Political System of Costa Rica

The political system of Costa Rica is based on a democratic republic with the President as chief of state as well as the head of government. Besides the President, there are two vice Presidents as well along with a 15-member cabinet. The President and vice presidents as well as fifty-seven Legislative Assembly delegates are elected by popular vote for a term of four years. The members of the cabinet are selected by the President. The political system of Costa Rica is said to be the most stable in Central America.

There are seven provincial boundaries for administrative purposes which are Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose.

The Executive

The executive powers are held by the President who is the chief of state and also the Head of government. The President along with the 2 vice Presidents is elected for a single term of four years by popular vote. The last presidential elections were held on held 5, February 2006. The current President of Costa Rica since 8 May 2006 is Oscar Arias Sanchez and the two Vice Presidents are Laura Chinchilla and Kevin Casas Zamora.

Under the executive branch there is also a cabinet comprising of 15 members selected by the President.

The Legislature

The unicameral Legislative Assembly consists of 57 seats. The members of the legislative branch are elected by direct, popular vote and serves for a term of four years. The last elections were held on 5 February, 2006. The functions of the legislative Assembly includes-

  • Amendment of the President's Budget
  • Appointment of the Comptroller General who's function is to check the oversight of the Government in matters of public expenditures.
  • Appointment of the judges of Supreme Court for a minimum term of eight years.

The Supreme Court is the highest court of law in Costa Rica which exercises judicial power in the country. The Supreme Court comprises of 22 judges selected for 8-year terms by the Legislative Assembly and subsidiary courts.

Major Political Parties

  • Social Christian Unity Party
  • National Liberation Party
  • Citizens' Action Party or PAC
  • Libertarian Movement Party or PML
  • Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC
  • Democratic Force Party or PRC
  • National Integration Party
  • Union for Change Party
  • National Union Party
  • Homeland First Party
  • Patriotic Union Party
  • Democratic Nationalist Alliance Party
  • National Rescue Party


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