|President of the Republic of Panama |
Presidente de la República de Panamá
|Residence||Palacio de las Garzas|
|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||Incumbent|
(Term ends on 1 July 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|
|Juan Carlos Varela||Panameñista Party||724,762||39.09|
|José Domingo Arias||Democratic Change||581,828||31.38|
|Juan Carlos Navarro||Democratic Revolutionary Party||521,842||28.14|
|Genaro López||Broad Front for Democracy||11,127||0.60|
|Source: Election Tribunal (100% of polling stations counted)|
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