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Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1925 - 1936
1958 - 1969
1976 -
President Rubén De León Sánchez (M) 
Notes Elected on 1 July 2015, re-elected on 1 July 2016.
Secretary General Frank Weever (M) 
Notes Elected on 1 July 2014 for a 5-year term.
Members (statutory / current number) 71 / 71

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Women (current number) 13 (18.31%)
Mode of designation directly elected 71
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 4 May 2014
(View details)
Address Asamblea Nacional
Plaza 5 de Mayo, Panamá
Apartado Postal 0815-01603, Panamá
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (507) 512 8300
512 8374
Fax (507) 512 8139
E-mail sgeneral@asamblea.gob.pa


Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 10 August 1983
Last amendment: 14/07/1997
Mode of designation directly elected 71
Constituencies Single and multi-member constituencies.
Each administrative district within the country's nine provinces having more than 40,000 inhabitants comprises one constituency. Each constituency elects one representative per 30,000 inhabitants and an additional one for every fraction over 10,000.
Voting system Mixed: - in single-member constituencies, representatives are elected by simple majority vote
- in multi-member constituencies, a preferential party-list system of proportional representation is used, with seats allotted initially according to a double quotient system.
- The first allocation uses a simple electoral quotient. Further seats are allotted on the basis of the same quotient divided in half. Remaining seats are allotted to those parties with the greatest remainders.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by substitutes chosen at the same time as titular members.
Voting is compulsory for registered electors.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Panamanian citizenship
- full possession of civil and political rights
Eligibility - age: 21 years
- Panamanian citizenship by birth or naturalization for at least 15 years
- residence in the constituency where running for a minimum of one year immediately preceding the polling day
- ineligibility: conviction (accompanied by a detention order) or offences against the public administration or election-connected offences
Incompatibilities - remunerated public employment (except for teachers of public schools)
Candidacy requirements - Candidatures to be submitted by political parties within three months of the beginning of the period of electoral process


Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 4 May 2014
Timing and scope of renewal The United for More Change coalition, comprising President Ricardo Martinelli's Democratic Change (CD) party, came first in the parliamentary elections, taking 32 seats in the 71-member National Assembly. The Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), led by Mr. Juan Carlos Navarro, followed with 25 seats. The People First coalition, including the Panamenista Party, took 13 seats.

Both the CD and the Panamenista Party were part of the Alliance for Change which supported Mr. Martinelli's presidency in 2009. However, the coalition split in 2011 and each party endorsed a separate presidential candidate in 2014.

Mr. Martinelli was constitutionally barred from seeking a second consecutive term as President. The ruling CD endorsed former housing minister Mr. Jose Domingo Arias as its presidential candidate and First Lady Marta Linares, as his running mate. The People First coalition supported Vice President Juan Carlos Varela, while the PRD backed the former mayor of Panama City, Mr. Juan Carlos Navarro.

The United for More Change ran on the government's record, citing the country's economic growth and better infrastructure, including the recently-opened subway line in Panama City - the first in Central America. Mr. Arias promised to continue public works and social programmes. The Panamenista Party promised to establish a government of dialogue and national consensus and to improve the quality of life for all. Its leader pledged to fight corruption and inequality. The PRD promised to offer better education, including 10,000 scholarships to college students. PRD leader Navarro also proposed a tougher policy to tackle crime, including life sentences for murderers.

Mr. Varela (Panamenista Party) won the presidential elections and was sworn in on 1 July for a five-year term.
Date of previous elections: 3 May 2009

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 30 June 2014

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: May 2019

Number of seats at stake: 71 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 408

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: 6

Number of parties winning seats: 5

Alternation of power: N/A (the government coalition split before the 2014 elections)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 1 July 2014

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Adolfo Valderrama (Panamenista Party)
Voter turnout
Round no 14 May 2014
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'847'800 (75.19%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)
Democratic Change (CD)
Democratic Change (CD) - MOLIRENA
Panamenista Party
Panamenista Party - People's Party (PP)
Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) 25
Democratic Change (CD) 20
Democratic Change (CD) - MOLIRENA 10
Panamenista Party 10
Panamenista Party - People's Party (PP) 3
Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA) 2
Independents 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (02.07.2014, 06.07.2015)

At the inaugural session held on 1 July 2014, 57 of the 71 members were sworn in. The results of the voting in 14 constituencies were being investigated by the Electoral Court.

The United for More Change coalition included the following parties.
- Democratic Change: 20 seats
- Democratic Change (CD) – MOLIRENA: 10 seats
- Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA): 2 seats

The People First coalition included the following parties.
- Panamenista Party: 10 seats
- Panamenista Party - People's Party: 3 seats


Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title President of the Legislative Assembly
Term - duration: 1 year
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by all the Members of the Assembly
- the election is held at the first sitting of the newly elected Assembly or each year at the first sitting of the new session.
Eligibility - any Member of the Assembly can be a candidate.
Voting system - roll-call vote
Procedures / results - the Temporary President who is the person who's name heads the list of Members of the Assembly, presides over the Assembly during the vote, when it is taken at the beginning of the term. Otherwise it is the outgoing President who presides.
Status - represents the Assembly with the public authorities
- in the absence of the President, the Vice-Presidents (by order of their ranks) can assume his/her role and functions
Board - consists of the President, two Vice-Presidents and the Clerk
Material facilities NA (no information received)
Organization of parliamentary business - refers texts to a committee for study
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
Special powers - recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- organizes the services of Parliament
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion

This page was last updated on 4 July 2016
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