Imágenes de páginas

2. The rights and actions which the Republic of Colombia had within or without the country by reason of the sovereignty it exercised over the territory of the Isthmus of Panama.

3. The property, revenues, lands, securities, rights and actions that belonged to the former Department of Panama.

4. The vacant lands, salt deposits, lode and placer mines, or mines of any other character, and those of precious stones, without prejudice to lawfully acquired rights.

Art. 116. The power of coining money of legal tender, of whatever description, is vested in the nation and can not be transferred. There shall be no private banks of issue.

Art. 117. No paper money shall be made legal tender in the Republic. Consequently, it shall be optional for any one to refuse notes or other certificates, whether it be of official or of private origin, in which he has no confidence.

Art. 118. The landed property in the Republic shall not be transferable to foreign governments, except as stipulated in public treaties

Art. 119. No expenditure of public money shall be made without authority of law.

No moneys appropriated for one purpose shall be applied to any other purpose not provided for in the budget.

Art. 120.1 The executive power can not vote an extraordinary allowance, except in the following cases:

1. Whenever any public calamity occurs.

2. Whenever there is need to attend to some obligations which affect national honor or unavoidable expenses for international courtesy.

3. In case of disturbance of public order. These allowances shall be granted by the Cabinet under the joint responsibility of the President and his secretaries of State, and the reasons for this action shall be recorded in each case and submitted to the National Assembly at its ordinary sessions.

ART. 121. No indirect tax shall be collected or increased until three months after the date of the promulgation of the law establishing the same.

1 As amended by Article 13 of the Legislative Act of 14 March 1917 (below, p. 480). This article originally read as follows:

“ Should the necessity arise to make an expenditure, which in the judgment of the executive power can not be avoided, during a recess of the National Assembly and for which no fund or an insufficient fund may have been appropriated, an additional or extraordinary allowance may be granted to the department concerned.

Such allowance shall be granted by the Cabinet Council, under its joint responsibility, and the reasons for this action shall be recorded.

The approval of such allowances belongs to the National Assembly."


Art. 122. All Panamans are bound to take up arms whenever demanded by public necessity, for the defense of national independence and the institutions of the country.

The law shall determine the conditions for exemption from mili

tary service.

Art. 123. The law shall organize the military service and the national police.

ART. 124. The nation may maintain a standing army for its defense.

Impressment is prohibited.

ART. 125. The public force is not a deliberative organization. It shall not assemble unless by order of the lawful authority and shall not make petitions except upon subjects relating to the good service and the morality of the army, and in accordance with the laws of their establishment.1

Art. 126. Offenses committed by military persons while on active duty, or in connection therewith, shall be tried by courts-martial, or military tribunals, in accordance with the provisions of the Military Code.

ART. 127. The national government alone shall have the power to import and manufacture arms and ammunition.


ART. 128. There shall be in each province a governor, whose appointment and removal shall be at the pleasure of the President of the Republic, and whose powers and duties shall be defined by law.

Art. 129. There shall be in each municipal district a corporation that shall be styled municipal council and consist of the number of members determined by law and elected directly by popular vote.

ART. 130. Municipal districts are autonomous as to their internal affairs, but they can not contract debts without the authorization of the National Assembly.

ART. 131. The municipal councils shall, by means of their own resolutions or of regulations issued by technical boards or commissions, provide all that may be necessary for the government of the district; levy local taxes and make local expenditures within the bounds established by the fiscal system of the nation, and exercise such other functions as may be ascribed to them by law.

ART. 132. There shall be in each municipal district a mayor appointed as provided by law, whose duty it shall be to discharge administrative functions in the municipality as the agent of the governor and mandatory of the people.

1 See Article 14 of the Legislative Act of 14 March 1917 (below, p. 480).


Art. 133. Primary instruction shall be compulsory, and, when public, shall be free. There shall also be schools of arts and trades and institutions of secondary and professional instruction at the expense of the nation.

The law shall decentralize public instruction and assign to it special revenues.

ART. 134. There shall be in Panama no office whose powers and duties shall not be particularized by law or regulations, and no public officer shall receive two or more salaries from the national treasury except under the provisions that may be made by law in special cases.

ART. 135. Ministers of religious denominations shall not hold any office, employment or public trust in the Republic, whether personal, civil or military, except such positions as are connected with public charity or education.

ART. 136. The government of the United States of America shall have the power to intervene in any part of the Republic of Panama to reestablish public peace and constitutional order, in the event of their being disturbed, if the said nation, by public treaty, assumes the obligation of guaranteeing the independence and sovereignty of this Republic.


