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List of Presidents of Costa Rica

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Title: List of Presidents of Costa Rica  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Laura Chinchilla, Luis Guillermo Solís, Politics of Costa Rica, List of state leaders in 1842, José María Figueres
Collection: Costa Rica-Related Lists, Lists of Presidents, Presidents of Costa Rica
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of Presidents of Costa Rica

President of
Costa Rica
Luis Guillermo Solís

since 8 May 2014
Residence Casa Presidencial, Costa Rica
Term length Four years, not eligible for re-election immediately
Inaugural holder José Castro Madriz
Formation 8 May 1847
Website President of Costa Rica
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Costa Rica

The President of Costa Rica is the head of state and government of Costa Rica. The President is currently elected in direct elections for a period of four years, which is not immediately renewable. Two Vice Presidents are elected in the same ticket with the President. The President appoints the Council of Ministers.[1] Due to the abolition of the military of Costa Rica in 1948, the president is not a Commander-in-chief, unlike the norm in most other countries.

From 1969 to 2005, the president was barred from seeking reelection. However, in 2005, after the amendment banning reelection was thrown out by the Supreme Court, an incumbent president became eligible to run again after waiting for at least four years after leaving office.

The following table contains a list of the junta chairmen, presidents and heads of state of Costa Rica since Central American independence from Spain. From 1824 to 1838 Costa Rica was a state within the United States of Central America; since then it has been an independent nation.


  • Heads of State of Costa Rica (1825-1848) 1
  • Presidents of Costa Rica (1848–present) 2
  • Latest election 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Heads of State of Costa Rica (1825-1848)

Name Term Party Notes
Juan Mora Fernández 1825–1833 Liberal Two successive periods; re-elected in 1829.
José Rafael Gallegos 1833–1835 Conservative Resigned, Manuel Fernández Chacón and Nicolás Ulloa Soto followed as acting Heads of State.
Braulio Carrillo Colina 1835–1837 Liberal First term.
Juan Mora Fernández March–April 1837 Liberal Provisional
Manuel Aguilar Chacón 1837–1838 Liberal Deposed in a coup.
Braulio Carrillo Colina 1838–1842 Liberal Second term, deposed in a coup.
Francisco Morazán April–September 1842 Liberal Deposed by popular uprising; executed 15 September 1842.
António Pinto Soares September 1842 Liberal Came to power in popular uprising, and quickly resigned.
José María Alfaro Zamora 1842–1844 Liberal First term. Provisional.
Francisco María Oreamuno Bonilla November–December 1844 Liberal Deposed in a coup.
José Rafael Gallegos 1845–1846 Conservative
José María Alfaro Zamora 1846–1847 Liberal Second term.
José Castro Madriz 1847–1848 Liberal

Presidents of Costa Rica (1848–present)

