List of political parties in Costa Rica

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.

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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

Parties in Legislative Assembly, 2014-2018

Political Parties in Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, 2014-2018
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Legislative Seats (2014) Ideology Position Historic Notes
National Liberation Party Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) 17 Social democracy, Third Way, Social liberalism Center with some Centre-left and Centre-right factions Founded in 1951. Controlled the legislative assembly since inception and presidency for all but four elections.
Citizens' Action Party Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) 10 Progressivism, Social democracy, Christian democracy Centre-left to left-wing, some Centre-right factions Founded in 2002. Won presidential election of 2014.
Social Christian Unity Party Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, (PUSC) 9 Conservatism, Christian democracy, Classical liberalism Centre-right Founded 1983 by four opposition parties. The main historical opposition to PLN. Three presidential victories in 1990, 1998, and 2002.
National Restoration Party Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN) 7 Christian politics, Social conservatism Right-wing Founded in 2005. Never controlled presidency.
New Republic Party Partido Nueva República (PRN) 6 Christian politics, Social conservatism Right-wing Founded in 2019, its deputies were all elected on the PRN ticket. Never controlled presidency.
Social Christian Republican Party Partido Republicano Social Cristiano, (PRSC) 2 Conservatism, Christian democracy, Classical liberalism Centre-right Founded in 2014 by former PUSC members.
National Integration Party Partido Integración Nacional (PIN) 2 Big tent Right-wing Founded in 1998. Held one seat in 1998. Never controlled presidency.
Broad Front Frente Amplio (FA) 1 Green, Progressivism, Humanism, 21st century socialism Left-wing Founded in 2004. Never controlled presidency.

Nationally Unrepresented Political Parties

Nationally Unrepresented Political Parties
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Ideology Position Historic Notes
Accessibility without Exclusion Partido Accesibilidad sin Exclusión (PASE) Single issue, rights for people with disabilities N/A Founded 2001.
Christian Democratic Alliance Alianza Demócrata Cristiana (ADC) Conservativism, Christian democracy, provincial (Cartago) Right-wing Founded in 2012.
Costa Rican Renewal Party Partido Renovación Costarricense (PRC) Christian politics, Social conservatism Right-wing Founded in 1995.
Libertarian Movement Partido Movimiento Libertario (PML) Classical liberalism, Liberal conservatism, Libertarianism (originally) Right-wing Founded 1994.
New Generation Party Partido Nueva Generación (PNG) Liberalism, Youth rights Center-right Founded in 2013, has three mayors and some councilmen/women
Patriotic Alliance Alianza Patriótica (AP) Social Democracy Center-left Founded in 1982. Held one seat in 1982. Joined Coalition Change 2000. Active as of 2014.


Local parties
Party Name (English) Party Name (Spanish) Canton Historic Notes
Party of the Sun Partido del Sol Santa Ana Founded in 1997. Originally single issue to oppose trash dump construction. Controlled Santa Ana City Council for four consecutive terms.
21st Century Curridabat Curridabat Siglo 21 Curridabat Founded in 1997, controlled Curridabat Mayoralty and City Council for four consecutive terms
Escazu's Progressive Yoke Yunta Progresista Escazuseña Escazu Founded in 1996, controlled Escazu Mayoralty and City Council for three consecutive terms.
Cartago Green Party Partido Verde de Cartago Cartago Founded in 2004.

Defunct Political Parties

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 (UPC) 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, Catholic interest Founded in 2006. Existed for one election cycle as a protest from ex-PAC members. Defunct as of 2010.
Nationalist Democratic Alliance 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, far-left 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 Center-right, liberal-conservative Founded in 1966 as joint of National Republican and National Union. Defunct as of 1978.
National Republican Party Partido Republicano Nacional Centrist, personal Founded in 1901. Often called "Calderonistas." 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


  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.