ART. 137. This Constitution may be amended through a legislative measure enacted in legal form, transmitted by the government to the next ordinary National Assembly for its final consideration, discussed anew by the later and approved by two thirds of the members constituting the Assembly.


Art. 138. In order to secure for posterity a part of the pecuniary advantages derived from the negotiations for the construction of the interoceanic canal, the sum of six million dollars is hereby set aside for investment in securities bearing a fixed annual interest. The said investment shall be regulated by law.

ART. 139.1

ART. 140. The first President of the Republic shall be elected by the National Convention by an absolute majority of votes on the day


1 Repealed by the Legislative Act of 14 March 1917. This article read as follows:

“ The law shall impose the penalty of death only for murder when accompanied by circumstances of atrocious character;. and this shall be done only as long as no good penal establishments or real penitentiaries exist in the Republic."

of the promulgation of this Constitution. He shall take possession of the post immediately and shall exercise his functions until 30 September 1908.

The Designates shall be elected on the same day as the President, and their term of office shall expire on 30 September 1906.

ART. 141. Any citizen who has taken an active part in securing the independence of the Republic may, even if not a Panaman by birth, be elected the first constitutional President of the Republic of Panama.

ART. 142. As soon as this Constitution is sanctioned by the board of provisional government of the Republic, the Convention shall lose its character as such and assume all the functions attributed to the National Assembly, the prohibition contained in Article 64 not applying to the delegates to the Convention.

ART. 143. Before the date on which the first National Assembly is to meet, the Constitutional National Convention shall again exercise the legislative functions, whenever it may be called in extraordinary session by the executive power.

ART. 144. The first National Assembly shall meet on 1 September 1906.

Art. 145. All the acts of the board of provisional government from 3 November 1903 to 15 January of the present year are hereby expressly ratified.

Art. 146. Existing monopolies and other privileges shall continue until the expiration of the respective lawful contracts, unless it is found possible to reach some equitable agreements with the possessors thereof for their immediate termination.

Art. 147. All laws, decrees, regulations, orders and other provisions which may be in force at the time this Constitution is promulgated shall continue to be observed, in so far as they are not contrary to it or to the laws of the Republic of Panama.

ART. 148. This Constitution shall take effect, as far as the supreme branches of the government are concerned, from the day on which it is sanctioned; and as far as the Republic is concerned, fifteen days after its publication in the Gaceta Oficial.



ARTICLE 1. There shall be no death penalty in Panama.

ART. 2. The National Assembly shall elect by the absolute majority of the votes of the total number of its members the Attorney-General of the nation and two substitutes who shall replace the former when permanently or temporarily absent. These officials shall be elected for a period of five years.

1 Translated by ANTONIO M. OPISSO from the official Spanish text.

SECTION. In the event of absence for any reason of the sitting and substitute Attorney-Generals, the executive power may, during the recess of the National Assembly, fill such vacancy until the Assembly shall meet either in ordinary or extraordinary session and proceed to a new election.

ART. 3. Any person may engage in any honest trade or occupation for which he may be fitted. The law and the authorities shall regulate or inspect the professions and industries as to everything pertaining to the individual aptitude and morality and public safety and health.

ART. +. At the end of Article 49 the following clause shall be added:

The election of the President and Vice-President of the Republic shall always be made by the direct vote of the citizens.

Art. 5. Governors of provinces and mayors of the districts shall be elected by popular direct vote and for a period of four years. The first election for these offices shall be made in 1920. Art. 6. The National Assembly is hereby forbidden:

1. To charge to the public treasury any indemnity which has not been previously declared by the judicial power, or to approve any items for payment of pensions or retirements which have not been previously granted in accordance with the pre-existing general laws.

2. To decree the banishment or prosecution of persons or corporations.

3. To pass resolutions in praise of official acts. ART. 7. The term of office of the President of the Republic shall be four years. Children of Panaman father or mother born abroad may be elected President or Vice-President of the Republic, provided they have chosen Panaman nationality and have resided in the country for over 20 years.

Panaman citizens born in Colombia who took part in the movement of separation of Panama and who were members of the provisional government of the Republic may also be elected President or Vice-President of the Republic.

ART. 8. Clause 17 of Article 73 of the Constitution shall be thus amended:

17. To appoint, according to the conditions required by the Constitution and the laws, the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice for a period of five years, renewing one every year, and the public prosecutors for a period of four years.

Transitory paragraph. The magistrates first appointed in accordance with the foregoing provision shall hold office for the following periods: The first shall hold office 1 year; the second, 2 years; the third, 3 years; the fourth, 4 years; and the fifth, 5 years of the ordinary constitutional period.

« AnteriorContinuar »