List of political parties in Costa Rica

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This article lists political parties in Costa Rica. Costa Rica used to have a two-party system, which meant that there were two dominant political parties, the Social Christian Unity Party and the National Liberation Party, with extreme difficulty for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party. After the 2002 elections and the strong showing of the brand-new Citizens' Action Party, it was considered very likely that the old two-party system was on the verge of giving way to a multi-party system. Several other parties have gained prominence since then, and the 2006 elections made it clear that Costa Rica is now a multi-party system.

Starting in the 2000s, disagreement about many of the neo-liberal policies promoted by the dominant PLN caused the traditional party system of alliances among a few parties to fracture.[1] Although still a stable country, the shift toward many political parties and away from PUSC and PLN is a recent development.[2] Various elected positions within the country, such as mayors and city council members, are held by many different national and local political parties.

Party Lists[edit]

Parties in Legislative Assembly, 2014-2018[edit]

Political Parties in Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, 2014-2018
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Legislative Seats (2014) Ideology Historic Notes
National Liberation Party Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) 18 Centrist, social democracy Founded in 1951. Controlled the legislative assembly since inception and presidency for all but four elections.
Citizens' Action Party Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) 13 progressive, social democracy Founded in 2002. Won presidential election of 2014.
Broad Front Frente Amplio (FA) 9 Green, progressivism, humanism Founded in 2004. Never controlled presidency.
Social Christian Unity Party Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, (PUSC) 8 Conservatism Founded 1983 by four opposition parties. The main historical opposition to PLN. Three presidential victories in 1990, 1998, and 2002.
Libertarian Movement Partido Movimiento Libertario (PML) 4 Classical liberalism, conservatism Founded 1994. Never controlled presidency.
Costa Rican Renovation Party Partido Renovación Costarricense (PRC) 2 Christian democracy, conservatism, right-wing Founded in 1995. Never controlled presidency.
National Restoration Party (Costa Rica) Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN) 1 Social Christianity, conservatism, right-wing Founded in 2005. Never controlled presidency.
Accessibility without Exclusion Partido Accesibilidad sin Exclusión (PASE) 1 Single issue, rights for people with disabilities Founded 2001. Never controlled presidency.
Christian Democratic Alliance Alianza Demócrata Cristiana (ADC) 1 Conservative, provincial (Cartago) Founded in 2012.

Parties in Legislative Assembly, 2010-2014[edit]

Political Parties in Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, 2010-2014
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Legislative Seats (2014) Ideology Historic Notes
National Liberation Party Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) 24 Centrist, social democracy Founded in 1951. Controlled the legislative assembly since inception and presidency for all but four elections.
Citizens' Action Party Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) 11 progressive, social democracy Founded in 2002. Won presidential election of 2014.
Libertarian Movement Partido Movimiento Libertario (PML) 9 Classical liberalism, conservatism Founded 1994. Never controlled presidency.
Social Christian Unity Party Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, (PUSC) 6 Conservatism Founded 1983 by four opposition parties. The main historical opposition to PLN. Three presidential victories in 1990, 1998, and 2002.
Accessibility without Exclusion Partido Accesibilidad sin Exclusión (PASE) 4 Single issue, rights for people with disabilities Founded 2001. Never controlled presidency.
Costa Rican Renovation Party Partido Renovación Costarricense (PRC) 2 Christian democracy, conservatism, right-wing Founded in 1995. Never controlled presidency.
National Restoration Party (Costa Rica) Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN) 1 Founded in 2005. Never controlled presidency.
Broad Front Frente Amplio (FA) 1 Green, progressivism, humanism Founded in 2004. Never controlled presidency.

Nationally Unrepresented Political Parties[edit]

Nationally Unrepresented Political Parties
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Ideology Historic Notes
National Integration Party Partido Integración Nacional (PIN) Conservatism, center-right Founded in 1998. Held one seat in 1998. Active as of 2014 election.
Alajuelense Democratic Action Acción Democrática Alajuelense (ADA) Provincial Alajuela Founded in 1982. Held one seat in 1982. Joined Coalition Change 2000. Active as of 2014.
Party of the Sun Partido del Sol Municipal Santa Ana Founded in 1997. Originally single issue to oppose trash dump construction. Controlled Santa Ana City Commission for four consecutive terms. Active as of 2014.

Defunct Political Parties[edit]

Defunct Political Parties
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Ideology Historic Notes
National Union Party Partido Unión Nacional (PUN) Conservatism, Center-right Founded in 1901. Has existed in various forms and coalition parties until 2010. Won the presidency four times (1902, 1928, 1948, 1958, 1966). 1948 election was unrecognized. Defunct as of 2010.
National Rescue Party Partido Rescate Nacional (PRN) Center-left, Moderate socialist Founded in 1996. Held one legislative seat in 2006. Defunct as of 2010.
Union for Change Party Partido Unión para el Cambio (PUC) Centrist, social democracy Founded in 2005. Existed for one election cycle as protest from ex-PLN members. Defunct as of 2010.
Homeland First Party Partido Patria Primero (PP) Conservative, social democracy, Catholic interest Founded in 2006. Existed for one election cycle as a protest from ex-PAC members. Defunct as of 2010.
National Democrat Alliance Party Partido Alianza Democrática Nacionalista Social democracy, nationalist Founded in 2004. Opposed CAFTA. Defunct as of 2010.
Democratic Force Fuerza Democrática Left wing Founded in 1994. Held three seats from 1998-2002. Defunct as of 2006.
Popular Vanguard Party Partido Vanguardia Popular (PVP) Communist Founded in 1931. Existed as The Workers' and Farmers' Party and Communist Party of Costa Rica. Defunct as of 1984.
National Unification Party Partido Unificación Nacional Centrist, personal Founded in 1966. Often called "Calderónistas." Joined Unity Coalition in 1978, which later became PUSC. Defunct as of 1978.
Agrarian Labour Action Party Partido Acción Laborista Agrícola (PALA) Agrarian, Provincial Alajuela Founded in 1990. Held one seat in 1998. Defunct as of 2007.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Booth, John A.; yes (January 2008). Paul Webb and Stephen White, ed. Political Parties in Costa Rica: Democratic Stability and Party System Change in a Latin American Context (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford Scholarship Online. ISBN 9780199289653. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  2. ^ McPhaul, John (8 February 2014). "Costa Rica elections demonstrate country’s democratic stability". The Tico Times. Retrieved 2 April 2014.