The Federal Republic of Panama Coalition is a federal presidential semi-parlamentary representative democratic republic.
The Executive Branch consists of The Supreme Federal President and the Federal Vice President of the Panama Coalition.
As the head of the executive branch, the Supreme Federal President of Panama Coalition serves as both head of state and head of government, followed by the Vice President and the Council of Ministers, lead by the Prime Minister (sub-chief of the goverment).
The Supreme Federal President, the Federal Vice President and a half of the legislature are elected every four years for a four-year term. The other half of the Legislative is elected in the middle legislative period in each of the Federal States of the Panama Coalition.
The electoral process is supervised by an independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal (Tribunal Supremo Electoral). All elections are conducted by a secret ballot at local polling stations. On election days, political parties often organize caravans and marches to get supporters to polling stations. In many areas, voting takes on a festive atmosphere with supporters of each party wearing traditional colors and decorating their cars, houses, and livestock with colored ribbons. Because the day of elections is a national holiday, most people have the day off.
The Supreme Federal President: is the head of state and head of government of the Panama Coalition. The Supreme Federal President directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Panama Coalition Defense Forces. Represents the Federal Republic of Panama Coalition in matters of international law, concludes treaties with foreign states on its behalf with the advice and consent of the Council of Federation and accredits diplomats. Furthermore, all federal laws must be signed by the Supreme Federal President before they can come into effect, but usually he or she only vetoes a law that he/she believes to violate the constitution. The power includes execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory and judicial officers. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Legislative under extraordinary circumstances. The Supreme Federal President is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of the party to which the president is a member. The Supreme Federal President also directs the foreign and domestic policy of the Panama Coalition.
The Supreme Federal President, by his or her actions and public appearances, represents the state itself, its existence, its legitimacy, and unity. The Supreme Federal President's office involves an integrative role and the control function of upholding the law and the constitution.
Supreme Federal Presidential Palace in Panama D.C.
The Federal Vice President: assumes the Federal Presidency in case of temporary absence of the Federal Supreme President. Have the office in the Supreme Federal Presidential Palace complex. The Federal Vice President may occupy a seat in the cabinet. In case of the Supreme Federal President die or resign, the Federal Vice President would become the interim Federal Supreme President. The Federal Vice President of Panama Coalition is the President of the Council of the Federation; roles and functions include tasks such as ceremonial duties of the Federal Supreme Presidency, drafter and spokesperson for the administration's policies, adviser to the Federal Supreme President, and being a symbol of Panama Coalition concern or support. The federal vice president may meet with other heads of state or attend state funerals in other countries.
Prime Minister: the prime minister is the presiding member and chairman of the cabinet. In a minority of systems. Is the official who is appointed to manage the civil service and execute the directives of the head of state. In general, the Prime Minister serves more of an administrative role, nominating members of the Cabinet and implementing domestic policy: Determines the operating priorities of the Government and organizes its work in accordance with the Constitution, federal constitutional laws, federal laws and Presidential decrees; Submits to the President proposals on the structure and functions of the central institutions of the executive branch (e.g. ministries and federal agencies); nominates the vice prime ministers, federal ministers and other officers and presents them to the Supreme Federal President; represents the Government as an institution in foreign relations and inside the country; is the heads the sessions of the Government and the Cabinet where he has the decisive vote; signs the acts of the Government; distributes duties among members of the Government; systematically informs the Supreme Federal President about the Government activities; report annually to the National Assembly about the Government activities.
Federal Cabinet of the Panama Coalition in Supreme Federal Presidential Palace in Panama D.C.
Federal Supreme President: William Rodriguez I
Federal Vice President: Albert Serracin
Prime Minister: Josephine Monroy
Council of Ministers (Cabinet):
Ministerio de la Presidencia Federal (Minister of the Federal Presidency): George Lambs
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (Minister of Public Security)
Ministerio de Gobierno (Minister of Government)
Ministerio de Defensa (Minister of Defense):
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Minister of Foreign Affairs): Karl Ritter.
Ministerio de Educación (Minister of Education): Lurys Cardenas.
