The republic of Costa Rica (literally the ‘Rich Coast’) has been an independent state since the year 1821, although it formed, from 1824 to 1829, part of the Confederation of Central America. It is governed under a constitution promulgated on 7 December, 1871, and modified very frequently since that date. The legislative power is now vested in a single chamber called the Constitutional Congress, which since 1946 consists of 45 deputies, one for every 8,000 inhabitants. The members of the chamber are elected for the term of 4 years, one-half retiring every 2 years. The President is elected for 4 years; the candidate receiving the largest vote, provided it is over 40% of the total, is elected, but a second ballot is required if no candidate gets 40% of the total. By the election law of 18 January, 1946, all male citizens who are 20 years of age are entitled to vote ; married men and teachers, from the age of 18. Barred are those deprived of civil rights, criminals, bankrupts and the insane ; proposal to enfranchize women was rejected by Congress in November, 1945. Elections are held on the second Sunday in February. Voting for President, Deputies and Municipal Councillors is, by the law of 26 July, 1925, nominally secret, and, by an amendment to the constitution in 1936, compulsory for all men under 70 years of age. Independent non-party candidates are barred from the ballot.
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Books of Reference
Books of Reference concerning Costa Rica: 1. Official Publications
2. Non-Official Publications
- Biesanz (John and Mavis), Costa Rican Life. New York, 1944.Google Scholar
- Guardia (L. F.), Historia de Costa Rica. San José, 1939.Google Scholar
- Jones (Chester L.), Costa Rica and Civilization in the Caribbean. Madison, 1935.Google Scholar
- Saavedra (M.) (editor), Costa Rica Commercial Guide. San José. Annual.Google Scholar
- Zeledón (M. T.), Lecciones de Ciencia constitucional y Constitutión Politica de la República de Costa Rica. San José, 1945.Google Scholar