Panama has a multi-party political system with several parties vying for power and influence. While the political landscape may have evolved since then, we can provide you with an overview of some of the major political parties that were active in Panama up to that point.
- Democratic Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Democrático, PRD): The PRD is one of Panama’s oldest and most prominent political parties. It was founded in 1979 and has historically represented the center-left. The party emerged from the country’s political turmoil and has strong ties to labor unions and social movements. According to ITYPEUSA, the PRD has governed Panama multiple times and has been associated with figures like General Omar Torrijos and Martin Torrijos. The party’s ideology is built on social justice, equitable distribution of wealth, and welfare programs. It has a base of support among working-class and rural communities.
- Panameñista Party (Partido Panameñista): The Panameñista Party, founded in 1931, has a centrist ideology. It has been in power several times throughout Panama’s history. The party’s platform focuses on nationalism, social welfare programs, and economic development. It’s considered a center-right party and has garnered support from various segments of the population, including business interests. The party’s emblematic color is blue, and it has been associated with leaders like Arnulfo Arias Madrid.
- Democratic Change (Cambio Democrático, CD): Democratic Change is a right-wing political party that gained prominence in the early 2000s. It was founded in 1998 and is known for its populist and anti-establishment stance. Under the leadership of Ricardo Martinelli, the party won the presidency in 2009. Martinelli’s government focused on infrastructure development and social programs, but it was also marked by corruption scandals. The party’s platform includes a mix of market-oriented policies and social welfare initiatives.
- Panamanian Popular Party (Partido Popular Panameño, PPP): The PPP is a center-left political party with a history dating back to the early 20th century. It has advocated for progressive policies, labor rights, and social justice. The party’s support has fluctuated over the years, and it has aligned with different political movements at various times. While not always a major player, the PPP has contributed to the diversity of Panama’s political landscape.
- Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Movimiento Liberal Republicano Nacionalista, MOLIRENA): MOLIRENA is a center-right political party that has been part of various political alliances in Panama. It has positioned itself as a moderate alternative, advocating for economic growth, social programs, and political stability. The party’s history is characterized by its willingness to form coalitions with larger parties to influence policy and governance.
- People’s Party (Partido del Pueblo): The People’s Party is a left-wing political party that emerged in the 1990s. It is rooted in socialist ideology and focuses on workers’ rights, social justice, and anti-imperialism. While it has struggled to gain widespread support, it has maintained a presence in Panama’s political landscape by participating in elections and advocating for its principles.
- Broad Front for Democracy (Frente Amplio por la Democracia, FAD): The FAD is a coalition of left-wing parties and social movements that came together to contest the 2019 general elections. The coalition’s platform includes anti-corruption measures, social programs, and progressive economic policies. It represents a more united effort among smaller left-leaning parties to challenge the dominance of larger political entities.
It’s important to note that Panama’s political landscape can be dynamic, with parties forming alliances, splitting, or undergoing rebranding. The above parties represent a snapshot of the major players as of 2021. The country’s politics are influenced by issues such as corruption, economic development, social inequality, and international relations. Since political situations can change rapidly, we recommend consulting more recent sources for the latest information on Panama’s political parties and their positions.
Capital City of Panama
Panama, a vibrant and diverse country located at the crossroads of North and South America, boasts a capital city that reflects its historical significance, modern dynamism, and rich cultural heritage. Panama City, the bustling heart of the nation, is a captivating blend of towering skyscrapers, historic neighborhoods, and natural beauty that embodies Panama’s evolution from a historic colonial hub to a thriving global metropolis.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Panama City’s history is deeply intertwined with its strategic location as a key transshipment point, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Founded in 1519 by the Spanish explorer Pedro Arias Dávila, the city quickly became a crucial trade and transportation hub during the colonial era. The city’s original settlement, known as Panama Viejo or Old Panama, was a bustling center of commerce and culture. However, it was tragically sacked and destroyed by the English pirate Henry Morgan in 1671, leading to the city’s relocation to its present site.
One of the defining features of modern Panama City is its breathtaking skyline. The city is known for its impressive collection of skyscrapers that adorn the waterfront, creating a striking contrast between the historic and contemporary. The Financial District, often referred to as the “Manhattan of the Tropics,” is home to sleek glass-and-steel towers that house multinational corporations, financial institutions, and upscale residential complexes. This area, with its towering architecture, reflects Panama City’s position as a regional business and financial hub.
Casco Viejo – The Historic Heart:
Casco Viejo, also known as the Casco Antiguo, is the historical district of Panama City that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. This charming area preserves the city’s colonial past with its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and beautifully restored architecture. Amidst the narrow alleyways, you’ll find historic churches, boutique shops, art galleries, and lively cafes. Casco Viejo is a testament to Panama City’s determination to honor its heritage while embracing modernity.
Panama Canal and Amador Causeway:
The Panama Canal, often regarded as one of the most remarkable engineering feats in history, is a defining feature of both Panama City and the country itself. The Miraflores Locks Visitor Center offers an opportunity to witness the intricacies of the canal’s operations and learn about its immense significance to global trade. The Amador Causeway, a picturesque road connecting Panama City to four small islands in the Pacific Ocean, offers breathtaking views of the canal, the city skyline, and the Bridge of the Americas.
Panama City’s cultural fabric is a colorful tapestry woven from diverse threads. The city’s population is a mix of indigenous people, Afro-Panamanians, mestizos, and people of European descent. This diversity is reflected in the city’s cuisine, art, music, and festivals. The Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market) is a culinary delight, offering a variety of fresh seafood dishes that highlight the city’s maritime heritage.
Ancon Hill and Metropolitan Park:
For those seeking a respite from the urban hustle, Ancon Hill and Metropolitan Park provide natural havens within the city limits. Ancon Hill offers panoramic views of the city, the canal, and the surrounding rainforests. Metropolitan Park, a sprawling urban nature reserve, is home to diverse flora and fauna, including sloths, monkeys, and over 200 bird species. These natural spaces offer a tranquil escape and a reminder of the city’s unique geographical setting.
Cultural Festivals and Arts Scene:
Panama City’s cultural calendar is dotted with vibrant festivals and events that celebrate its diverse heritage. The Carnaval de Panamá is a colorful extravaganza featuring parades, music, dance, and traditional costumes. The International Film Festival, held annually, showcases a wide array of cinematic creations from around the world. The city’s theaters, galleries, and cultural centers contribute to a thriving arts scene that showcases both local and international talent.
In conclusion, Panama City encapsulates the nation’s fascinating journey from its colonial roots to its emergence as a global player. The city’s skyline, historic districts, cultural diversity, and natural beauty make it a microcosm of Panama’s past, present, and future. Panama City stands as a testament to the nation’s ability to harmoniously blend tradition and modernity while welcoming people from all walks of life. Whether you’re marveling at the skyscrapers, exploring historic streets, or enjoying the warm tropical breeze, Panama City offers a multifaceted experience that leaves a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to visit.