Panama Canal expansion referendum, 2006

Panama Canal Expansion Referendum, 2006

Panama Canal expansion referendum, 2006

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The Panama Canal expansion referendum was held on October 22, 2006, when the citizens of Panama approved the Panama Canal expansion project by a wide margin.

Constitutional background

According to article 325 of the Panamanian Constitution, any proposal for the construction of a third set of locks or a sea-level Canal on the existing route that the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) proposes has to be approved by the executive branch and submitted to the National Assembly for its approval or rejection. It also has to be submitted to a national referendum no earlier than three months after its approval by the National Assembly.


The Panama Canal expansion proposal was presented on April 24, 2006 by President Martín Torrijos to the Panamanian people after years of study by the ACP. The largest project at the Canal since its original construction, the expansion will double its capacity and allow more traffic.

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:
  • The construction of two lock complexes, one on the Atlantic side and another on the Pacific side, each with three chambers, which include three water-saving basins;
  • The excavation of new access channels to the new locks and the widening of existing navigational channels; and
  • The deepening of the navigation channels and the elevation......
  • ...

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