« PreviousContinue »
Resolves, To extend its most sincere congratulations and applause to the government junta and commissioners in Washington for the happy and speedy way in which that treaty has been consummated, as it will assure the existence of the Republic of Panama. San Francisco, December 3, 1903. The President,
D. RODRIQUEZ. Members,
JOSÉ DE LA E. MÉRIDA. Secretary,
Being highly interested in the definitive consummation of the canal treaty which has been negotiated between the Governments of Panama and the United States of North America, we, the undersigned residents of the district of Rio Jesus, hasten to inform the most excellent government junta of our Republic and its honorable ministers that we approve the most important act of ratification given in Panama to this treaty, day before yesterday, of which we have been advised by telegraph.
CONSULATE-GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
REPUBLIC OF PANAMA,
Panama, December 24, 1903. I, H. A. Gudger, consul-general of the United States of America for Panama and the dependencies thereof, do hereby certify that I have examined carefully the origiral documents in the office of the General Government at Panama, sent in by the municipalities of Buenavista, Portobelo, David, Las Palmas, La Mesa, Taboga, Gatun, Rio Jesus, San Francisco, and citizens of La Mesa, Sona, and Rio Jesus, approving the action of the provisional government or junta in ratifying the canal treaty with the United States of America, and that I have compared these original documents with those set forth in the printed sheet of the Gaceta Oficial, Numero Extraordinario, dated December 16, 1903, and to which this certificate is attached, and that the publications therein set forth in printed form from the above municipalities and citizens are true, correct, and perfect copies of the original documents on file in the office of the Government of the Republic of Panama.
In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of this consulategeneral this the 24th day of December, 1903. (SEAL)
H. A. GUDGER, United States Consul-General.
Mr. Bunau- Varilla to Mr. Hay.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 6, 1904. SIR: I have the honor of informing you that I have received from my Government an extract of the Gaceta Oficial of December 16, duly certified by H. A. Gudger, consul-general of the United States, in
which the municipalities of Buenavista, Portobelo, David, Las Palmas, La Mesa, Toboga, Gatun, Rio Jesus, San Francisco, and the citizens of La Mesa, Sona, and Rio Jesus give in the warmest terms the expression of their satisfaction of the signature of the convention of 18th of November last, referring to the Panama Canal.
This completes the list of the elective bodies of the Republic, which have all expressed their unconditional approval of the treaty and of its ratification by the Panama Government. I must say that this expression of opinion is in harmony with the satisfaction of the whole country which was made conspicuous at the recent election, where, for the first time in the history of the State of Panama, every citizen has been at liberty to perform his duty according to his conscience To adopt the formula employed in a private letter directed to me by an eminent person of the Isthmus, "The liberty of suffrage has been absolute and pure and every citizen has made use of this precious right, observing admirable order." I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
[Official Gazette, extraordinary number. Panama, December 14, 1903.)
Decree No. 25, 1903 (December 12) concerning the holding of the national constitutional
convention and manner of electing the delegates who are to compose the same. The junta of the provisional government of the Republic in the use of its powers, Whereas:
1. The country is now in a state of absolute peace and no fears of any kind exist as to interior disturbance; and
2. It is the imperative duty of the provisional government to proceed to the constitution and organization of the country by means of a national convention elected by the people; It is decreed:
CHAPTER I.-General orders. ARTICLE 1. A national constitutional convention is called for the 15th day of January, 1904, with the object of forming the constitution or fundamental law of the Republic.
ART. 2. The national constitutional convention shall be composed of 32 delegates, at the rate of 4 for each one of the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Cocle, Chiriqui, Colon, Los Santos, and Veraguas, and 8 for the province of Panama.
There shall be as many alternates as there are delegates for each province. These alternates will be named first, second, third, and fourth in all the provinces with the exception of Panama, in which there shall be also the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, and they will be summoned in their order to substitute the principals in case of complete or temporary absence.
Art. 3. The delegates and alternates to the national constitutional convention shall be elected hy direct and secret vote on a separate ballot for each province.
Art. 4. All men of 21 years of age, born in and at this time residents of the territory of the Isthmus of Panama, who have not lost their political rights according to the law, natives of Colombia who may have manifested their desire to become citizens of the Republic and who have taken oath of allegiance or who may take the same before the day of the elections, and those who are found in the service of the country on the said date have the right to vote in the elections for delegates.
Art. 5. All individuals [men] born in the territory of the Isthmus of Panama, who have attained the age of 21 years, in the full enjoyment of their political rights, and natives of Colombia who may have sworn fidelity to the Republic or signed the articles of independence or manifested their desire to become citizens of the same previous to the publication of this decree may be eligible for election as delegates to the national constitutional convention.
Individuals who have formed part of the junta of the provisional government, the ministers of state, the magistrates of the court of justice, the attorney-general, and the treasurer-general of the Republic, the commander in chief and the chief of staff of the national army, and in general any public officer throughout the entire Republic and the magistrates of provinces in the provinces under their jurisdiction, who may have discharged such duties ten days previous to the elections, can not be eligible for election as delegates.
