|President of the Republic of Panama |
Presidente de la República de Panamá
Coat of Arms of Panama
|Residence||Palacio de las Garzas, Panama City|
|Term length||Five years|
not eligible for re-election immediately
|Inaugural holder||Manuel Amador Guerrero|
|Formation||20 February 1904|
|Deputy||Vice President of Panama|
|Website||Presidencia de la República|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
This article lists the heads of state of Panama since the short-lived first independence from the Republic of New Granada in 1840 and the final separation from Colombia in 1903.
Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.
The Republic of New Granada was a centralist republic consisting primarily of present-day Colombia and Panama with smaller portions of today's Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil. It was created after the dissolution in 1830 of Gran Colombia, with the secession of Ecuador and Venezuela and was formed by the departments of Boyaca, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, and Istmo, all parts of the present Republic of Colombia. except Istmo, which is part of present-day Panama). In November 1831, those departments created the Republic of New Granada, but nothing was established about a flag. Old flags were confirmed provisional by the National Convention of 17 December 1831. However, it is not clear what flag it was: Restrepo believes that it is the flag with two cornucopias of Gran Colombia. While new flags were discussed, some proposals were issued. On 9 May 1834, the national flag was adopted and was used until 26 November 1861, with the Gran Colombian colors in Veles' arrangement. The merchant ensign had the eight-pointed star in white.
The separation of Panama from Colombia was formalized on 3 November 1903, with the establishment of the Republic of Panama. From the Independence of Panama from Spain in 1821, Panama had simultaneously declared independence from Spain and joined itself to the confederation of Gran Colombia through the Independence Act of Panama. Panama was always tenuously connected to the rest of the country to the south, owing to its remoteness from the government in Bogotá and lack of a practical overland connection to the rest of Gran Colombia. In 1840-1841, a short-lived independent republic was established under Tomás de Herrera. After rejoining Colombia following a 13-month independence, it remained a province which saw frequent rebellious flare-ups, notably the Panama crisis of 1885, which saw the intervention of the United States Navy.
A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.
Tomás José Ramón del Carmen de Herrera y Pérez Dávila was a Neogranadine statesman and general who in 1840 became Head of State of the Free State of the Isthmus, a short lived independent state which is located in what is now Panama. Tomás de Herrera also became President of the Republic of the New Granada in 1854 during the rebellion against the incumbent president José María Melo.
|Portrait||Term of Office|
| Demetrio H. Brid |
|3 November 1903||4 November 1903|
|Portrait||Term of Office|
| José Agustín Arango |
|4 November 1903||20 February 1904|
| Tomás Arias |
| Federico Boyd |
| Manuel Espinosa Batista |
|9 November 1903||7 December 1903|
|Term of Office||Political Affiliation||Election||Notes|
|1|| Manuel Amador Guerrero |
|20 February 1904||23 June 1907||Conservative Party||1904|
|2|| José Domingo de Obaldía |
|24 June 1907||27 December 1907||National Liberal Party||—|
|(1)|| Manuel Amador Guerrero |
|29 December 1907||1 October 1908||Conservative Party||—|
|(2)|| José Domingo de Obaldía |
|1 October 1908||1 March 1910||National Liberal Party||1908||Died in office.|
|—|| Carlos Antonio Mendoza |
|1 March 1910||1 October 1910||National Liberal Party||—||Acting President.|
|—|| Federico Boyd |
|1 October 1910||5 October 1910||National Liberal Party||—||Acting President.|
|—|| Pablo Arosemena |
|5 October 1910||1 October 1912||National Liberal Party||—||Acting President.|
|3|| Belisario Porras Barahona |
|1 October 1912||1 October 1916||National Liberal Party||1912||First tenure.|
|4|| Ramón Maximiliano Valdés |
|1 October 1916||3 June 1918||National Liberal Party||1916||Died in office.|
|—|| Ciro Luis Urriola |
|3 June 1918||1 October 1918||National Liberal Party||—||Acting President.|
|—|| Pedro Antonio Díaz |
|1 October 1918||12 October 1918||Conservative Party||—||Acting President.|
|(3)|| Belisario Porras Barahona |
|12 October 1918||30 January 1920||National Liberal Party||1918||Second tenure.|
|—|| Ernesto Tisdel Lefevre |
|30 January 1920||1 October 1920||National Liberal Party||—||Acting President.|
|(3)|| Belisario Porras Barahona |
|1 October 1920||1 October 1924||National Liberal Party||1920||Third tenure.|
|5|| Rodolfo Chiari |
|1 October 1924||1 October 1928||National Liberal Party||1924|
|6|| Florencio Harmodio Arosemena |
|1 October 1928||3 January 1931||National Liberal Party||1928||Deposed in a coup d'état.|
|—|| Harmodio Arias Madrid |
|3 January 1931||16 January 1931||Independent||—||Acting President.|
|7|| Ricardo Joaquín Alfaro Jované |
|16 January 1931||5 June 1932||National Liberal Party||—|
|8|| Harmodio Arias Madrid |
|5 June 1932||1 October 1936||National Revolutionary Party||1932|
|9|| Juan Demóstenes Arosemena |
|1 October 1936||16 December 1939||National Liberal Party||1936||Died in office.|
|—|| Ezequiel Fernández |
|16 December 1939||18 December 1939||National Revolutionary Party||—||Acting President.|
|—|| Augusto Samuel Boyd |
|18 December 1939||1 October 1940||National Revolutionary Party||—||Acting President.|
|10|| Arnulfo Arias |
|1 October 1940||9 October 1941||National Revolutionary Party||1940||First tenure.|
Deposed in a coup d'état.
