CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT. The republic of Costa Rica (the ‘Rich Coast’) has been independent since 1821, although it formed, from 1824 to 1838, part of the Confederation of Central America. The constitution, promulgated on 7 Dec. 1871, has been modified very frequently, last in 1949. The legislative power is normally vested in a single chamber called the Legislative Assembly, which since 1946 consists of 45 deputies, 1 for every 25,214 inhabitants, elected for 4 years. The President is elected for 4 years; the candidate receiving the largest vote, provided it is over 40% of the total, is declared elected, but a second ballot is required if no candidate gets 40% of the total. By the election law of 18 Jan. 1946 all citizens who are 20 years of age are entitled to vote; married men and teachers, from the age of 18. Women over 21 were enfranchised in 1949, under the new constitution. Elections are normally held on the first Sunday in February. Voting for President, Deputies and Municipal Councillors is, by the law of 26 July 1925, 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
- Statistical Information. Official statistics are issued by the Director General de Bstadística (Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda, San José) as they become available. The compilation of statistics was started in 1861.Google Scholar
- Biesanz, J. and Biesanz, M., Costa Rican Life. 3rd printing. New York, 1946Google Scholar
- Fernández Guardia, L., Historia de Costa Rica. 2nd ed., 2 vols. San José, 1941Google Scholar
- May, S., and others, Costa Rica. New York, 1952Google Scholar
- Trejos, Juan, Geografía ilustrada de Costa Rica. San José, 1948Google Scholar