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Costa Rica Government

Costa Rica Government

Costa Rica GovernmentHow Stable is Costa Rica’s Government?

As you already know, one of the main considerations in planning our move abroad is the stability of the government of the country we choose. Given that, I want to take a closer look at the stability of Costa Rica’s government.

As I mentioned before, Costa Rica is a democratic republic.

The republic is based on a multi-party system and possesses a strong system of constitutional checks and balances.  According to U.S. Department of State, “The Unites States and Costa Rica have a history of close and friendly relations based on mutual respect for democratic government, human freedoms, free trade, and other shared values.”

Costa Rica’s record on the environment, human rights, and advocacy for the peaceful settlement of disputes give it a weight in world affairs far beyond its size.    www.state.gov

Costa Rica’s Government Quick Facts:

Costa Rica Government consists of three branches, same as in the U.S: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Legal system of civil law is based on Spanish civil code.

Executive branch of Costa Rica’s Government:

  • President: Laura Chinchilla Miranda – First female president of Costa Rica
  • Vice-president: Alfio Piva Mese
  • 2nd Vice-president: Luis Liberman Ginsburg

The president is both chief of state and head of government.

The legislative (judicial branch of Costa Rica’s government) power is vested in the Legislative Assembly. The president and 57 Legislative Assembly deputies are elected for a 4-year term. Voting in Costa Rica is compulsory but not enforced.

Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court of Justice, composed of 22 magistrates selected for renewable 8-year terms by the Legislative Assembly, and subsidiary courts. A Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, established in 1989, reviews the constitutionality of legislation and executive decrees and all warrants.

The electoral process is supervised by an independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal – a commission of three principal magistrates and six alternates selected by the Supreme Court of Justice. The group is often consider to be the “fourth” branch of Costa Rica’s government.  It is an independent body with far-reaching powers.

Much similar to United States, Costa Ricans are guaranteed equality before the law with basic rights. With the exception of the right to vote, all foreigners in Costa Rica enjoy the same freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.

Costa Rica is an active member of both United Nations and the Organization of the American States.

Costa Rica’s government boasts itself to be most stable of all Central American countries. As such, Costa Rica attracts many foreign investors. In fact, its political stability, relatively high levels of education, and incentives offered in the free-trade zones has attracted one of the highest levels of foreign investment in Latin America to this small country.

In Summary:

Costa Rica’s government is one of the most stable governments in Latin America. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a government and it is not with out issues. But from our prospective of choosing a “early retirement” country, Costa Rica seems like an excellent choice. We would rate its government at Five out of Five suns.  Costa Rica Government 5 suns

You may also like our posts Costa Rica Information and Safety in Costa Rica.


About Joanna

is a Polish American living in Arizona with her husband Tim. She is a founding partner of JTR Tech and she is proud to be a professional geek. She had dreamt of living abroad for many years. So, she and Tim created AbroadDreams.com to document the process of making their dream of moving abroad come true. They spent 2 years in Puerto Rico and several months in Spain and Poland. Now they are exploring the American Southwest.

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One comment

  1. Hello, I have been visiting Costa Rica for about 17 years now. I married a Costa Rican Veteranarian 13 years ago. We purchased land there 5 years ago and hope to make our dream of moving there a reality in 2014. I would say the country is stable and safe. Stable in that no dictator will ever be able to take hold there, the USA defends CR vigerously when any problems erupt with their nieghbours. Safe as any US city, probably more so these days. the main problem in CR is petty theft. They will steal things left in your car, outside on your property, electronic devices are especially shiny for them.
    I recommend to people to stay away from heavily populated areas. Live in or near a small village so you will get to know everyone and they will get to know you. these areas are not generally what Americans want so the prices are better as well. Try not to buy from Americans, they inflate the prices 100’s% and this infuriates Costa Ricans. Buy from a Cr national but use a bilingual lawyer to do so. We bought our land off a farmer/pilot who’s family owned the land forever. I have a word document you may like if you go to visit there. it described places of interest, do’s and dont’s.