|11|| Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango |
|9 October 1941||15 June 1945||Independent||—|
|—|| Enrique Adolfo Jiménez |
|15 June 1945||7 August 1948||National Liberal Party||1945||Provisional President.|
|12|| Domingo Díaz Arosemena |
|7 August 1948||28 July 1949||National Liberal Party||1948||Resigned after a heart attack, and died less than a month later.|
|13|| Daniel Chanis Pinzón |
|28 July 1949||20 November 1949||National Liberal Party||—|
|14|| Roberto Francisco Chiari Remón |
|20 November 1949||24 November 1949||National Liberal Party||—||First tenure.|
|(10)|| Arnulfo Arias |
|24 November 1949||9 May 1951||Panameñista Party||—||Second tenure.|
|15|| Alcibíades Arosemena |
|9 May 1951||1 October 1952||Authentic Revolutionary Party||—|
|16|| José Antonio Remón Cantera |
|1 October 1952||2 January 1955||National Patriotic Coalition||1952||Assassinated.|
|17|| José Ramón Guizado |
|2 January 1955||29 March 1955||National Patriotic Coalition||—|
|18|| Ricardo Arias |
|29 March 1955||1 October 1956||National Patriotic Coalition||—|
|19|| Ernesto de la Guardia |
|1 October 1956||1 October 1960||National Patriotic Coalition||1956|
|(14)|| Roberto Francisco Chiari Remón |
|1 October 1960||1 October 1964||National Liberal Party||1960||Second tenure.|
|20|| Marco Aurelio Robles |
|1 October 1964||1 October 1968||National Liberal Party||1964|
|(10)|| Arnulfo Arias |
|1 October 1968||11 October 1968||Panameñista Party||1968||Third tenure.|
Deposed in a coup d'état .
|—|| José María Pinilla Fábrega |
|12 October 1968||18 December 1969||National Guard||—||Chairman of the Provisional Junta.|
|21|| Colonel |
Bolívar Urrutia Parrilla
|22|| Demetrio B. Lakas |
|19 December 1969||11 October 1978||Independent||1972||Chairman of the Provisional Junta to 11 October 1972.|
|23|| Aristides Royo |
|11 October 1978||31 July 1982||Democratic Revolutionary Party||1978|
|24|| Ricardo de la Espriella |
|31 July 1982||13 February 1984||Democratic Revolutionary Party||—|
|25|| Jorge Illueca |
|13 February 1984||11 October 1984||Independent||—|
|26|| Nicolás Ardito Barletta Vallarino |
|11 October 1984||28 September 1985||Democratic Revolutionary Party||1984|
|—|| Eric Arturo Delvalle |
|28 September 1985||26 February 1988||Republican Party||—||Acting President.|
|—|| Manuel Solís Palma |
|26 February 1988||1 September 1989||Democratic Revolutionary Party||—||Acting President.|
|—|| Francisco Rodríguez |
|1 September 1989||20 December 1989||Democratic Revolutionary Party||—||Provisional President.|
Deposed in the US invasion.
|27|| Guillermo Endara |
|20 December 1989||1 September 1994||Panameñista Party||1989|
|28|| Ernesto Pérez Balladares |
|1 September 1994||1 September 1999||Democratic Revolutionary Party||1994|
|29|| Mireya Moscoso |
|1 September 1999||1 September 2004||Panameñista Party||1999||Widow of Arnulfo Arias.|
|30|| Martín Torrijos |
|1 September 2004||1 July 2009||Democratic Revolutionary Party||2004||Son of Omar Torrijos.|
|31|| Ricardo Martinelli |
|1 July 2009||1 July 2014||Democratic Change||2009|
|32|| Juan Carlos Varela |
|1 July 2014||1 July 2019||Panameñista Party||2014|
|33|| Laurentino Cortizo |
|1 July 2019||Incumbent |
(Term ends on 1 July 2024)
|Democratic Revolutionary Party||2019|
Panama was from 1968–1989 de facto controlled by a military junta which appointed the nominal president, who himself had little power, while the junta and its leaders, while not official heads of state, exerted actual control over the country. Leaders of the junta were styled "Maximum Leader of the Panamanian Revolution".
