Vice President of Costa Rica

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The 1949 Constitution of Costa Rica established two Vice-Presidencies of Costa Rica, which are directly elected through a popular vote on a ticket with the President for a period of four years, with no immediate re-election. There has been various incarnations of the office. Vice Presidents replace the President in cases of temporary or permanent absence.

Throughout the history of independent Costa Rica, there have been different systems to cover the temporary or permanent absence of a President. Several different names have been used for this position:

  • From 1821 to 1824, the Governing Committee (Junta) selected a Vice-President.
  • From 1824 to 1841 there was a Vice-Head-of-State who was popularly elected.
  • From 1841 to 1842 there was a Second-Head-of-State, elected for life by popular vote.
  • From 1842 to 1844 there was a Vice-Head-of-State selected by the Constitutional Assembly.
  • From 1846 to 1847 there was a popularly-elected Vice-Head-of-State.
  • From 1847 to 1848 there was a Vice-President of the State, elected by popular vote.
  • From 1848 to 1859 there was a Vice-President of the Republic, selected through popular election.
  • From 1859 to 1949 there was a system of Designates to the Presidency, usually selected by the Legislature.
  • Since 1949 there have been two popularly elected Vice Presidents.

The following tables contain a list of the officials elected to the Vice-Presidential position since 1821.

Vice Presidents of the Governing Committees of Costa Rica (1821- 1824)[edit]

Between 1821 and 1824 Costa Rica was governed through a system of Governing Committees who chose from among their members a President and a Vice-President.

Name Title Time in Office Notes
Nicolás Carillo y Aguirre Vice-President of the Interim Governing Committee 1821–1822
José Maria de Peralta y La Vega Vice-President of the High Governing Committee 1822–1823 Acted as interim president on some occasions
José Francisco Madriz Vice-President of the High Governing Committee 1 January-20 March 1823
Santiago de Bonilla y Laya-Bolívar Vice-President of the Provincial Constitutional Congress 16–30 April 1823 Acted as interim President for some sessions
Manuel García-Escalante Interim Vice-President of the Provincial Constitutional Congress 30 April-6 May 1823 Acted as interim President for some sessions
Santiago de Bonilla y Laya-Bolívar Vice-President of the Provincial Constitutional Congress 6–10 May 1823
Eusebio Rodríguez y Castro Vice-President of the High Governing Committee 1823–1824
Alejo Aguilar Vice-President of the High Governing Committee 8 January-12 February 1824
Eusebio Rodríguez y Castro Vice-President of the High Governing Committee 12 February-8 September 1824

Vice-Heads-of-State of Costa Rica (1824-1841)[edit]

Between 1824 and 1841, in accordance with the Basic Law of 21 January 1825 and 1844, a Vice-Head-of-State was elected by the people.

Name Time in Office Notes
Mariano Montealegre Bustamante 1824–1825 Provisional
José Rafael de Gallegos y Alvarado 1825–1833 Elected 1825 and 1829; Acted as interim Head of State on a number of occasions
Manuel Fernández Chacón 1833–1837 Elected 1833; Acted as interim Head of State from June to July 1835
Juan Mora Fernández 1837–1838 Elected 1837, but his government was overthrown in 1838; Acted as interim Head of State on a number of occasions
Miguel Carranza Fernández 1838–1841 Filled term of office left by his predecessor

Second Heads of State (1841-1842)[edit]

In line with the Decree of Rules and Guarantees of 1841, a popularly-elected Second-Head-of-State was created to replace the Head of State in case of temporary or permanent absence.

Name Time in Office Notes
Manuel Antonio Bonilla Nava 1841–1842 Acted as interim President in 1842; his government was overthrown that year

Vice-Heads-of-State (1842-1844; 1846-1847)[edit]

From 1842 to 1844 and from 1846 to 1847 the country returned to the system of Vice-Heads-of-State.

Name Time in Office Notes
Juan Mora Fernández 1842 Provisional, elected by the Constitutional Assembly of 1842; his government was overthrown in 1842
Francisco María Oreamuno Bonilla 1843–1844 Provisional, elected by the Constitutional Assembly in 1843; replaced by a new position in 1844; acted as Head-of-State on a number of occasions
José María Castro Madriz 1846–1847 Provisional, popularly elected, became Vice-President of State in 1847; Acted as Head-of-State on a number of occasions

Vice-Presidents of State (1847-1848)[edit]

From 1847 to 1848 Costa Rica had a Vice-President of State, who was popularly elected.

Name Time in Office Notes
José María Castro Madriz 1847 Acted as interim President
José María Alfaro Zamora 1847 Elected to a six-year term in 1847, resigned
Juan Rafael Mora Porras 1847–1848 Acted as President on a number of occasions; elected to fill term of predecessor, but resigned

Vice-Presidents of the Republic of Costa Rica (1848-1859)[edit]

From 1848-1849 the popularly-elected Costa Rican Vice-President of the Republic presided over the Congress.

