Panama. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Panama. 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 stealthily extended.