A military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term junta comes from Spanish and Portuguese and means committee, specifically a board of directors. Sometimes it becomes a military dictatorship, though the terms are not synonymous.
|Term of Office||Military Affiliation||Notes|
|1|| Brigadier-General |
|11 October 1968||31 July 1981||National Guard||Styled as Maximum Leader of the Panamanian Revolution from 1972.|
Killed in an air crash.
|2|| Colonel |
Florencio Flores Aguilar
|31 July 1981||3 March 1982||National Guard|
|3|| Colonel |
Rubén Darío Paredes
|3 March 1982||12 August 1983||National Guard|
|4|| General |
|12 August 1983||20 December 1989|| National Guard |
(until 29 September 1983.)
|Styled as Maximum Leader of the National Liberation from 15 December 1983.|
Deposed in the US invasion.
|Panamanian Defense Forces|
Aristides Royo Sánchez was President of Panama from October 11, 1978 to July 31, 1982, when he was pressured to resign by the military.
Ricardo de la Espriella Toral is a Panamanian politician who was the President of Panama from July 31, 1982 to February 13, 1984.
Nicolás Ardito Barletta Vallarino is a Panamanian politician, served as its President from October 11, 1984 to September 28, 1985, running as the candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in the contested elections of 1984.
|Laurentino Cortizo||Democratic Revolutionary Party||655,428||33.35|
|Rómulo Roux||Democratic Change||609,223||31.00|
|José Blandón||Panameñista Party||212,812||10.83|
|Ana Matilde Gómez||Independent||93,608||4.76|
|Saúl Méndez||Broad Front for Democracy||13,582||0.69|
|Source: Election Tribunal|
The politics of Panama take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic with multi-party system, whereby the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government.
The history of Panama refers to the Isthmus of Panama region's long history that occurred in Central America, from Pre-Columbian cultures, during the Spanish colonial era, through independence and the current country of Panama.
Omar Efraín Torrijos Herrera, more commonly known as Omar Torrijos, was the Commander of the Panamanian National Guard and the de facto dictator of Panama from 1968 to 1981. Torrijos was never officially the president of Panama, but instead held titles including "Maximum Leader of the Panamanian Revolution" and "Supreme Chief of Government." Torrijos took power in a coup d'état and instituted a number of social reforms and his regime was considered socialist.
The President of El Salvador, officially known as the President of the Republic of El Salvador, is the Head of State and Head of Government of El Salvador. He is also, by Constitutional Law, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of El Salvador. The office was created in the Constitution of 1841. From 1821 until 1841, the head of state of El Salvador was styled simply as Head of State.
The Democratic Revolutionary Party is a political party in Panama founded in 1979 by General Omar Torrijos. It is generally described as on the centre left.
Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera, GCMG, (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis alˈβeɾto laˈkaʎe ðe eˈreɾa], known as Cuqui is a Uruguayan lawyer and politician who served as President of Uruguay from 1990 to 1995.
The People's Party is a Panamanian Christian democratic political party. Beginning in 1956, as Social Democratic Action, it was made up of middle-class professionals, intellectuals and students, with support from trade unions, particularly the Federation of Christian Workers. It went on to become one of Latin America's most conservative and anti-communist Christian democratic parties. The ideological foundation of the party is based on the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. The PP is a full member of the Christian Democrat International and Christian Democratic Organization of America.
Juan Carlos Navarro is a Panamanian businessman, environmentalist, and politician and was the Mayor of Panama City, Panama until August 30 2004.
The War of the Supremes was a civil conflict in Republic of the New Granada from 1839 to 1841 caused by the ambitions of various regional leaders (gamonales) to seize power and depose President José Ignacio de Márquez. It was called the War of the Supremos because of the participation of General José María Obando and other revolutionary gamonales who called themselves jefes supremos.
Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Panama on May 3, 2009.
Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez is a Panamanian politician, and the President of Panama from 2014 to 2019. Varela was Vice-President of Panama from 2009 to 2014, and Minister of Foreign Relations from July 2009 to August 2011. He was President of the Panameñistas, the third-largest political party in Panama, from 2006 to 2016.
The Panama held a presidential election on 11 October 1978, electing both a new President of the Republic.
The Declaration of Independence of Panama is the document through which Panama declared its independence from the Spanish Empire on 28 November 1821. It was proclaimed in the Cathedral plaza of Panama City after a council of leaders had met and drafted twelve points calling for severing Panama's relationship with the Spanish Crown and joining with the newly formed Republic of Gran Colombia.
Herrera is a surname of Spanish origin, from the Latin FERRĀRIA, meaning "iron mine" or "iron works" and also the feminine of Latin FERRĀRIUS, "of or pertaining to iron"; or, alternatively, the feminine of Spanish herrero, which also gives the surname Herrero. Variants of the name include Ferrera and the less common Bherrera. Its equivalent in Portuguese and Galician is Ferreira. Also because of Spanish naming customs, some people are listed here with their family name as their second-to-last name.