Ministerio de Educación Superior (Minister of Higher Education): Aladar McDowell.
Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (Minister of Science & Technology):
Ministerio de Comunicaciones, Telecomunicaciones e Información (Minister of Communications, Telecommunications & Information)
Ministerio de Asuntos del Canal (Minister of Canal Affairs): Alberto Cordero
Ministerio de Salud (Minister of Health): Yamireth B. Araúz
Ministerio de Trabajo y Desarrollo Laboral (Minister of Work and Labor Development):
Ministerio de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano (Minister of Housing and Urban Development):
Ministerio de Transporte (Minister of Transport)
Ministerio de Obras Públicas (Minister of Public Works):
Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Política Económica (Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy)
Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (Minister of Economy and Finance): Ruben Carles
Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos (Minister of Justice & Human Rights)
Ministerio de Desarrollo Social (Minister of Social Development)
Ministerio de Pueblos Indígenas (Minister of Indigenous Peoples)
Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Minister of Environment and Natural Resources)
Ministerio de Agricultura y Asuntos Agropecuarios (Minister of Agricultural and Livestock)
Ministerio de Comercio (Minister of Commerce)
Ministerio de Industrias (Minister of Industries)
Ministerio de Mineria (Minister of Mining)
Ministerio de Energía (Minister of Energy):
Ministerio de Hidrocarburos (Minister of Hidrocarbures)
Ministerio de Cultura, Deportes y Turismo (Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism)
Attorney General: Carlos Montalban
Goverment of the Federal States:
The constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty. Federalism is one of the entrenched constitutional principles of Panama Coalition. According to the Panama Coalition Constitution, some topics, such as foreign affairs and defense, are the exclusive responsibility of the federation while others fall under the shared authority of the states and the federation; the states retain residual legislative authority for all other areas, including "culture", which in the Coalition includes not only topics such as financial promotion of arts and sciences, but also most forms of education and job training. Though international relations including international treaties are primarily the responsibility of the federal level, the constituent states have certain limited powers in this area: in matters that affect them directly, the states defend their interests at the federal level through the Concejo de la Federación ("Council of the Federation", the upper house of the Panama Coalition Legislative Body).
The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Panama Coalition, the Federal Constitution, stipulates that the structure of each Federal State's government must "conform to the principles of republican, democratic, and social government, based on the rule of law".
The federal states are governed by a cabinet led by a State President (Presidente Estatal). The State President governed together with a unicameral legislative body known as the State Congress (Congreso Estatal).
Sedes de las Presidencias Estatales (State Presidential headquarters)
The states are parliamentary republics and the relationship between their legislative and executive branches mirrors that of the federal system: the legislatures are popularly elected for four or five years (depending on the state), and the State President is then chosen by a majority vote among the State Congress members. The state president appoints a cabinet to run the state's agencies and to carry out the executive duties of the state's government.
The Federal States are divided into Provinces, which are governed by Governors elected by the State President. In turn the Provinces are divided in Districts, administered by Mayors and these are divided in Corregimientos, Parroquias, Cantones or Constituencies, according to each state.
The Presidium of the Panama Coalition is one of the most important governing bodies of the Panama Coalition. It exercises a symbolic collective head of government. It is the executive advisory body made up of the States Presidents of each Federal State of the Federal Republic of Panama Coalition. It has legislative power when the National Assembly and the Federation Council do not sit. Its headquarters is located in the Supreme Federal Presidential Palace. It also has its own headquarters in Panama D.C. However, it may meet in any State of the Federal Republic at the request of the Supreme Federal President.They meet to session at the request of the Supreme Federal President or at the request of 1/3 of its members.
Presidents of the Federal States that form the Presidium last four or five years, depending on the legislature of their home state. The Presidium is composed of the Supreme Federal President, the State President of each Federal State (57 States), a secretary and two undersecretaries. All of its activities are subject to review by the Council of the Federation and the Congress of each Federal State, to which it should report.
According to the Constitution of the Panama Coalition, the main attributions of the Presidium are the following:
1. Recommend the use of the Defense Forces, the National Guard and the Security Forces Of Panama Coalition for a foreign military intervention.
