List of Presidents of Costa Rica

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President of
Costa Rica
Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg
Luis Guillermo Solís, Costa Rica 03.JPG
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
Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg
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 Federal Republic of Central America; since then it has been an independent nation.

Heads of State of Costa Rica (1825–1848)

Head of State Term Party Notes
Juan Mora Fernández 1825–1833 Liberal Two consecutive terms; 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 d'état.
Braulio Carrillo Colina 1838–1842 Liberal Second term. Deposed in a coup d'état.
Francisco Morazán April–September 1842 Liberal Deposed by popular uprising; executed on 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 d'état.
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 Jose Maria Castro Madriz.jpg 8 May 1847 16 November 1849 Liberal "Founder of the Republic".
Miguel Mora Porras Miguel Mora Porras 001.jpg 16 November 1849 26 November 1849 Liberal Interim president.
Juan Mora Porras Juan Rafael Mora Porras 1859.jpg 26 November 1849 14 August 1859 Liberal First, second and third term.
José María Montealegre Fernández José María Montealegra Fernández.JPG 14 August 1859 8 May 1863 Liberal Provisional 1859–1860.
Jesús Jiménez Zamora Jesús Jiménez Zamora.JPG 8 May 1863 8 May 1866 Liberal
José Castro Madriz Jose Maria Castro Madriz.jpg 8 May 1866 1 November 1868 Liberal Second term. Deposed in a coup d'état.
Jesús Jiménez Zamora Jesús Jiménez Zamora.JPG 1 November 1868 27 April 1870 Military Second term.
Bruno Carranza Ramírez Bruno Carranza Ramirez.JPG 27 April 1870 8 August 1870 Liberal Deposed in a coup d'état.
Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez.JPG 10 August 1870 8 May 1876 Liberal Provisional 1870–1872.
Aniceto Esquivel Sáenz Aniceto Esquivel Sáenz.jpg 8 May 1876 30 July 1876 Liberal Deposed in a coup d'état.
Vicente Herrera Zeledón Vicente Herrera Zeledón.JPG 30 July 1876 11 September 1877 Conservative
Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez.JPG 11 September 1877 6 July 1882 Liberal Second term. Died in office.
Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez.jpg 6 July 1882 20 July 1882 Liberal Acting president.
Próspero Fernández Oreamuno Próspero Fernández Oreamuno.JPG 20 July 1882 12 March 1885 Liberal Died in office.
Bernardo Soto Alfaro Bernardo Soto Alfaro.JPG 12 March 1885 8 May 1890 Liberal Two consecutive terms, the first incomplete. Carlos Durán Cartín was acting president 1889–1890.
José Rodríguez Zeledón José Joaquín Rodríguez Zeledón.JPG 8 May 1890 8 May 1894 Constitutional Party
Rafael Yglesias Castro Rafael Yglesias Castro.jpg 8 May 1894 8 May 1902 Civil Party First and second term.
Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra Ascención Esquivel Ibarra.JPG 8 May 1902 8 May 1906 Civil Party
Cleto González Víquez Cleto González Víquez.jpg 8 May 1906 8 May 1910 National Union Party First term.
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno.jpg 8 May 1910 8 May 1914 National Republican Party First term. Son of Jesús Jiménez Zamora.
Alfredo González Flores Alfredo Gonzalez Flores.jpg 8 May 1914 27 January 1917 National Republican Party Deposed by Tinoco in a coup d'état.
Federico Tinoco Granados Federico Tinoco Granados.jpg 27 January 1917 13 August 1919 Military/Partido Tinoquista First and second term. Overthrown by popular uprising.
Juan Quirós Segura Juan Bautista Quirós Segura.jpg 13 August 1919 2 September 1919 Military/Partido Tinoquista Previously Vice President. Forced to resign by the U.S. government.
Francisco Aguilar Barquero Francisco Aguilar Barquero.jpg 2 September 1919 8 May 1920 National Union Party Interim president.
Julio Acosta García Julio Acosta García.JPG 8 May 1920 8 May 1924 Constitutional Party
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno.jpg 8 May 1924 8 May 1928 National Republican Party Second term.
Cleto González Víquez Cleto González Víquez.jpg 8 May 1928 8 May 1932 National Union Party Second term.
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno.jpg 8 May 1932 8 May 1936 National Republican Party Third term.
León Cortés Castro Povedano - León Cortés Castro, pte CR.JPG 8 May 1936 8 May 1940 National Republican Party
Rafael Calderón Guardia Calderón Guardia 1940 cropped.jpg 8 May 1940 8 May 1944 National Republican Party
Teodoro Picado Michalski Teodoro Picado Michalski.jpg 8 May 1944 8 May 1948 National Republican Party
Santos León Herrera Santos Leon.jpg 20 April 1948 8 May 1948 National Republican Party Interim president. Former vice-president of Teodoro Picado Michalski.
José Figueres Ferrer José Figueres Ferrer 1.png 8 May 1948 8 November 1949 National Liberation Party Came to power in the Civil War. Returned power to elected president after re-organizing the government.
Otilio Ulate Blanco Otilio Ulate Blanco.jpg 7 November 1949 8 May 1953 National Union Party
José Figueres Ferrer José Figueres Ferrer 1.png 8 May 1953 8 May 1958 National Liberation Party Second term. Presidential re-election disallowed.
Mario Echandi Jiménez Mario Echandi Jimenez.jpg 8 May 1958 8 May 1962 National Unification Party
Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich Francisco J. Orlich.jpg 8 May 1962 8 May 1966 National Liberation Party
José Trejos Fernández Jose Juaquín Trejos Flores.jpg 8 May 1966 8 May 1970 National Unification Party
José Figueres Ferrer José Figueres Ferrer 1.png 8 May 1970 8 May 1974 National Liberation Party Third term. Presidential re-election disallowed.
Daniel Oduber Quirós Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg 8 May 1974 8 May 1978 National Liberation Party
Rodrigo Carazo Odio Rodrigo Carazo.jpg 8 May 1978 8 May 1982 Unity Coalition
Luis Monge Álvarez Johnny Araya en anuncio de candidatuta presidencial Luis Alberto Monge cropped.jpg 8 May 1982 8 May 1986 National Liberation Party
Óscar Arias OscarArias.jpg 8 May 1986 8 May 1990 National Liberation Party Nobel Peace Prize winner 1987.
Rafael Calderón Fournier R A Calderon.jpg 8 May 1990 8 May 1994 Social Christian Unity Party Son of Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia.
José Figueres Olsen José María Figueres.jpg 8 May 1994 8 May 1998 National Liberation Party Son of José Figueres Ferrer.
Miguel Rodríguez Echeverría MiguelAngelRodriguezEcheverria.jpg 8 May 1998 8 May 2002 Social Christian Unity Party
Abel Pacheco de la Espriella News Photo 050511-D-9880W-053 Abel Pacheco cropped.jpg 8 May 2002 8 May 2006 Social Christian Unity Party Presidential re-election re-instated.
Óscar Arias Oscar Arias 8p050806kh-0829-398v.jpg 8 May 2006 8 May 2010 National Liberation Party Second term.
Laura Chinchilla Laura-Chinchilla-cropped.jpg 8 May 2010 8 May 2014 National Liberation Party First female president of Costa Rica.[2]
Luis Guillermo Solís Luis Guillermo Solís, Costa Rica 03.JPG 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>