Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica

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Legislative Assembly
Asamblea Legislativa de la Republica de Costa Rica
Coat of arms or logo
Carolina Hidalgo Herrera (PAC)
María Inés Solis Quirós (PUSC)
Luis Fernando Chacón (PLN)
Seats 57
Asamblea Legislativa CR 2018.png
Political groups
Proportional Representation with seats distributed according to the provinces' population
Last election
February 4, 2018
Next election
February 6, 2022
Meeting place
Plenario de la Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica.JPG
San Jose, 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 Legislative Assembly (Spanish: Asamblea Legislativa) is the unicameral legislative branch of the government of Costa Rica. The national congress building is located in the city capital, San José, specifically in El Carmen District in San José Canton.


The Legislative Assembly is composed of 57 deputies (diputados), who are elected by direct, universal, popular vote on a proportional representation basis, by provinces, for four-year terms. A 1949 constitutional amendment prevents deputies from serving for two successive terms; however, a deputy may run again for an Assembly seat after sitting out a term.

Seat allocation
Province Number of seats Population
 San José 19 1,404,242
 Alajuela 11 885,571
 Cartago 7 490,303
 Heredia 6 433,677
 Puntarenas 5 410,929
 Limón 5 386,862
 Guanacaste 4 354,154


Following the 2014 legislative election, the Citizens' Action Party was able to form an alliance with Broad Front and the Social Christian Unity Party. The three parties together amounted to thirty seats, thus giving them control of the legislature.[1] The alliance broke a year later, with PAC only receiving the support of Broad Front and PUSC joinning an opposition-lead alliance headed by PLN that gave PUSC the presidency of Congress.[2] This was the first time that historical rivals PLN and PUSC join together in Parliament. The following year PLN's candidate was endorsed by the oppositional alliance whilst PAC and FA voted by their respective ballots.[2]

Parties in Legislative Assembly, 2018-2022

Political Parties in, 2014-2018
Composición Asamblea Legislativa 2018-2022.svg
Party Flag Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Abbrev. Seats Percentage of Assembly
Bandera de Partido Liberación Nacional.svg
National Liberation Party Partido Liberación Nacional PLN 17 29.82%
Pac banner.svg
Citizens' Action Party Partido Acción Ciudadana PAC 10 17.54%
Bandera del Partido Unidad Social Cristiana.svg
Social Christian Unity Party Partido Unidad Social Cristiana PUSC 9 15.79%
Independiente (Costa Rica).png
Independent Politician Diputados Independientes (Pro-FA) Ind 8 12.28%
National Restoration Party Partido Restauración Nacional PRN 6 12.28%
Bandera PIN Costa Rica.png
National Integration Party Partido Integración Nacional PIN 3 5.26%
Social Christian Republican Party Partido Republicano Social Cristiano PRSC 2 3.51%
Broad Front Frente Amplio FA 1 1.75%
Independiente (Costa Rica).png
Independent Politician Diputado Independiente (Pro-JDC) Ind 1 1.75%


The Assembly meets in the Edificio Central ("Central Building") located in the city centre of San José. Work began on this building in 1937, with the plan of having it serve as the new presidential palace. Since much of the building materials were imported from Germany and Czechoslovakia, however, the onset of the Second World War put a halt to the project. Work did not recommence until 1957, but by 1958 the legislature was installed and operating in its new premises.


The foundations of the Legislative Assembly date back to the establishment of various courts and congresses in New Spain.[3] The modern assembly was created in the aftermath of the Costa Rican Civil War that deposed Teodoro Picado Michalski in 1948. José Figueres Ferrer headed a ruling junta that oversaw the election of a Constituent Assembly. Between 1948 and 1949, this Constituent Assembly created the Constitution of Costa Rica which lays forth the rules governing the assembly today.[4]

During each four-year legislative session, various political parties have occupied majority, minority, and coalition banks in the assembly.

Central American Parliament

Costa Rica is the only Spanish-speaking Central American country not to return deputies to the supranational Central American Parliament.

See also


  1. ^ La Nacion, "30 diputados eligieron al economista Henry Mora, del PAC, comon presidente legislativo," May 1, 2014
  2. ^ a b "Opposition parties maintain control over Legislative Assembly". Tico Times. May 1, 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  3. ^ Clotilde Obregón Quesada Clotilde (2007). Las Constituciones de Costa Rica. Tomo I. San José, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica. ISBN 978-9968-936-91-0.
  4. ^ Dieter Nohlen (2005-04-14). Elections in the Americas A Data Handbook Volume 1: North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6.

External links

  • Asamblea Legislativa de la República de Costa Rica

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