of 16 political parties. Popular disgust with the inability of politicians to deal with national problems during the Endara years, as well as rapidly changing alliances among various fragmented parties, seemed to point toward fraudulent elections. However, the 1994 elections turned out to be surprisingly free and fair--judged by most observers to have been among the cleanest in Panama’s short history...Endara refused to use the economic and organizational resources of the government to favor his coalition’s candidates and accepted defeat at the hands of the opposition...The...disturbing news was that the elections also resulted in the return to power of the PRD, a party that had been closely associated with the preinvasion military regime. Not only did it manage to restore one of its own to the presidency, but it also gained effective control of the National Assembly" (pages 55-56).

Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 32 1996: "Panama presidential election results, by political party and candidate (May 8, 1994)" (page 304). Gives party, candidate, and percent of vote won. Source is U.S. Embassy in Panama.

Wilson 1994: This pamphlet provides a variety of statistics on the elections.



Country report. Panama 1997, 1: "In late January the three main opposition parties [PA, MOLIRENA and PDC] reaffirmed their intention to stand together in the next elections...and indicated that work to produce a joint programme which will form the basis of their election campaign would soon be under way...In preparation for the 1999 elections, the Electoral Tribunal has approved the arrangements which will allow people to subscribe to the seven new political parties which have been registered. The Panamanian electoral code establishes that a party needs a minimum of 53,342 registered members before it can be legally recognised as a political party" (pages 13-14). Lists the seven new parties and their leaders.


Central America report volume 24 number 31 August 14, 1997: "Electoral activity warms up for the 1999 general elections, with the ruling...PRD calling for constitutional reform to allow President Ernesto Pérez Balladares to stand again as a ‘national necessity.’...(T)he opposition plans a united front to challenge the re-election" (page 6). "The Legislative Assembly could formulate the modifications between September 1 and December 1, which if passed by the legislative would be submitted to a national referendum for public approval" (page 7).


Central America report volume 24 number 39 October 9, 1997: "On September 22, seven opposition parties joined forces to oppose the re-election of President Ernesto Pérez Balladares, under the name of the National Front for the Defense of Democracy. Re-election is currently unconstitutional, but this could be altered after a national referendum" (page 2). Describes the coalition.


Central America report volume 24 number 44 November 13, 1997: "The ruling...PRD took its proposal for constitutional reform to Congress on October 20...(T)he PRD wants to change Article 173 to allow presidential re-election for the 1999 elections" (page 13). "Party membership" (page 13). Gives the number of members of each party divided by coalitions for and against the reform.



Central America report volume 25 number 10 March 12, 1998: "The main political parties met on February 9 to sign the Electoral Ethical Pact in preparation for primary elections later this year and the May 1999 general elections. The ruling...PRD was absent from the meeting, claiming it had not been invited...Three new parties are currently in the process of formation. These are the Party for Panama, the Labor Party and the National Agreement Movement...There are now 12 official political parties in Panama, including Democratic Change (CD), which was registered on February 10 this year" (page 8).


Central America report volume 25 number 34 September 4, 1998: "The August 30 referendum resulted in a resounding defeat for President Ernesto Pérez Balladares, who was hoping to institute constitutional reforms allowing presidential re-election" (page 5). "Referendum results" (page 6). Gives number of no votes, yes votes, blank votes, spoiled votes and percent they constitute of registered voters; total votes; abstentions; and total registered voters.

Country profile. Panama 1998-1999: The constitutional changes needed to allow immediate re-election "were decisively rejected in a referendum on August 30th 1998, when anti-reformists took 64% of the vote; voters appear to have been concerned about the possibility of entrenching a ‘civil dictatorship’ so soon after the end of military rule" (page 6). "Referendum on constitutional changes, 1998." Details the proposed constitutional changes, gives the number of registered voters, the number of votes cast, the percent of turnout, the percent of votes in favor of changes, and the percent of votes against changes.

EcoCentral volume 3 number 32 September 3, 1998: "The Tribunal Electoral announced that the proposition was rejected by 64% to 34%. Eduardo Valdes, president of the Tribunal Electoral, said 65% of registered voters cast ballots, compared with 40% who turned out for the 1994 referendum on other constitutional reforms" (page 9). "The ‘no’ vote won in all nine provinces. Only the indigenous community of Kuna Yala supported re-election by a slim majority. The highest ‘no’ vote was cast in Colon province where 70.5% voted against re-election. Colon also has the highest unemployment" (page 10).

Keesings’s record of world events September 1998: "A total of 716,601 votes were cast against lifting the constitutional prohibition on consecutive terms for presidents, compared with 385,470 votes in favour of the proposal; 32.5 per cent of voters abstained" (page 42488).



Central America report volume 26 number 4 January 29, 1999: "Panamanian political coalitions" (page 6). Gives coalition name, characteristics, parties involved, presidential candidate, first vice-presidential candidate, and second vice-presidential candidate.

May: General election (Moscoso/ PA)

Central America report volume 26 number 17 May 7, 1999: "Mireya Moscoso, whose husband Arnulfo Arias was ousted by the military in 1968, defeats the son of the general who took power after the coup. Moscoso will be the Panamanian leader to receive the Panama Canal from the United States at the end of this year...[Moscoso won] almost 45% of the vote, to Torrijos’ 38%, to become the first woman president in the nation’s history" (page 1). "When she begins her five-year term on September 1, the president-elect will face a Congress dominated by opposition parties. According to the latest estimates, some 6 of the 71 seats will go to Vallarino’s Opposition Action Party, and the rest will be split between the Moscoso and Torrijos coalitions" (page 2).

Country profile. Panama 1999-2000: "Votes in the 1999 presidential election also counted for the first time towards the election of 20 members of the Central American parliament (Parlacen) on a proportional representation basis" (page 6). "Despite its defeat in the 1999 presidential election, the PRD remains Panama’s largest and best-organised political force, and has restored its image following its alliance with the tainted Noriega regime." "The Partido Arnulfista (PA), formed in 1990, is the other popular ‘flagship’ party and heir to the populist and nationalist tradition of Arnulfo Arias" (page 7). "General election, 1999." Gives the number of registered voters, the total votes cast, votes cast for each candidate, and the new composition of congress with the seats won by each party within each coalition.

Keesings’s record of world events May 1999: "Results of Panama legislative election" (page 42933). Gives the number of seats won by each party. "Following her election Moscoso, who would begin her five-year term on Sept. 1, announced that she intended to convene a constituent assembly to reform the country’s constitution. As in Venezuela, current Panamanian rules did not envisage a constituent assembly as a means of reforming the constitution."

NotiCen volume 4 number 17 May 6, 1999: "With almost all votes counted, Moscoso led runner up Martin Torrijos...45% to 38%. In third place was Alberto Vallarino with 17%. The governing ...PRD retained its plurality in the congress, however. Voter turnout was nearly 77% of registered voters. Though losing the presidency, the PRD-led Nueva Nación coalition will control the Legislative Assembly. Unofficial figures showed the alliance taking 35 of the 71 seats, while Moscoso’s Unión por Panamá coalition won 26 and Vallarino’s Acción Opositora coalition took 10" (pages 1-2).


Black 1989: The Panama Canal Treaty expires at noon on December 31, 1999 (page 51).