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Costa Rica is a democratic republic. It has a strong system of constitutional checks based on the country's division of power between the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The executive powers reside with the president, who also serves as head of state. There are also two vice presidents and a 15 member cabinet. The legislative branch is composed of a 57-member unicameral Legislative Assembly, and the judiciary is composed of a Supreme Court of Justice with 22 magistrates elected by the Legislative Assembly for renewable 8-year terms. Both the president and Legislative Assembly are elected for 4-year terms.


Updated: 2 June 2008