Costa Rica Government

The most stable and oldest democracy in Central America

CostaRica.Org Explore Vacation Options

The Republic of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been known for the most stable and oldest democracy in Central America. Executive power is exercised by the president, who is both the head of state and head of government, and his cabinet. 57 Legislative Assembly deputies are used within the government system along with the President. These are elected every 4 years. The Costa Rica government is built upon the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Each branch plays a key role in how the government functions and makes decisions that affect everyone in the country. Costa Rica has no military, but it keeps a domestic police, security forces, and a Coast Guard. It a pleasant and safe country to visit and to live in.

Executive Branch

The President-elect for a 4-year period and run the government and legislature.  An independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal supervises the elections. Key members of government include the President, Vice President, and second Vice President. Under these three are 26 Ministers doing various jobs. For example, finance or foreign Relations.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada


Current President 

Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Epsy Campbell Barr

Vice President

Current 1st Vice President

Epsy Campbell Barr

Marvin Rodríguez Cordero

Second Vice President

Current 2nd VP

Marvin Rodríguez Cordero

Legislative branch

The Legislative branch Deputies are elected by direct vote and can be made up of several different political parties. They proportion the representation upon each of the seven provinces. There are seven provinces in Costa Rica: San Jose, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Alajuela and Limón  While the provinces function separately for administrative purposes, they do not have provincial officials. Of course, mayors are also elected for a 4-year period, through general elections.

Judicial branch

The Supreme Court leads the judiciary branch and the legislator. The Assembly elects twenty-two judges for a renewable eight-year term. In 1989, the Sala IV, which is the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, was established and is responsible for executive decrees and assessing the constitutionality of legislation and habeas corpus warrants.  The Ombudsman, the Solicitor General and the Comptroller General of the Republic are responsible for the oversight of the government; So many, of these institutional roles are increasingly prominent in governing the country.

Costa Rica - A short History

The Costa Rican population is known as the happiest on the planet. But how did that come to be? Their government reflects this attitude as being the most stable in Central America. Known to be a country that offers social security and other social benefits to its people, Even Costa Rica’s history is blissfully void of violence. On the few occasions violence was used, it was a short affair that immediately yielded a lot of benefits.

One such event that is still celebrated annually, is the Battle of Santa Rosa and the Battle of Rivas. A makeshift army of Costa Ricans pushed an army of mercenaries over the Nicaraguan border, eventually gaining victory over them in Rivas, Nicaragua. The mercenaries were sent by filibuster William Walker, looking to usurp and control Latin America. Costa just having won its independence in a bloodless process, was not willing to let this happen.

Another such event is the abolishment of the army! This legendary event was achieved in the 40’s by Figueres, after a short but bloody civil war. To this day, Costa Rica has no standing army. It is one of the many aspects that draws tourists in and gives then a feeling of stability and safety.

For locals, saving money in cutting this major expense has yielded education for a large percent of the public by offering public education in institutions such as the University of Costa Rica and a fine assortment of public school almost free to the public as well as decent and affordable health care, a good pension at a respectable age, ever increasing human rights and law modeled on the system of the US.

The political stability as well as the social welfare Costa Rica has achieved, has now given the land of Pura Vida the reputation of being one of the best travel destinations in the world. With 24 percent of its land being protected and 6 months of the year being rainy, the lush and green natural heritage as well as governmental stability is luring more and more tourists to Costa Rica’s sandy shores each year.


Interested in more information about Costa Rica? Check out the My Costa Rica Travel Blog! 

© Copyright 2004-2021 all rights reserved. My Costa Rica (CostaRica.Org) is a Travel Agency that offers Custom Costa Rica Vacations & Packages Including Hotels, All-Inclusive Resorts and Tours.
Read our Privacy Policy - Sitemap.