With four successive elected civilian governments, the Central American nation of Panama has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. The current President, Mart n Torrijos of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), was elected in May 2004 and inaugurated to a four-year term on September 1, 2004. Torrijos, the son of former populist leader General Omar Torrijos, won a decisive electoral victory with almost 48% of the vote in a four-man race. He succeeded President Mireya Moscoso of the Arnulfist Party (PA), elected in 1999, whose administration was tainted by several high-profile corruption scandals. Torrijos electoral alliance also won a majority of seats in the unicameral Legislative Assembly. The most significant challenges facing the Torrijos government have included dealing with the funding deficits of the country s social security fund; developing plans for the expansion of the Panama Canal; and combating unemployment and poverty. After protests and a protracted strike by construction workers, doctors, and teachers in 2005, the Torrijos government was forced to modify its plans for reforming the social security fund. In April 2006, the government unveiled its ambitious plans to build a third lane and new set of locks that will double the Canal's capacity. In an October 2006 referendum on the issue, 78% of voters supported the expansion project.