Published 23rd April, 2014
The People’s Party also known as the Popular Party or PP was founded in 2001 although its roots go back much further. Originally the party was known as the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) which was founded in 1960 but which had its origins in the student National Civic Union (UCN) which goes back to 1957. The party describes itself as Centrist and believes in Christian Democracy with its foundation in the Catholic Church. It is also strongly anti-Communist.
Prior to 1989 the PDC had had mixed results, it won one seat in 1964 and in 1968 but its presidential candidate did poorly in both elections. Unable to participate in the 1972 and 1978 elections, the party then won two seats in 1980 and this went up to six seats in 1984.
Prior to the 1989 election the PDC became increasingly involved in the protests against the military government and was rewarded by winning 28 seats in the subsequent election to become the largest party. They also supported the candidacy of Guillermo Endara of the Democratic Alliance of Civic Opposition (ADOC) who won the election with 71.19% of the vote but whose election was then annulled by Noriega’s government. This subsequently led to the American invasion of Panama and Guillermo Endara was inaugurated as the President of Panama on 20th December 1989. The National Assembly result had also been annulled but this was overturned on 27th December and the PDC retained its 28 seats.
Despite being the largest party the PDC withdrew from the ADOC government in April 1991 and their fortunes suffered from a resurgent Democratic Revolutionary Party and in 1994 the party was reduced to one seat. Although they picked up five seats in 1999 they were reduced once more to one seat in the 2004 and 2009 elections.
The People’s Party is a member of the Christian Democrat International (CDI) and regionally of the Christian Democratic Organization of America.