Costa Rica | A guide to everything Costa Rica

Costa Rican Government

In 1948, Costa Rica dismantled its military. The decision to become the first country without a military came after a civil war. It led to a politically stable country. Domestic issues are handled by the police and a National Guard is still maintained should an armed force ever be needed.

Costa Rica has three branches of government. Costa Rica functions under a democratic system and there is a constitutional commitment to checks and balances.

The Executive branch is made up of one president, two vice presidents and a cabinet of ministers. The President is voted in directly by the people and (s)he can run for a total of two 4-year terms. Voting is compulsory but that law is not enforced.

The second branch is the Legislative Assembly, which has a total of 57 Legislative Assembly Deputies.

The Judiciary branch is comprised of the Supreme Court of Justice and subsidiary courts of law. The Costa Rican Supreme Court is composed of 22 magistrates who are selected by the Legislative Assembly. Magistrates hold renewable 8-year terms.


President of Costa Rica 2010 to 2014

President: Laura Chinchilla Miranda (National Liberation Party)

First Vice President: Alfio Piva Mesen (National Liberation Party)

Second Vice President: Luis Liberman Ginsburg (National Liberation Party)

Costa Rica is Central America's wealthiest country. Capitol is held in national banks and private banks. And a program for social security assists with nationalized healthcare. For years there were monopolies in both the telecommunications and insurance sectors but those opened up in 2009.


There are several political parties in Costa Rica but only four have held much footing among voters.

The National Liberation Party (Partido Liberacion Nacional or PLN) is a social democratic party founded in 1951.

The Social Christian Unity Party (Partido Unidad Social Cristiana or PUSC) is a right-wing Christian democratic party that emerged in 1977. It has faced some scandals of corruption.

The Libertarian Movement Party (Partido Movimiento Libertario or PML) is as the name suggests, classically libertarian. This party was founded in 1994.

The Citizen's Action Party (Partido Accion Ciudadena or PAC) came together in 2000 as a reformist party that generally tends toward a leftist ideal.


About Costa Rica
Map of Costa Rica
Costa Rican history
Costa Rican culture
Costa Rica Fast Facts
Costa Rican weather
Costa Rican Parks & Reserves
Tourism in Costa Rica
Costa Rican holidays
Costa Rican food and recipes
Costa Rican coffee