Semi-presidential system

A semi-presidential system or dual executive system is a system of government in which a president exists alongside a prime minister and a cabinet, with the latter being responsible to the legislature of a state. It differs from a parliamentary republic in that it has a popularly elected head of state, who is more than a mostly ceremonial/non-executive (the powers, limitations differ in different parliamentary republics, that this type of president would have tended to be 'reserve'/emergency and non-partisan in nature), figurehead (a president in a dual executive system also has political powers), and from the presidential system in that the cabinet, although named by the president, is responsible to the legislature, which may force the cabinet to resign through a motion of no confidence.[1][2][3][4]

While the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) exemplified an early semi-presidential system, the term "semi-presidential" was introduced by a 1959 article by journalist Hubert Beuve-Méry[5] and popularized by a 1978 work by political scientist Maurice Duverger,[6] both of which intended to describe the French Fifth Republic (established in 1958).[1][2][3][4]

Forms of government
Systems of government
Republican forms of government:
  Presidential republics with an executive presidency separate from the legislature
  Parliamentary republics with an executive presidency dependent on the legislature
  Semi-presidential system with both an executive presidency and a separate head of government that leads the legislature, who is appointed by the president
  Parliamentary republics with a ceremonial/non-executive president, where a separate head of government leads the executive

Monarchical forms of government:
  Constitutional monarchies with a ceremonial/non-executive monarch, where a separate head of government leads the executive
  Constitutional monarchies with a ceremonial monarch, but where royalty still hold significant executive and/or legislative power
  Absolute monarchies where the monarch leads the executive

  One-party states where the dominant role of a political party is codified in the constitution
  Countries in which constitutional provisions for government have been suspended (e.g. military dictatorship)
  Countries which do not fit any of the above systems (e.g. transitional government or unclear political situations)

Subtypes

There are two separate subtypes of semi-presidentialism: premier-presidentialism and president-parliamentarism.

Under the premier-presidential system, the prime minister and cabinet are exclusively accountable to parliament. The Parliament chooses the prime minister and cabinet, and only the parliament may remove them from office with a vote of no confidence. This system is much closer to pure parliamentarism. This subtype is used in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde,[7] East Timor,[7][8] Lithuania, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Niger, Poland,[9] Romania, São Tomé and Príncipe,[7] Sri Lanka and Ukraine (since 2014; previously, between 2006 and 2010).[10][11]

Under the president-parliamentary system, the prime minister and cabinet are dually accountable to the president and the parliament. The president chooses the prime minister and the cabinet but must have the support of a parliamentary majority for his choice. In order to remove a prime minister or the whole cabinet from power, the president can dismiss them, or the parliament can remove them by a vote of no confidence. This form of semi-presidentialism is much closer to pure presidentialism. It is used in Guinea-Bissau,[7] Mozambique, Namibia, Portugal, Russia, Senegal and Taiwan. It was also used in Ukraine, first between 1996 and 2005, and again from 2010 to 2014, Georgia between 2004 and 2013, and in Germany during the Weimarer Republik (Weimar Republic), as the constitutional regime between 1919 and 1933 is called unofficially.[10][11]

Division of powers

The powers that are divided between president and prime minister can vary greatly between countries.

In France, for example, in case of cohabitation, when the president and the prime minister come from opposing parties, the president oversees foreign policy and defence policy (these are generally called les prérogatives présidentielles (the presidential prerogatives) and the prime minister domestic policy and economic policy.[12] In this case, the division of responsibilities between the prime minister and the president is not explicitly stated in the constitution, but has evolved as a political convention based on the constitutional principle that the prime minister is appointed (with the subsequent approval of a parliament majority) and dismissed by the president.[13] On the other hand, whenever the president is from the same party as the prime minister who leads the conseil de gouvernement (cabinet), he/she often (if not usually) exercises de facto control over all fields of policy via the prime minister. It is up to the president to decide how much "autonomy" is left to "their" prime minister to act on their own.

Cohabitation

Semi-presidential systems may sometimes experience periods in which the president and the prime minister are from differing political parties. This is called "cohabitation", a term which originated in France when the situation first arose in the 1980s. Cohabitation can create an effective system of checks and balances or a period of bitter and tense stonewalling, depending on the attitudes of the two leaders, the ideologies of themselves or their parties, or the demands of their constituencies.[14]

In most cases, cohabitation results from a system in which the two executives are not elected at the same time or for the same term. For example, in 1981, France elected both a Socialist president and legislature, which yielded a Socialist premier. But whereas the president's term of office was for seven years, the National Assembly only served for five. When, in the 1986 legislative election, the French people elected a right-of-centre assembly, Socialist President Mitterrand was forced into cohabitation with rightist premier Jacques Chirac.[14]

However, in 2000, amendments to the French constitution reduced the length of the French president's term from seven to five years. This has significantly lowered the chances of cohabitation occurring, as parliamentary and presidential elections may now be conducted within a shorter span of each other.

