Information on the Nuevo Partido Democratico, including whether it holds any seats in Congress, who is the party leader in congress, and whether the party is fielding or supporting a presidential candidate [CRI27073.E]

According to a representative of the Department of Protocol and Institutional Communication of the Congress of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Gutierrez Schwanhauser is the only congressional representative or deputy of the Nuevo Partido Democratico (New Democratic Party) (9 July 1997).

The Costa Rican daily La Nacion states that the Nuevo Partido Democratico was formed by deputy Rodrigo Gutierrez Schwanhauser when he quit the Partido Fuerza Democratica (Democratic Force Party) due to conflicts with his former fellow party member and deputy Gerardo Trejos (7 July 1997). The party is still waiting for authorization to participate in the 1998 elections; although its initial request for authorization was denied, the deadline for registering its provincial party assemblies was extended until 27 July 1997 (ibid.). The daily reports that deputy Gutierrez expects to complete the registration requirements by Sunday, 13 July 1997 (ibid.).

The information that follows was provided by the office of deputy Rodrigo Gutierrez Schwanhauser during a 10 July 1997 telephone interview.

The Nuevo Partido Democratico was formed on 5 October 1995, when deputy Gutierrez separated from the Partido Fuerza Democratica. Although it has functioned as a party since then, the Nuevo Partido Democratico is in the process of registeting, in order to participate in the upcoming elections. The only remaining step is to hold one last party "provincial assembly" (asamblea provincial), which will be done on Saturday, 12 July 1997 (there is a minimum number of provinces in which a party has to hold organized meetings of party members—asambleas provinciales—in order to be legally registered as a political party). Formal registration is expected to proceed the following week. The party has not yet presented its candidates for the upcoming election.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Department of Protocol and Institutional Communication, Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, San Jose. 9 July 1997. Telephone interview with representative.

La Nacion [San Jose]. 7 July 1997. Jose David Guevara. "21 partidos tras electores." [Internet] [Accessed 10 July 1997]

Office of Rodrigo Gutierrez Schwanhauser, Deputy, Nuevo Partido Democratico, Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, San Jose. 10 July 1997. Telephone interview with representative.

Additional Sources Consulted

Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.]. Biweekly.

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. Weekly.

International Who's Who. Yearly. London: Europa Publications Ltd.

Latin American Regional Reports: Central America & the Caribbean [London]. Monthly.

The Europa World Year Book. Yearly. London: Europa Publications Ltd.

People in Power. Yearly. London: Keesing's Publications.

Political Handbook of the World. Yearly. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. New York: CSA Publications.

Material from the Indexed Media Review (IMR) or country files containing articles and reports from diverse sources (primarily dailies and periodicals) from the Weekly Media Review.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. Daily.

Newspapers and periodicals pertaining to the appropriate region.

IRB, UNHCR and Internet databases.


This list is not exhaustive. Subject- and country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.