President Took office Left office Party Notes
José María Castro Madriz 8 May 1847 16 November 1849 Liberal "Founder of the Republic".
Miguel Mora Porras
(interim president)
16 November 1849 26 November 1849 Liberal
Juan Mora Porras
(first, second and third term)
26 November 1849 14 August 1859 Liberal
José María Montealegre Fernández 14 August 1859 8 May 1863 Liberal Provisional 1859-1860.
Jesús Jiménez Zamora 8 May 1863 8 May 1866 Liberal
José Castro Madriz
(second term)
8 May 1866 1 November 1868 Liberal Deposed in a coup d'état.
Jesús Jiménez Zamora
(second term)
1 November 1868 27 April 1870 Military
Bruno Carranza Ramírez 27 April 1870 8 August 1870 Liberal Deposed in a coup d'état.
Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez 10 August 1870 8 May 1876 Liberal Provisional 1870-1872.
Aniceto Esquivel Sáenz 8 May 1876 30 July 1876 Liberal Deposed in a coup d'état.
Vicente Herrera Zeledón 30 July 1876 11 September 1877 Conservative
Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez
(second term)
11 September 1877 6 July 1882 Liberal Died in office.
Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez 6 July 1882 20 July 1882 Liberal Acting president.
Próspero Fernández Oreamuno 20 July 1882 12 March 1885 Liberal Died in office.
Bernardo Soto Alfaro
(two consecutive terms, the first incomplete)
12 March 1885 8 May 1890 Liberal Carlos Durán Cartín was acting president 1889-1890.
José Rodríguez Zeledón 8 May 1890 8 May 1894 Constitutional Party
Rafael Yglesias Castro
(first and second term)
8 May 1894 8 May 1902 Civil Party
Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra 8 May 1902 8 May 1906 Civil Party
Cleto González Víquez
(first term)
8 May 1906 8 May 1910 National Union Party
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno
(first term)
8 May 1910 8 May 1914 National Republican Party Son of Jesús Jiménez Zamora
Alfredo González Flores 8 May 1914 27 January 1917 National Republican Party Deposed by Tinoco in a coup.
Federico Tinoco Granados
(first and second term)
27 January 1917 13 August 1919 Military/Partido Tinoquista Overthrown by popular uprising.
Juan Quirós Segura
(previously Vice President)
13 August 1919 2 September 1919 Military/Partido Tinoquista Forced to resign by the U.S. government.
Francisco Aguilar Barquero
(interim president)
2 September 1919 8 May 1920 National Union Party
Julio Acosta García 8 May 1920 8 May 1924 Constitutional Party
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno
(second term)
8 May 1924 8 May 1928 National Republican Party
Cleto González Víquez
(second term)
8 May 1928 8 May 1932 National Union Party
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno
(third term)
8 May 1932 8 May 1936 National Republican Party
León Cortés Castro 8 May 1936 8 May 1940 National Republican Party
Rafael Calderón Guardia 8 May 1940 8 May 1944 National Republican Party
Teodoro Picado Michalski 8 May 1944 8 May 1948 National Republican Party
Santos León Herrera
(interim president)
20 April 1948 8 May 1948 National Republican Party Former vice-president of Teodoro Picado Michalski.
José Figueres Ferrer 8 May 1948 8 November 1949 National Liberation Party Came to power in civil war. Returned power to elected president after re-organizing the government.
Otilio Ulate Blanco 7 November 1949 8 May 1953 National Union Party
José Figueres Ferrer
(second term)
8 May 1953 8 May 1958 National Liberation Party Presidential re-election disallowed.
Mario Echandi Jiménez 8 May 1958 8 May 1962 National Unification Party
Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich 8 May 1962 8 May 1966 National Liberation Party
José Trejos Fernández 8 May 1966 8 May 1970 National Unification Party
José Figueres Ferrer
(third term)
8 May 1970 8 May 1974 National Liberation Party Presidential re-election disallowed.
Daniel Oduber Quirós 8 May 1974 8 May 1978 National Liberation Party
Rodrigo Carazo Odio 8 May 1978 8 May 1982 Unity Party
Luis Monge Álvarez 8 May 1982 8 May 1986 National Liberation Party
Óscar Arias 8 May 1986 8 May 1990 National Liberation Party Nobel Peace Prize winner 1987.
Rafael Calderón Fournier 8 May 1990 8 May 1994 Social Christian Unity Party Son of Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia.
José Figueres Olsen 8 May 1994 8 May 1998 National Liberation Party Son of José Figueres Ferrer.
Miguel Rodríguez Echeverría 8 May 1998 8 May 2002 Social Christian Unity Party
Abel Pacheco de la Espriella 8 May 2002 8 May 2006 Social Christian Unity Party Presidential re-election re-instated.
Óscar Arias
(second term)
8 May 2006 8 May 2010 National Liberation Party
Laura Chinchilla 8 May 2010 8 May 2014 National Liberation Party First female president of Costa Rica.[2]
Luis Guillermo Solís 8 May 2014 Incumbent Citizens' Action Party

Latest election

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Luis Guillermo Solís Citizens' Action Party 629,866 30.64 1,314,327 77.81
Johnny Araya Monge National Liberation Party 610,634 29.71 374,844 22.19
José María Villalta Florez-Estrada Broad Front 354,479 17.25
Otto Guevara Libertarian Movement 233,064 11.34
Rodolfo Piza Social Christian Unity Party 123,653 6.02
José Miguel Corrales Bolaños New Fatherland Party 30,816 1.50
Carlos Avendaño National Restoration Party 27,691 1.35
Justo Orozco Costa Rican Renovation Party 16,721 0.81
Óscar López Accessibility without Exclusion 10,339 0.50
Sergio Mena New Generation Party 5,882 0.29
Héctor Monestel Workers' Party 4,897 0.24
Walter Muñoz National Advance Party 4,388 0.21
José Echandi National Integration Party 3,042 0.15
Votes cast 2,099,219 1,712,679
Blank and null votes 43,747 23,508 1.37
Valid votes 2,055,472 100 1,689,171 100
Registered voters/turnout 3,065,667 68.19 56.63

See also


  1. ^ Executive Branch
  2. ^ "Costa Rica's new president: After Arias: Tax increases, trade deals and antidisestablishmentarianism.". The Economist. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
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