Panama. According to
Countryaah official website, the May presidential election was won by Mireya
Moscoso of PA (Partido Arnulfista) with 45% of the vote.
However, the opposition gained a majority in Congress. Voter
turnout was high, 77%, the highest ever in Panama. Moscoso,
widow of Arnulfo Arias, the party's founder and Panama's
former president (1949-51, 1968), becomes the country's
first female president.
On 31 December, in accordance with the so-called
Carter-Torrijos agreement of 1977, the channel zone was
finally transferred to Panama. It has been under the United
States administration for a century.
The commander of the United States Southern Command,
General Charles Wilhelm, created a riot in June when he said
that the United States has operational plans for an
intervention in Panama if the channel was threatened
militarily, as a result of the civil war in Colombia.
Recurrent border incidents and guerrilla and paramilitary
incursions have also occurred in the southern border
province of Darién, most recently in November 1999. The
opposition accuses Moscoso of concluding a secret security
agreement with the United States to establish a Joint
Special Forces (Unidad 501) - something that in reality
would mean that the US military presence in the country was