Costa Rica

National Liberation Party

Published 22nd January, 2014

The National Liberation Party or PLN but often referred to as the verdiblancos (“green and whites”) was founded in 1951 by President José Figueres Ferrer. The party describes itself as Centre-left and believes in Social Democracy.

The PLN is by far the most successful political party in Costa Rica, having won nine of the 15 presidential elections since the 1951 constitution. The party has also been the largest party in the National Congress in 11 of the 15 governments.

The PLN lost the 1978 presidential and legislative elections and for the first time were out of government. Although they performed badly in 1990, 1998 and 2002 it was the defeat of 2002, following a period of internal strife that resulted in their largest defeat to date when they were reduced to just 17 seats in the 57 seat National Assembly.

Having sorted themselves out, they won the 2006 and 2010 elections taking 25 seats and 23 seats respectively in the National Assembly. Their successful 2006 presidential candidate was Óscar Arias who took 40.92% of the vote. In 2010 the former Vice-President (2006- 2008) Laura Chinchilla Miranda was elected the country’s first female President with 46.78% of the vote.

The National Liberation Party is a member of Socialist International.

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