Costa Rica Government and Politics
State and politics
According to AllCityCodes.com, Costa Rica is a republic, in which the executive is exercised by a president who is elected for four years in general and direct elections. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of CR and its meanings of Costa Rica. Direct re-election of incumbent president is not possible, but after a two-term stint, a former president can stand for re-election. Two vice presidents are also elected at the election. Citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote. At least 40 percent of the candidates on the parties’ electoral lists must be women.
The President ensures that the Constitution and laws and regulations are enforced, upholds the order, appoints and dismisses government members and negotiates with foreign powers about treaties, which must, however, be ratified by the legislative assembly. This consists of 57 members, who are elected for four years in proportional elections at the same time as the presidential election. The Assembly adopts laws, grants taxes and can lift the president’s veto by a 2/3 majority. The country is divided into seven provinces governed by governors appointed by the president and there are 81 municipalities with popularly elected mayors. According to the constitution, a national army must not be established.
For a long time, Costa Rica was in principle a two-party system dominated by the Social Democratic National Liberation Party (Partido de Liberación Nacional, PLN) and the Christian Democratic Unity Party (Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, PUSC).
In the 00s, however, several new political movements were formed that challenged the traditional parties and in 2014 Luis Guillermo Solís, candidate for the Coalition of the Citizens Action (Partido Acción Ciudadana, PAC), won the presidential election. Also in the 2018 presidential election, PAC’s candidate, then Carlos Alvarado, won.
The judicial organization consists of the Supreme Court, a number of appellate courts and various courts of first instance. The legal order is mainly codified according to the continental European pattern. The most important codifications are the Civil Law, the Family Law, the Commercial Law, the Criminal Code, the Civil Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Act. The death penalty was abolished in 1877.
Violence against women and children is widespread, especially sexual violence. Costa Rica is a country of origin, transit and recipient country for men, women and children who are subjected to human trafficking for sexual purposes and forced labor. Minors are used to transport and sell drugs, but commercial sexual exploitation of children and women is by far the most common motive for human trafficking. Child sex tourism, with perpetrators from the US and Europe, is a widespread problem. Women and girls from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic are forced into Costa Rica to be sexually exploited and perform slave labor at home.
Costa Rica’s English-speaking black minority is subject to discrimination and prejudice. A significant proportion of the country’s majority population of Spanish origin considers blacks to be inferior to economic, cultural and perceived racial differences. Racism excludes those who do not have Spanish descent, which puts the group of black people who mainly live in the banana districts on the Caribbean coast facing economic and social barriers. The indigenous peoples are also discriminated against and lack full representation in parliament and government.
There is widespread corruption in the country that is constantly increasing. The prisons are overcrowded and characterized by substandard conditions.
Heads of State
|1885-89||Bernardo Soto and Alfaro|
|1890-94||José Joaquín Rodríguez|
|1906-10||Cleto González Víquez|
|1912-14||Cleto González Víquez|
|1914-17||Alfredo González Flores|
|1917-19||Federico Tinoco Granados|
|1919-20||Juan Bautista Quirós|
|1928-32||Cleto González Víquez|
|1936-40||León Cortés Castro|
|1940-44||Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia|
|1944-48||Teodoro Picardo Michalski|
|1948||Santos León Herrera|
|1958-62||Mario Echandi Jiménez|
|1962-66||Francisco José Orlich|
|1966-70||José Joaquín Trejos|
|1982-86||Luis Alberto Monge|
|1994-98||José Figueres Olsen|
|1998-2002||Miguel Angel Rodriguez-Echeverría|
|2002-06||Abel Pacheco de la Espriella|
|2014-18||Luis Guillermo Solís|