2. Dissolve the National Assembly as provided by the Federal Constitution and call for new elections.
3. Recommend to Conduct a national referendum on its own initiative or at the request of one of the Federal States of the Coalition.
4. Declare the nullity of decrees of the Council of Ministers and the councils of ministers of the Federal States in case they disagree with the current legislation.
5. Request the resignation of the President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) and Ministers.
6. To establish orders and medals, and to grant them.
7. Establish honorary titles, and assign them.
8. Pardon penalties for common crimes.
9. Recommend to declare war in the event of an attack on the Panama Coalition or in compliance with obligations of international treaties of mutual defense.
10.To authorize ratification and renunciation of international treaties signed by the Panama Coalition.
11.Recommend to declare martial law in a specific region or throughout the Panama Coalition for the purpose of defending the country or preserving public order and the security of the nation.
Presidium of the Panama Coalition in the Supreme Federal Presidential Palace
Presidium of the Panama Coalition in Panama D.C. Headquarters
The legislative branch of government is represented by Legislative Body, which is formed by the Council of the Federation (Concejo de la Federación) and the National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional). Both houses of the Legislative are further subdivided into commissions (committees) and "sub commissions" to discuss determined subjects.
Both Counselors and Deputies are chosen through direct election.
Concejo de la Federación (Council of the Federation):
The Council of the Federation of the Panama Coalition is composed of Counselors (equivalent to Senators) who represent each of the several states, with each state being equally represented by two counselors, regardless of their population, serving staggered terms of six years; with 57 states presently in the Coalition, there are 114 Federation's Counselors. The Capital District (Panama D.C.) have 1 Counselor and the Federal Dependencies have a Spokesman without the right to vote.
Concejo de la Federación de la Coalición de Panama (Council of the Federation of the Panama Coalition) in Panama D.C.
As the Upper Chamber, the Council of the Federation has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it; these include:
1. The ratification of treaties.
2. The confirmation of Cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, other federal executive officials, flag officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers.
3. In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty befalls upon the Council to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office.
4. It further has the responsibility of conducting trials of those impeached by the House.
5. Authorize the Federal Supreme President to declare war or carry out military intervention, to mobilize the defense forces, military engagements and ratification of military engagements authorized by the World Assembly Security Council Resolutions and funded by the Council of the Federation.
The Council of the Federation is widely considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the National Assembly due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere.
The presiding officer of the Council of the Federation is the Federal Vice President of Panama Coalition, who is President of the Council of the Federation; in their absence, presides over the Counselor President of the Chamber, internally elected from the counselors of the parties members.
Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly):
The National Assembly is the lower chamber of the Panama Coalition; is a constitutional and legislative body at the federal level in Panama Coalition. the National Assembly considers the legislative function its most important responsibility, concentrating much of its energy on assessing and amending the government's legislative program. The committees play a prominent role in this process. Plenary sessions provide a forum for members to engage in public debate on legislative issues before them, but they tend to be well attended only when significant legislation is being considered.
Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly) in Panama D.C.
Exclusive powers of the National Assembly:
1. Elect the Ombudsman.
2. Examine and finalize the general budgetary and treasury account presented to it by the Comptroller General.
3. Bring charges to the Council of the Federation, at the request of the investigation and accusation commission, for the impeachment of the President (or whoever replaces him/her) and members of the Comisión Judicial de Diputados.
4. Take cognizance of complaints and grievances presented by the Attorney General or by individuals against the aforementioned officials and, if valid, to bring charges on that basis before the Senate.
5. Request the aid of other authorities to pursue the investigations.
6. Judicial powers: the investigation and accusation commission (Comisión de Investigación y Acusación) of the National Assembly the indictment of the Supreme Federal President, States Presidents, Constitutional Court justices, Supreme Court justices, Superior Council of the Judiciary members, Federal Council of Justice and the Attorney General. These senior officials of the State were said to benefit from a "constitutional fuero".
