The project will create a new lane of traffic along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks. Details of the project include the following integrated components:
According to the ACP, the project will have an estimated cost of US$5.25 billion, will be self-financed by tolls increase and will take up to 7 or 8 years of construction time.
Panama's Cabinet approved the project, and on July 14, the National Assembly unanimously approved the proposal to expand the Canal. In addition, the Assembly created and passed a law mandating a national referendum in which the people of Panama would vote to approve expansion. The referendum was held on October 22, 2006, the first Sunday at least 90 days after the legislation was signed.
The referendum used a single ballot divided in half with Sí (Yes) at the left with a green background and No at the right with a red background. Above these two options the text of the question read:
Voting took place on schedule from 7 am to 4 pm but people still in line at that time were allowed to vote. Unofficial results were made known by the Electoral Tribunal by its system of unofficial results reporting, just 30 minutes after the voting ended. This system consists of series of data-collecting centers that communicate with the Panama City Press Room of the Electoral Tribunal. This centers receive the unofficial results given by each polling station by phone, cell phone and other means, while the official results begin their journey to the different counting centers. This system has proved highly successful in previous elections and has given almost the same results as the official count. Under this system, by 6 p.m. (2 hours after the voting ended) the results of approximately 25% of polling stations were available and the likely approval of the project was known. However, the official results are the responsibility of the National Scrutiny Junta, and that took some days (3) as official declarations came from all over the country to Panama City.
id:SI value:rgb(0.2, 0.8, 0)
id:NO value:rgb(0.8, 0, 0)
ScaleMajor = gridcolor:midgray increment:10 start:0
ScaleMinor = gridcolor:gray increment:1 start:0
width:15 fontsize:S textcolor:black align:left anchor:from shift:(10,-4) color:red
from:0 till:76.83 color:SI width:20 align:left fontsize:M text:"Yes - 76.83%"
from:0 till:21.76 color:NO width:20 align:left fontsize:M text:"No - 21.76%"
from:0 till:1.41 color:darkgray width:20 align:left fontsize:M text:" blank/null votes - 1.41% Voter turnout was 43.32%"
pos:(155,170) fontsize:M text:Official results of the referendum
pos:(170,152) fontsize:S text:by Electoral Tribunal of Panama
pos:(400,1) fontsize:S text:(%)
The dates listed are normally the date the survey was concluded, not the date it was published. Most news and political affairs sources use the convention of using the last date that the poll was conducted in order to establish the inclusion/exclusion of current events. Only polls after the proposal unveiling (April 24, 2006) are included.
|Dichter & Neira||October 82006||79%||21%|
|PSM Sigma Dos||October 32006||HTML||72%||21%||7%|
|CID Gallup||October 22006||HTML||77%||10%||13%|
|PSM Sigma Dos||September 62006||HTML||66%||23%||11%|
|Dichter & Neira||September 32006||HTML||63.9%||24.8%||11.3%|
|Dichter & Neira||September 32006||HTML||62.7%||33.7%||3.6%|
|Dichter & Neira||August 62006||HTML||54.4%||17.1%||28.5%|
|PSM Sigma Dos||July 102006||HTML||66%||23%||11%|
|Dichter & Neira||June 42006||HTML||57.9%||19.8%||22.3%|
|Dichter & Neira||May 82006||HTML||57.3%||27.2%||15.5%|
The margin of error in these surveys is typically between 2 and 2.9%. See the links for actual error values associated with particular surveys.