Name Time in Office Notes
Manuel José Carazo Bonilla 1849 Elected to complete the 1849-1853 of his predecessor, but resigned; Acted as President from March–April 1849
Juan Rafael Mora Porras 1849 Elected to complete Alfaro's mandate 1849-1853; was elected President in 1849
Francisco María Oreamuno Bonilla 1849–1856 Elected to complete Alfaro's mandate 1849, re-elected 1853, died in 1856; acted as President on a number of occasions
Vicente Aguilar Cubero 1856–1857 Elected to complete Oreamuno's mandate, resigned
Rafael García-Escalante Nava 1857–1859 Elected to complete Oreamuno's mandate, re-elected 1859, overthrown 1859; Acted as President on a number of occasions

Designates to the Presidency 1859-1881[edit]

In the Costa Rican constitutions of 1859, 1869 and 1871, the role of popularly elected Vice-President was replaced by two Designates to the Presidency, elected annually by Congress.

Designates to the Presidency Period of Mandate Notes
1) Francisco Montealegre Fernández; 2) Vicente Aguilar Cubero 1860–1861
1) Jesús Jiménez Zamora; 2) Juan Fernando Echeverría (resigned) and Juan González Reyes 1861–1862
1) Julián Volio Llorente; 2) Manuel José Carazo Bonilla 1862–1863
1) Agapito Jiménez Zamora; 2) Aniceto Esquivel Sáenz 1863–1864
1) José María Castro Madriz; 2) Juan José Ulloa Solares 1864–1865; re-elected for the period 1865-1866
1) Julián Volio Llorente; 2) Aniceto Esquivel Sáenz 1866–1867
1) José María Montealegre Fernández; 2) Manuel Antonio Bonilla Nava 1867–1868
1) Jesús Jiménez Zamora; 2) Francisco María Iglesias Llorente Elected for the period 1868-1869; their mandate ended when the government was overthrown in 1868
1) Eusebio Figueroa Oreamuno; 2) Agapito Jiménez Zamora 1869–1870; ended their mandate when the government was overthrown in April 1870 Eusebio Figueroa Oreamuno acted as interim President in April 1869
1) Rafael Barroeta Baca Appointed Designate to the Presidency by the de facto Government in 1870; performed the role until the constitutional government assumed power in 1872 Acted as President on a number of occasions
1) José Antonio Pinto Castro; 2) Rafael Barroeta Baca 1872–1873 José Antonio Pinto Castro acted as President from 1872–1873
1) Salvador González Ramírez; 2) Rafael Barroeta Baca 1873–1874 Salvador González Ramírez acted as President from November to December 1873 as did Rafael Barroeta Baca from 1873–1874
1) Rafael Barroeta Baca; 2) Vicente Herrera Zeledón 1874–1875
1) Joaquín Lizano Gutiérrez; 2) Rafael Barroeta Baca 1875–1876 Joaquín Lizano Gutiérrez acted as interim President in 1875
1) Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez; 2) Vicente Herrera Zeledón (resigned) and Braulio Morales Cervantes Elected for the period 1876-1877; ended their mandates when the government was overthrown in July 1876
1) Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez; 2) Manuel Antonio Bonilla Nava Appointed in 1876 by President Vicente Herrera Zeledón; ended their mandates in 1877 Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez acted as interim President in September 1877 y refused to recognise President Vicente Herrera Zeledón
1) Pedro Quirós Jiménez; 2) Rafael Barroeta Baca (died in 1880) 1877–1881

Designates to the Presidency 1881-1882[edit]

In 1881 President Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez replaced the system of two Designates to the Presidency with one of seven Designates. This situation lasted until the constitutional government assumed power in 1882

Designates to the Presidency Period of Mandate Notes
1) Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez (ended his mandate in July 1882 as he became President of the Republic); 2) Salvador Lara Zamora; 3) José María Castro Madriz; 4) Manuel Argüello Mora; 5) Pedro Quirós Jiménez; 6) Víctor Guardia Gutiérrez; 7) Próspero Fernández Oreamuno Appointed by President Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez in 1881; ended their mandates when constitutional rule was restored in 1882 Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez acted as interim President during June and July 1882, as did Salvador Lara Zamora from 1881 to 1882 and Próspero Fernández Oreamuno during July and August 1882. Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez assumed the Presidency on the death of President Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez in July 1882

Designates to the Presidency 1882-1948[edit]

In 1882, with the restoration of the 1871 Constitution, Costa Rica returned to the system of Designates to the Presidency, but with three designates, elected by Congress for same four-year period as the President of the Republic.