Art. 6. The ministers of the cabinet shall have seat in the national constitutional convention and voice in its discussions.
CHAPTER II.-Electoral boards.
ART. 7. In the capital of each province there shall be an electoral board composed of four members named by the junta of the provisional government; there will be also four alternates named in the same manner to substitute the principals in case of complete or temporary absence.
The members of the electoral boards shall assume charge of their duties in the presence of the magistrates of the respective provinces on the same day the appointment is received by them.
ART. 8. The electoral boards shall be unable to transact their business without the attendance of the majority of their members. The day of their installation they shall name a president, a vice-president, and a secretary, who may or may not be from their membership. Their sessions shall be public, they shall make authentic reports of them, which each body will enter in a book, their votes when not unanimous shall be recorded by name, and appointments shall be made in secret.
Art. 9. When any member or members of the electoral board are wholly or temporarily absent it is the duty of the same body to summon the respective substitutes and under penalty of a fine of $50 or less to compel those who decline to attend or delay their appearance.
The day upon which the board is to be installed or reassembled and is prevented from so doing by the failure of a majority of its members to attend, those present, in any number whatever, can compel them under the fine already expressed and call the respective substitutes.
CHAPTER III.-Elections. ART. 10. The voting shall take place in the presence of the municipal council of each district, the respective quorum being present as in its ordinary session whether those acting be its principals or the alternates.
In those districts in which the number of citizens exceeds 400, the said municipal council, with due deliberation, shall choose from among the persons with a knowledge of reading and writing five persons to receive the votes, with the character of judges of elections, selecting as many of these as required by the number of voters, calculated at the rate of 400 for each body of judges, and where there is a number exceeding 100, another set of judges will be designated to receive the votes from them, but if the number be less, the voting of these will be in the presence of the first body named by the council, who thus will receive a number greater than 400.
ART. 11. The judges of election can not be installed nor act with a less number present than three of their members, and can impose a fine of $50 upon those who refuse to assist or delay their attendance. These fines will be made effective by the first political authority of the district.
ART. 12. For the act of voting, some fit location of easy access shall be designated in order that citizens may attend and deposit their votes.
ART. 13. Each body of judges of election on being installed shall name a president and a vice-president from among its members, and a secretary, who may or may not be a member of the same.
ART. 14. The municipal council, or the judges in its place, shall give the proper orders that the voting may begin promptly and be carried out with absolute freedom. In this respect, if necessary, it shall demand the cooperation of the alcalde (mayor) and the inspectors of police, who will be obliged to give him aid.
Art. 15. The municipal council or the judges of election shall so dispose that the voting may begin precisely at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 27th day of this month of December, the opening of the same being announced by means of the long roll of a drum at the street door of the place assigned for the voting. The voting sball cease at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, which will be announced by another long roll of the drum.
ART. 16. Every citizen has the right to cast his vote in the election herein named, and the municipal council or the judges of election can not refuse this right unless three citizens affirm under oath that he has not the said right, concerning which they will submit testimony for the purposes which are expressed in the following article.
ART. 17. If it happen that any person not a citizen attempts to vote, for this act alone he shall be sentenced to ninety days of imprisonment, after ascertaining the facts, by the judge of the respective circuit; also those individuals who falsely testify before the municipal council or the judges of election that a citizen does not possess the proper qualifications to vote shall suffer six months' imprisonment.
ART. 18. No citizen may cast more than one vote in the election. He who deposits more than one vote, be it in one voting place or another, shall suffer the punishment hereinafter to be expressed.
Art. 19. In order to prevent any citizen from casting more than one vote the name of each voter shall be inscribed in a register in regular order, which register shall be placed upon the voting table in view of the public, and at the close of the voting all the judges shall sign at the foot of the register and as many as four citizens who may desire to do so, and copy will be given of said registers to whomsoever solicits it.
ART. 20. The ballots for the election of delegates to the national constitutional convention shall state separately the names of the individuals to be voted for as principals and the names of those for whom a vote is to be cast for alternates.
Those who obtain the greater number of votes as principals shall be declared elected with that character, and those obtaining a majority of votes as alternates shall be declared elected alternates according to the order of the number of votes cast for each. In case of a tie the order shall be decided by lot.
Art. 21. The ballots shall not contain the name of the same person twice; they shall state under the heads of principals and alternates, properly separated, the names of the candidates; they shall be placed within an envelope or cover that they may be examined without reading their contents, and shall measure in length no more than a decimeter in order that they may easily be placed in the ballot box.
ART. 22. The judges of election shall be installed for the act of the elections and to superintend the same in such manner that they will be in view of the public, but separated from it by means of gratings.
ART. 23. A table shall be placed near the judges, around which they will place themselves, the voters having access to the table at one side. On the top of the table there will be an urn, which shall be a box of wood with an opening of a decimeter in length and a centimeter in breadth.
