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Michael A. Martinez of B & B Real Estate Nicaragua / Panama Real Estate Information – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Juan Carlos Varela, president of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanama just elected a president and the buzz all around is that people are waiting to see what he can do. In the western Azuero, where we live, there are lots of things that we need to have done, and the President has been in Western Azuero thrice already in only this year. He was just here in the beginning of April. The government has made a lot of promises to our community.
 
Unfortunately, we had been left in the dark by our previous presidency and he had made lots of promises. However, it looks very positive with the current government.

Each change of presidency is a change of everything in the government. The change trickles down to the officers and even at the departments at the embassies; even in the United States, they change personnel. The new government generally puts in new people. That’s probably the same worldwide.  You just didn’t notice it that much like you would in the States, but I do here. One thing great about this current president, is that he has kept a lot of the previous personnel, those who were good from the last administration. That’s why he’s been given a lot of respect. I say only positive things for the current Panamanian government, and they’re pulling out the red carpet for international foreign investment and international residency. 

The Panamanian government is stable. We are a democratic nation. We vote. I see Panama as one of the most stable nations in Central America. As a businessperson, I am not concerned that there would be a government change that would cause my business problems. Since Panama took over the Canal, they have been making excellent government and business decisions. I see a very strong commitment for them to be a First World nation.
 
(Juan Carlos Varela, newly elected president of Panama, pictured.)
Charles Conn of The Visitor – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 Mireya Moscoso, Panama's first female president – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTechnically, Panama has a republican democratic government and it is very, very stable. We had a history of political instability when we had two dictators in the past but after Noriega was removed, capitalism took over and the form of democracy that we have now got ingrained.

People vote for the president. There are at least five political parties every time there is an election and there is democracy where people exercise their right to vote.

Whenever there is a change from one political party to the next, the nation goes along with it.  The government does not stall. There is continuity from one administration to the next.  Democracy is very ingrained in the people of Panama. It is part of the culture, so we have a very stable system.

Panama is very business friendly. We are all about getting foreign capital to come to the country, so in order to encourage that, the stable political climate is part of it. There are so many political parties here that I can’t tell one from the other, but no matter who is in office, everything works fine.

What changes after an election, though, is the cabinet. We just got a new president in August so, in typical fashion, when the new president took office the people from the prior administration in the last five years all lost their jobs. All the ministers of all the different ministries now are new people. So we have a whole new cast of characters running the government in the next five years. Apart from that change, everything is stable.
 
(Mireya Moscoso, Panama's first female president, pictured.)
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama is a representative democracy and has an elected government.  Elections are taken very seriously and are held every 5 years.  All elected positions, from local mayors, representatives and the president, are elected at the same time.  Elected officials serve for a five-year term.  The federal government is made up of a legislative branch consisting of a single chamber assembly, an executive branch made up of the president and his cabinet (ministries) and the judicial branch including the Supreme Court.  Local governments are made up of elected mayors and councils.  The provincial governments are headed by a governor who is appointed by the elected president.
 
Presidential candidates can only serve one 5-year term while assembly members and mayors can serve an unlimited number of consecutive terms.
 
Since the election in 1989, no political party has held the executive branch for more than one term.  Voter participation is generally very high with more than 80% of the eligible voters casting votes in a typical election.
Col Davis Stevenson RET of Condor Tours & Travel, Inc – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has had a very stable government for a number of years. With the fall of the dictatorship there has been stability for many years. The form of government is unicameral, they have the National Legislative Branch, The Executive Branch and the Judicial branch. One item of note that Panama sprouts political parties like mushrooms but in the long run just two or three parties survive. Several factors lead to the stability of the government, the number of banks in Panama, the operation of the Panama Canal. Another factor is that Panama uses the US dollar which precludes them from printing currency which has been the bane of Latin American countries.

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