Designates to the Presidency Period of Mandate Notes
1) Luis Diego Sáenz Carazo (resigned in 1883) and Bernardo Soto Alfaro; 2) José María Castro Madriz (resigned in 1885) and Apolinar de Jesús Soto Quesada; 3) José María Oreamuno y Oreamuno 1882–1886 Bernardo Soto Alfaro assumed the Presidency on the death of President Próspero Fernández Oreamuno in 1885
1) Apolinar de Jesús Soto Quesada; 2) Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra; 3) Carlos Durán Cartín 1886–1890 All three Designates acted as interim Presidents
1) Pánfilo Valverde Carranza; 2) Carlos Durán Cartín; 3) Joaquín Lizano Gutiérrez 1890–1894
1) José Rodríguez Zeledón; 2) Carlos Durán Cartín; 3) Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra 1894–1898
1) Juan José Ulloa Giralt (resigned in 1898) and Demetrio Iglesias Llorente; 2) Juan Bautista Quirós Segura; 3) Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra (resigned in 1898), Demetrio Iglesias Llorente (Became First Designate in August 1898) and Federico Tinoco Iglesias; 1898–1902 Demetrio Iglesias Llorente Acted as interim President on a number of occasions.
1) Rafael Yglesias Castro (resigned in July 1902) and Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno; 2) Cleto González Víquez; 3) Juan Bautista Quirós Segura 1902–1906
1) Carlos Durán Cartín; 2) Andrés Venegas García; 3) José Astúa Aguilar 1906–1910
1) Manuel de Jesús Jiménez Oreamuno; 2) Alberto González Soto; 3) Ezequiel Gutiérrez Iglesias 1910–1914
1) Alfredo González Flores; 2) Domingo González Pérez; 3) Francisco Aguilar Barquero Elected for the period 1914-1918; ended their mandates when the government was overthrown in January 1917 Alfredo González Flores was appointed to the Presidency for the period of this mandate
1) José Joaquín Tinoco Granados (resigned in 1919) and Juan Bautista Quirós Segura; 2) Rafael Cañas Mora; 3) Ezequiel Gutiérrez Iglesias Elected for the period 1917-1923; ended their mandates with the end of constitutional rule in September 1919 Juan Bautista Quirós Segura acted as interim President and assumed the Presidency, when President Federico Alberto Tinoco Granados resigned in August 1919
1) Andrés Venegas García; 2) Carlos María Jiménez Ortiz; 3) Carlos Brenes Ortiz 1919–1920
1) Aquiles Acosta García; 2) Alfredo González Flores; 3) Arturo Volio Jiménez 1920–1924
1) Carlos María Jiménez Ortiz; 2) Jorge Volio Jiménez; 3) Felipe José Alvarado Echandi 1924–1928
1) Fabio Baudrit González; 2) Francisco Ross Ramírez; 3) Andrés Venegas García 1928–1932
1) Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno; 2) Julio Acosta García; 3) León Cortés Castro 1932–1936 Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno was appointed President for the period 1932-1936
1) Carlos Pupo Pérez; 2) Jorge Hine Saborío; 3) Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia 1936–1940
1) Rafael Calderón Muñoz (died in 1943) and Teodoro Picado Michalski; 2) Jorge Hine Saborío; 3) Francisco Calderón Guardia 1940–1944 Rafael Calderón Muñoz, Jorge Hine Saborío and Francisco Calderón Guardia acted as interim Presidents
1) Francisco Calderón Guardia; 2) René Picado Michalski; 3) Santos Leon Herrera 1944–1948 René Picado Michalski and Santos Leon Herrera acted as interim Presidents.

Vice-Presidents of Costa Rica (since 1948)[edit]

In accordance with the Costa Rican constitution of 7 November 1949 there are two vice presidents, popularly elected at the same time as the President.

Vice-Presidents of Costa Rica Period of Mandate Notes
1) Alberto Oreamuno Flores; 2) Alfredo Volio Mata Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1949-1953 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Raúl Blanco Cervantes; 2) Fernando Esquivel Bonilla Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1953-1958 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Abelardo Bonilla Baldares; 2) José Joaquín Peralta Esquivel Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1958-1962 Abelardo Bonilla Baldares acted as interim President
1) Raúl Blanco Cervantes; 2) Carlos Sáenz Herrera Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1962-1966 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Jorge Vega Rodríguez; 2) Virgilio Calvo Sánchez Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1966-1970 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Manuel Aguilar Bonilla; 2) Jorge Rossi Chavarría Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1970-1974 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Carlos Manuel Castillo Morales; 2) Fernando Guzmán Mata Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1974-1978 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Rodrigo Altmann Ortiz; 2) José Miguel Alfaro Rodríguez Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1978-1982 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Alberto Fait Lizano (resigned); 2) Armando Aráuz Aguilar Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1982-1986 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón; 2) Victoria Garrón Orozco Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1986-1990 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Germán Serrano Pinto; 2) Arnoldo López Echandi Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1990-1994 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Rodrigo Oreamuno Blanco; 2) Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1994-1998 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Astrid Fischel Volio; 2) Elizabeth Odio Benito Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 1998-2002 Both acted as interim Presidents
1) Lineth Saborío Chaverri; 2) Luis Fishman Zonzinski Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 2002-2006 Lineth Saborío Chaverri acted as interim President
1) Laura Chinchilla Miranda (resigned 8 October 2008); 2) Kevin Casas Zamora (resigned 22 September 2007) Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 2006-2010 Both have acted as interim Presidents
1) Alfio Piva Mesén; 2) Luis Liberman Ginsburg Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 2010-2014
1) Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría; 2) Helio Fallas Venegas Elected Vice-Presidents of the Republic for the period 2014-2018 First members of Citizens' Action Party