Comisión Judicial de Diputados (Judicial Committee of Deputies): which will investigate and indict the aforementioned judges and Attorney General, even if they may have ceased to exercise their functions. The commission will be made up of five members elected by a joint session of Assembly for individual eight-year terms, from lists sent by the Council of Judicial Government and elaborated through a public competition. The eligibility, ineligibility and incompatibility rules for the commission will be the same as for members of the Supreme Court of Justice. In the case of investigations for unworthiness to serve for misconduct, the new commission shall present its charges, when necessary, to the National Assembly, which will only be able to suspend or remove the accused from office. The Assembly decision can be appealed to the Council of the Federation, which holds the final word. In such cases, the commission will have 60 days to present an accusation and 30 days to decide, In the case of investigations for other crimes, the commission shall present charges to the Supreme Court of Justice for further prosecution.
Composition: 350 Deputies and 11 Indigenous Deputies. Total: 361 members.
Interprets and applies the laws of Panama Coalition, to ensure equal justice under law, and to provide a mechanism for dispute resolution. The judiciary comprises a hierarchical system of courts presided over by judges, magistrates and other adjudicators.The Judicial Organ administers justice in a permanent, free, and expeditious manner. It comprises:
La Corte Constitucional Federal (Federal Constitutional Court) (9 Magistrates):
Is the Maximums Court with judicial decisions in Collegiate trials related to the interpretation of the Federal Constitution, Human Rights, International Treaties. The Court does not have power to decide political questions, and its enforcement arm is in the executive rather than judicial branch of government. They become Judges of Criminal Court in the case of impeachment of the Supreme Federal President and the Magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice. The Panama Coalition Constitutional Court is in charge of guarding the Federal Constitution. The Constitutional Court also oversees the Tutela (similar to an Amparo) which protect individuals against violations of fundamental rights. The Tutela can be filed against individuals, companies, the government itself and even judicial rulings. Thus the court can overturn rulings issued by other High Courts if it judges them to violate fundamental human rights.
The Panama Coalition Constitutional court also decides on the constitutionality of Laws, Presidential Decree deemed to have force of law and International Treaties. Unlike the constitutional oversight of the Supreme Court of the United States, laws might be challenged at any time by any citizen and are not decided in a case by case basis but are directly decided upon on abstract. In other words, the plaintiff does not have to demonstrate he has been harmed by the law or that he has any legitimate interest on the decision, all he has to do is to allege why he considers the law to be unconstitutional even if the consequences of said unconstitutionality have not yet been realized or are merely implicit. The mechanism by which the court hears unconstitutionally cases is the Public Action of Unconstitutionality
Corte Constitucional Federal (Federal Constitutional Court) in Panama D.C.
La Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) (Supreme Court of Justice) (9 Magistrates):
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial instance of the ordinary jurisdiction. Is the highest judicial body in civil and penal matters and issues of criminal and civil procedure in the Coalition. The Supreme Court of Justice is the highest authority in regard to the interpretation of administrative law, constitutional law, and the administration of the judiciary. It consists of 9 judges which are chosen by coöption. The current magistrates fill themselves any vacants by choosing from a lists of ten candidates that are forwarded by the Council of Judicial Governance. This lists are integrated by the winners of public convocations that grade applicants by their merit. Is the final interpreter of federal and states laws, although it may act only within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction. The Court does not have power to decide political questions, and its enforcement arm is in the executive rather than judicial branch of government. It has Jurisdiction throughout the Federal Republic. Resolves appeals of all State or District Superior Courts, as the case may be. In addition, resolves the appeals of the collegiate decisions of Superior Court Magistrates. It has five Chambers, each administered by 3 Superior Court Magistrates of the Chamber:
1. First Civil Chamber (Sala Primera de lo Civil)
2. Second Criminal Chamber (Sala Segunda de lo Penal)
3. Third Chamber of Administrative Litigation Chamber (Sala Tercera de lo Contencioso Administrativo)
4. Fourth Family and Minors Chamber (Sala Cuarta de Familia y Menores)
5. Fifth Chamber of Military Justice, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity (Sala Quinta de Justicia Militar, Crímenes de Guerra y Crímenes contra la Humanidad)
Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) (Supreme Court of Justice) in Panama D.C.
