Panama is the southernmost country in the continent of North America.
|National motto: Xxxxx|
|President||Mireya Elisa Moscoso[?]|
- % water
|Ranked 115th |
November 3, 1903
|Time zone||UTC -5|
|National anthem||Himno Istem˝o[?]|
Panama is a representative democracy with three branches of government: executive and legislative branches elected by direct vote for 5-year terms, and an independently appointed judiciary. The executive branch includes a president and two vice presidents. The legislative branch consists of a 72-member unicameral Legislative Assembly. The judicial branch is organized under a nine-member Supreme Court and includes all tribunals and municipal courts. An autonomous Electoral Tribunal supervises voter registration, the election process, and the activities of political parties. Everyone over the age of 18 is required to vote, although those who fail to do so are not penalized.
Panama is divided into 9 provinces (provincias) and 2 territories (comarca), marked by a *:
Panama in located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. Its strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming a land bridge connecting North and South America. As of 1999, Panama controls the Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean.
Because of its key geographic location, Panama's economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The hand-over of the canal and military installations by the US has given rise to new construction projects. The Moscoso[?] administration inherited an economy that is much more structurally sound and liberalized than the one inherited by its predecessor.
The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean Spanish. Ethnically, the majority of the population is mestizo or mixed Spanish, Indian, Chinese, and West Indian. Spanish is the official and dominant language; English is a common second language spoken by the West Indians and by many in business and the professions. More than half the population lives in the Panama City-Colon[?] metropolitan corridor.
|Date||English Name||Local Name||Remarks|
|November 3||Independence Day|