Panama

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for recall at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
  • Mandatory referendum
  • Optional referendum
  • Citizens' initiative
  • Recall
Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
  • Independent electoral commission
First referendum/initiative held
  • 1940
Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
  • Yes

Question Value
Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
  • Constitutional amendments
  • Adoption of international treaties
Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
  • None
Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
  • None
Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
  • Creation/merger/abolition of sub-national territories
Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
  • Not applicable
Who drafts the referendum question?
  • Mandatory referendum - Independent electoral commission
Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
  • Mandatory referendum - Independent electoral commission
Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
  • Not specified by legislation
Requirements for a referendum to pass
  • Mandatory referendum - simple majority
Are referendum results binding?
  • Mandatory referendum - always

Question Value
Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
  • Citizens' initiatives - constitutional amendments
Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
  • See comment
Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
  • Citizens' initiative - a number of individuals
Materials to accompany an application for registration
  • Not specified by legislation
Who determines the title of an initiative?
  • Not specified by legislation
What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
  • Not specified by legislation
Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
  • Not specified by legislation
At which stage legality check is conducted?
  • Not specified by legislation
Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
  • Not specified by legislation
When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?
  • Within a certain time limit

Question Value
Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
  • Members of the national legislature
  • Members of provincial/local legislature bodies
What are the grounds for recall?
  • Not specified by legislation
What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
  • Recall cannot be requested during the first or the last year of the term in office of the representative involved
When is the recall put to the vote?
  • Within a certain time limit
When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
  • Separately and subsequently
Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?
  • No

Question Value
How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
  • Citizens' Initiative - proportion of the electorate
  • Recall - proportion of the electorate
What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
  • Not specified by legislation
Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
  • Citizens' Initiative - signatories must be registered
  • Agenda Initiative - signatories must be registered electors in a specified electoral district
Where can proposals be signed?
  • Anywhere
What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
  • Identity or voting card number
  • Copy of thumbprint
Restrictions in relation to signature collection
  • Requirement for signature collectors to be registered electors
What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
  • All signatures are checked
Who checks the signatures?
  • Agency responsible for the administration of direct democracy mechanisms

Disclaimer: Maps presented do not imply on the part of the Institute any judgement on the legal status of any territory or the endorsement of such boundaries, nor does the placement or size of any country or territory reflect the political view of International IDEA. Maps are used in order to add visual clarity to data.