El Consejo de Justicia Federal (Federal Council of Justice):
Head of the administrative jurisdiction. Is the supreme tribunal with jurisdiction over administrative issues in Panama Coalition. Is the highest body of the Public Contentious Administrative Jurisdiction, it solves the processes that involve to the States and the Coalition and the matters, or the processes that involve to two Government Branch Entities ultimately; it also completes an advisory function because it is the body to which the Government should appeal before making certain decisions, it is not bound by its decision, but must consider the councils, verdict or opinion in certain matters.
The Council knows of the unconstitutionality of any norm that the Constitutional Court is not competent to adjudicate, which are all other norms that do not have material force of law, such as Reglementary Presidential Decrees, Administrative Acts, City Ordinances, etc. Anyone may request the Council of Justice to rule on whether a given administrative action complies with the law and the Constitution. The Council may suspend any actions judged not to so comply. It also provides non-binding advice to Government, which is required to consult it on proposed measures within a defined scope. The Council may: introduce bills relating to its functions; cancel the investiture of members of Legislative Body in accordance with law; and make a ruling on the transit of foreign troops through the national territory.
Consejo de Gobierno Judicial (Superior Council of Judicature):
Is the head of the disciplinary jurisdiction. Is the highest court of appeal on matters of the administration of justice. Organically the Superior Council of the Judiciary is divided in two rooms, diverse in their origin and functions, this way the jurisdictional one disciplinary that is in charge of the investigation of the behavior of the judicial officials and of the lawyers and of settling the competition conflicts, and the office worker, with origin in the same judicature, in charge of assisting the organizational necessities and of management of the judicial branch, liberating the judges of this load that it distracted them of their characteristic function of imparting justice and overcoming the outline of it guides and the government's administration.
The Administrative Room this integrated by six elected magistrates for eight-year periods, one for the Constitutional Court, two for the Supreme Court of Justice and three for the Council of Justice;
The Jurisdictional Disciplinary Room, seven magistrates conform it, also chosen for an eight-year period, but for the Council of Federation and the National Assembly in plenary session, of ternas sent by the government.
Other Tribunals are:
The State Supreme Courts (Los Tribunales Superiores Estatales).
The Superior Courts of Judicial District (Los Tribunales Superiores de Distrito Judicial).
The District Judges (Los Jueces de Distrito).
The Municipal Judges (Los Jueces Municipales).
The Judges of Corregimientos, Parroquias, Cantones or Constituencies (Los Jueces de Corregimientos, Parroquias, Cantones o Constituencies).
Special Indigenous Jurisdictions (Jurisdicciones Indígenas Especiales)
Superior Military Tribunal (Tribunal Superior Militar) and the States Military Courts (Juzgados Militares Estatales)
State Supreme Courts (Tribunales Superiores Estatales)
Tribunal Electoral Supremo (Supreme Electoral Tribunal):
The TES is a Supreme Tribunal composite of three principal Electoral Magistrates (Magistrados Electorales) and six alternates selected by the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Justice and the Council of the Federation. Also have a Electoral Prosecutor Office (Oficina del Fiscal Electoral), with an Electoral General Prosecutor (Fiscal General Electoral) selected by the Superior Council of Judicature.
The decisions of the TES only can be appeals to the Constitutional Court.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal is a "unique class" institution, committed to the defense of democratic and ethical principles, subordinated to the fulfillment of the Constitution and the law, whose actions are aimed at:
1. Direct and supervise the registration of vital events and legal acts related to the marital status of the persons.
2. Ensure accurate identification of persons registered with the institution
3. Guarantee the freedom, honesty and efficiency of popular suffrage.
4. Ensure that political parties and independent candidates express political pluralism for the perfection of democracy.
5. To administer, with absolute adherence to the Law, electoral criminal justice.
6. Continuously improve the services provided, supported by decentralization and the use of reliable and effective technologies, contributing to education, civic-electoral participation, and strengthening our democracy, to leave the legacy of a better country for future generations.
Tribunal Electoral Supremo (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) in Panama D.C.