Costa Rica is a democratic, free and independent republic. Its government is popular, representative, alternative and responsible, exercised by three supreme powers which are distinct and independent of each other: Executive Power, Legislative Power and Judicial Power.
The Costa Rican State has also a Supreme Elections Tribunal with the same rank and independence as the other powers. This tribunal is in charge exclusively of organizing, directing and supervising all acts concerning suffrage.
The Executive Power is composed by the President of the Republic, two Vice presidents and a Cabinet of Government chosen by the President. The President of the Republic is, simultaneously, Head of Government and Head of State.
The President and Vice presidents are elected every four years by direct vote of all citizens over 18 years. There have been uninterrupted elections since the promulgation of the current Constitution in 1949.
The current President is Mr. Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera and the Vice presidents are Mr. Helio Fallas Venegas and Ms. Ana Elena Chacón Echeverría. Mr. Solís Rivera and the Vice presidents took office on May 8th 2014 for the following four years.
The Legislative Power is unicameral and it’s integrated by 57 deputies elected democratically and simultaneously with the President of the Republic and the Vice presidents for a four-year period as well. The 57 deputies form the Legislative Assembly.
The current Constitution establishes that Costa Rican people delegate in the Legislative Assembly the power to legislate, which is its main function.
The current President of the Legislative Assembly is Mr. Henry Mora Jiménez, who took office on May 1st 2014 for a single-year period as established by law.
The political parties currently represented in the Legislative Assembly are:
Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN):
National Liberation Party
Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC)
Citizens Action Party
Frente Amplio (FA):
Broad Front Party
Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC):
Social Christian Unity Party
Movimiento Libertario (ML):
Partido Renovación Costarricense (RC):
Costa Rican Renovation Party
Partido Accesibilidad Sin Exclusión (PASE):
Accesibility Without Exclusion Party
Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN):
National Restoration Party
Alianza Democrática Cristiana (ADC):
Democratic Christian Alliance
The Judicial Power is composed by the Supreme Justice Court, the most important judiciary body in the country, as well as the different tribunals responsible for deliver justice.
The Supreme Justice Court is composed by 22 magistrates, designated by the Legislative Assembly for eight-year periods. The current President of the Court is Ms. Zarela Villanueva Monge, who took office on May 2013.
Administratively, Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces which are subdivided into 81 cantons and these, in turn, into 463 districts. The cantons are ruled, with limited capabilities, by a Mayor and a Municipal Council; both the Mayor and the Council are popularly elected.