Costa Rica Political System

According to, with capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica is a country located in North America with total population of 5,094,129.

Where is Costa Rica

Since 1889, Costa Rica has had a democratic, republican and unified state system. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how CR can stand for Costa Rica. After the 1948 presidential riots, riots arose, and for a short time the country was ruled by a military junta. After the riots, democracy was reinstated and a new constitution was adopted in 1949. All presidential elections have since proceeded democratically, and Costa Rica has emerged as Latin America’s most stable democracy. As in most other Latin American countries, the executive power is added to a popularly elected president, elected for four years. The Legislative Authority has added a national assembly of 57 members elected in the general election for four years. There is a vote from the age of 18. The most important parties have traditionally been the Social Democratic Liberation Party PLN and the Christian-Social Party PUSC, but after debuting with a 21 percent vote, 9% and 14 of the seats in the National Assembly at the 2002 elections, the newly formed Civil Action Party PAC increased its support to 25.3% and 17 seats at the 2006 election, thus becoming the country’s second largest party. The steering set is relatively stable. Under the constitution, under normal conditions, the country cannot have a national army.


Administratively, the country is divided into seven provinces, led by presidential governors. The provinces are divided into cantons and cantons into districts. In each canton there is an elected council, but the local government is strictly regulated by national law.


The country’s highest court is the Supreme Court and consists of 22 judges, elected by the National Assembly for eight years. The election period will be automatically renewed unless the Assembly by 2/3 majority decides otherwise. The Supreme Court, when meeting as Corte plena, may try to pass legislative acts in relation to the Constitution. In addition to the Supreme Court, there are four appeals courts and a number of criminal and civil courts. There are also some special courts. Judges of the local courts are appointed by the Supreme Court’s Supreme Council of five members. The jury system is not used in Costa Rica. See for Costa Rica tour plan.

Presidents of Costa Rica

Presidents of Costa Rica from 1936.

Period President
1936-1940 León Cortés Castro
1940-1944 Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia
1944-1948 Teodoro Picado Michalski
1948 Santos León Herrera
1948-1949 José Figueres Ferrer
1949-1953 Otilio Ulate Blanco
1953-1958 José Figueres Ferrer
1958-1962 Mario Echandi Jiménez
1962-1966 Francisco José Orlich Bolmarcich
1966-1970 José Trejos Fernandez
1970-1974 José Figueres Ferrer
1974-1978 Daniel Oduber Quiróz
1978-1982 Rodrigo Carazo Odio
1982-1986 Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez
1986-1990 Oscar Arias Sánchez
1990-1994 Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier
1994-1998 José María Figueres Olsen
1998-2002 Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría
2002-2006 Abel Pacheco de la Espriella
2006-2010 Oscar Arias Sánchez
2010-2014 Laura Chinchilla Miranda
2014-2018 Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera
2018- Carlos Alvarado Quesada


Costa Rica, thanks to its long democratic tradition and a high level of social stability, is one of the most politically stable countries in Latin America. Democracy took root as early as 1899, with the exception of two brief parentheses represented by the dictatorial government of 1917-19 and the bloody civil war of 1949, at the end of which a new constitution was promulgated which, in addition to guaranteeing free elections and universal suffrage, sanctioned the ban on the formation of a national army. Costa Rica’s neutralist vocation was officially reaffirmed in 1983, with a permanent declaration of neutrality. Therefore, there is no ministry of defense and the national security functions are the prerogative of the police forces and the civil guard,

With the exception of relations with Nicaragua, sometimes compromised by disputes over the common border, the country’s democratic vocation is also reflected in its international relations, based on multilateral cooperation and the promotion of regional stability. It is therefore no coincidence that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is located in San José. Costa Rica also distinguished itself for important mediation activities, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s in relation to the civil war in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua and, more recently, the crisis in Honduras. Relations with the United States are traditionally solid, supported not only by huge American funding for the development of the high-tech sector., also from Costa Rica’s participation in the free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR) signed between the US and a group of seven developing countries in Central America to create new economic opportunities. With the second presidency of Óscar Arias Sánchez (2006-2010) and with Laura Chinchilla Miranda (first female president, who succeeded him in 2010), the state has undertaken intense diplomatic activity also with China, breaking relations with Taiwan, as well as with Cuba. Negotiations continued with China, Singapore, South Korea, Panama and the European Union for the creation of free trade zones. The agreement with the EU entered into force for Costa Rica on October 1, 2013, and is expected to contribute more than 2.5 billion per year to the growth of the Central American economy. In 2014, the victory of Luis Guillermo Solìs in the presidential elections brought the center-left party of the PAC (Partido di Accion Ciudadana) to power. First hostile to CAFTA, President Solis then took a more moderate stance in favor of liberalization and inter-party dialogue (also given the narrow majority in parliament).

An important producer of coffee and the second largest exporter of bananas in the world, Costa Rica, which hosts 4% of the world’s living species, can also count on the income guaranteed by ecotourism. Faced with an effective protection of individual and collective freedoms and rights, the country is suffering from an endemic problem of corruption and rampant violence, partly linked to drug trafficking and money laundering. Between 2008 and 2009, the number of cocaine shipments in transit to North American markets would have increased by 400%. To stem this phenomenon, San José joined the ‘Merida Initiative’ in 2009, which unites the efforts of the United States, Mexico and Central American republics in the fight against cross-border organized crime.