ART. 24. Immediately before the opening of the voting the box shall be opened and the public will be permitted to examine it, that it may be convinced that it is empty and that it does not contain a double bottom or other secret means for committing fraud.
Art. 25. The vote shall be taken in a single day in public and continuous session during the hours set forth by this decree. The hour having arrived for the termination of the voting, the same signal that announced the beginning of the same shall be given in the hearing of the judges.
ART. 26. Immediately after the closing of the voting the judges shall read aloud the list of the citizens who have voted; they shall state in the same manner the total number of the voters and will place at the bottom of said list the following note: "We, the undersigned, members of the judges of election, number — do hereby certify that this day (giving number) citizens have voter for the election of delegates to the national constitutional convention, the names of whom are above noted.” The date and signatures of the judges and the secretary shall then be attached.
Art. 27. The direction given in the foregoing article having been carried out, the urn in which the ballots were deposited shall be publicly opened. The secretary shall count them one by one. If there be a greater number than those of the individuals voting all of the ballots shall be replaced, and after moving them to change the location as many ballots as are excessive shall be drawn out by lot and without opening shall be immediately burned.
ART. 28. The ballots having been counted and collected, they shall then be examined, which shall be done by two of the judges, who shall keep the register of the number of votes cast in favor of each candidate. Another of the judges shall open and read the ballots aloud one by one and shall show them to those who are noting the result.
Art. 29. A vote that does not express in an intelligible manner the name and surname of the person in whose favor it is cast shall be considered a blank.
In like manner the votes cast in favor of women, other ineligible persons, and foreigners shall be considered as blanks.
Art. 30. Should an envelope contain two or more ballots, neither of them shall be counted and the vote shall be considered null.
ART. 31. The examination having been concluded, the result shall be read aloud, and a copy of the summary of it, signed by all the members of the municipal council or of the judges present, will be furnished to anyone desiring the same. Then the ballots shall be inclosed in a package, upon the cover of which shall be placed a certificate of its contents, and it shall be directed to the president of the electoral board of the respective province.
ART. 32. The result of the examination shall be set forth in a register, in which shall be stated the number of votes obtained by each candidate and other circumstances concerning the matter. Three copies of this register shall be made, which shall be directed respectively to the convention, to the junta of the provisional government, and to the president of the electoral board of the province, sending to this last named the package that contains the ballots of the election and the list of the voters.
ART. 33. Each copy of the register shall be signed by all the members of the municipal council and judges and by those attending up to the number of ten who may wish to do so. The envelopes containing the other documents forwarded by the judges of election shall be signed in like manner.
ART. 34. The duties of members of the electoral boards or of the judges of election are obligatory.
CHAPTER IV.-Examinations. ART. 35. It is the duty of the electoral boards to make the examination of the votes cast in the municipal districts before the municipal councils and the judges of election.
ART. 36. On the 3d day of January, 1904, at 10 o'clock in the morning, in a public place, and after having been announced by three rolls of the drum, the electoral board shall meet for the examination of the vote cast before the municipal councils or judges of election of the entire province.
ART. 37. The president shall allow for reading the register of the documents received by him up to one hour before the installation of that body and shall exhibit them to the other members.
Then shall be opened, one by one, the registers of the votes, but no package shall be opened until the votes in the previous one have been counted, nor will such registers be computed when they have been received after the hour indicated in this article.
Art. 38. The registers shall be read aloud by the secretary of the board and shall be shown to those spectators who desire the same, and to the examiners at the time of announcing the votes cast in favor of each candidate.
ART. 39. The reading of the registers concluded, and the count having been made of the total number of votes cast in each district, a general count shall be made of all the votes cast for each candidate in every province, and the result shall be entered in a register.
ART. 40. The electoral board, having completed the general count to which the preceding article refers, shall declare elected as delegates and alternates to the national constitutional convention by the respective electoral districts, those citizens who have received the majority of the votes lawfully deposited, and in the descending order of the same.
The president of the board shall give information of their election to those chosen and to the junta of the provisional government, through the cabinet of thegovernment.
ART. 41. Three copies of the register shall be prepared and be forwarded as follows: One to the junta of the provisional government, another to the national constitutional convention, and the third, which will be forwarded with the other documents of the board, to the president of the municipal council of the capital of the province, that they may be preserved in the archives.
ART. 42. The electoral board, on making the examination, has the duty of declaring as null and void the votes cast in favor of persons who may (not ?) be eligible according to this decree.
ART. 43. The regulations established for the examination of elections are applicable to the examinations made by the electoral boards, provided they be not contrary to those given in this chapter.
CHAPTER V.–Nullities. ART. 44. The popular elections discussed in this decree are null and of no value or effect in the following cases: 1. When they have taken place on any other day than that assigned in this decree;
2. When the voting and the examinations, respectively, have not been carried out in the presence of at least a full majority of the members of the body of judges or the council;