Costa Rican general election, 1953

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Costa Rican general election, 1953
Costa Rica
← 1948 July 26, 1953 1958 →
Turnout 67%
  José Figueres Ferrer 1.png No image.png
Nominee José Figueres Fernando Castro Cervantes
Party National Liberation Democratic
Home state Alajuela San José
Popular vote 294,016 67,324
Percentage 64.7% 35.3%

Resultados electorales provinciales 1953.png
Provinces won by Figueres

President before election

Otilio Ulate
National Union

Elected President

José Figueres
National Liberation

Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Costa Rica

General elections were held in Costa Rica on 26 July 1953.[1] José Figueres Ferrer of the National Liberation Party won the presidential election, whilst his party also won the parliamentary election. Voter turnout was 67.2% in the presidential election and 67.5% in the parliamentary election.[2]

This was Costa Rica’s first election since the end of the 1948 Civil War and the democratic guarantees were not fully restored.

José Figueres, the caudillo of the victorious National Liberation Army faction in the Civil War was candidate by the newly founded National Liberation Party (PLN).[3] Liberal Mario Echandi tried to be candidate from then in-government National Union Party (PUN) but his candidacy was denied by the Electoral Tribunal arguing irregularities in the adherents’ signatures.[3] This move was highly criticized by Figueres’ opponents as an action in favor of Figueres’ candidacy.[3]

As PUN was unable to participate, the only other candidacy alternate to Figueres’ was made by the Democratic Party that nominated wealthy industrial Fernando Castro Cervantes.[3] The three parties; PLN, PUN and Democratic were all formerly united in opposition against Rafael Angel Calderón and allies governments in the 1940s that caused the civil war. Yet, after the war, their loyalties broke away.[3]

The losing sides in the civil war, mostly the Republicans (Calderón supporters) and the Communists were unable to participate as their parties were disbanded (in the case of the Communist Party was constitutionally outlawed).[3] But the Republicans were allowed to participate in the legislative ballot with a provincial party in San José call “Independent” Republican Party and earned some seats. As expected Figueres won by a landslide victory.[3]



Candidate Party Votes %
José Figueres Ferrer National Liberation Party 123,444 64.7
Fernando Castro Cervantes Democratic Party 67,324 35.3
Invalid/blank votes 6,721 -
Total 197,489 100
Source: Nohlen


Party Votes % Seats
National Liberation Party 114,043 64.7 30
Democratic Party 67,324 21.2 11
Independent National Republican Party 12,696 7.2 3
National Union Party 12,069 6.9 1
Invalid/blank votes 22,140 - -
Total 198,270 100 45
Source: Nohlen


  1. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p155 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  2. ^ Nohlen, p156
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hernández Naranjo, Gerardo. "Reseña de las elecciones presidenciales de 1953" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 April 2016.