Advantages and disadvantages

The incorporation of elements from both presidential and parliamentary republics brings some advantageous elements along with them but, however, it also faces disadvantages related to the confusion from mixed authority patterns.[15][16]

Advantages

  • Providing cover for the president — it can shield the president from criticism and the unpopular policies can be blamed on the prime minister as the latter runs the day-to-day operations of the government and carrying out the national policy set forth by the president, who is the head of state that is focusing on being the national leader of a state and in arbitrating the efficiency of government authorities, etc.;
  • Ability to remove an unpopular prime minister and maintain stability from the president's fixed term — the parliament has power to remove an unpopular prime minister;
  • Additional checks and balances — while the president can dismiss the prime minister in many semi-presidential systems, in most of the semi-presidential systems important segments of bureaucracy are taken away from the president.

Disadvantages

  • Confusion about accountability — parliamentary systems give voters a relatively clear sense of who is responsible for policy successes and failures; presidential systems make this more difficult, particularly when there is divided government. Semi-presidential systems add another layer of complexity for voters;
  • Confusion and inefficiency in legislative process — the capacity of votes of confidence makes the prime minister responsible to the parliament.

Republics with a semi-presidential system of government

In semi-presidential systems, there is always both a president and a prime minister. In such systems, the president has genuine executive authority, unlike in a parliamentary republic, but the role of a head of government may be exercised by the prime minister. Italics indicate states with limited recognition. † indicate historic states, that is, those that no longer exist.

Premier-presidential systems

The parliament chooses the prime minister and cabinet, and only the parliament may remove them from office with a vote of no confidence. The president usually does not have the power to directly dismiss the parliament.

President-parliamentary systems

The president chooses the prime minister without the confidence vote from the parliament. In order to remove a prime minister or the whole cabinet from power, the president can dismiss them or the parliament can remove them by a vote of no confidence, but the president can dissolve the parliament.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Duverger (1980). "A New Political System Model: Semi-Presidential Government". European Journal of Political Research (quarterly). 8 (2): 165–187. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.1980.tb00569.x. The concept of a semi-presidential form of government, as used here, is defined only by the content of the constitution. A political regime is considered as semi-presidential if the constitution which established it, combines three elements: (1) the president of the republic is elected by universal suffrage, (2) he possesses quite considerable powers; (3) he has opposite him, however, a prime minister and ministers who possess executive and governmental power and can stay in office only if the parliament does not show its opposition to them.
  2. ^ a b Veser, Ernst (1997). "Semi-Presidentialism-Duverger's concept: A New Political System Model" (PDF). Journal for Humanities and Social Sciences. 11 (1): 39–60. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Duverger, Maurice (September 1996). "Les monarchies républicaines" [The Republican Monarchies] (PDF). Pouvoirs, revue française d'études constitutionnelles et politiques (in French). No. 78. Paris: Éditions du Seuil. pp. 107–120. ISBN 2-02-030123-7. ISSN 0152-0768. OCLC 909782158. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Bahro, Horst; Bayerlein, Bernhard H.; Veser, Ernst (October 1998). "Duverger's concept: Semi-presidential government revisited". European Journal of Political Research (quarterly). 34 (2): 201–224. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.00405. The conventional analysis of government in democratic countries by political science and constitutional law starts from the traditional types of presidentialism and parliamentarism. There is, however, a general consensus that governments in the various countries work quite differently. This is why some authors have inserted distinctive features into their analytical approaches, at the same time maintaining the general dichotomy. Maurice Duverger, trying to explain the French Fifth Republic, found that this dichotomy was not adequate for this purpose. He therefore resorted to the concept of 'semi-presidential government': The characteristics of the concept are (Duverger 1974: 122, 1978: 28, 1980: 166):
    1. the President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage,
    2. he possesses quite considerable powers and
    3. he has opposite him a prime minister who possesses executive and governmental powers and can stay in office only if parliament does not express its opposition to him.
  5. ^ Le Monde, 8 January 1959.
  6. ^ Duverger, Maurice (1978). Échec au roi. Paris: A. Michel. ISBN 9782226005809.
  7. ^ a b c d Neto, Octávio Amorim; Lobo, Marina Costa (2010). "Between Constitutional Diffusion and Local Politics: Semi-Presidentialism in Portuguese-Speaking Countries" (PDF). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. SSRN 1644026. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  8. ^ Beuman, Lydia M. (2016). Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-Presidentialism and Democratisation. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-1317362128. LCCN 2015036590. OCLC 983148216. Retrieved 18 August 2017 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ McMenamin, Iain. "Semi-Presidentialism and Democratisation in Poland" (PDF). School of Law and Government, Dublin City University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b Shugart, Matthew Søberg (September 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive and Mixed Authority Patterns" (PDF). Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. United States: University of California, San Diego. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b Shugart, Matthew Søberg (December 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive And Mixed Authority Patterns" (PDF). Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego. French Politics. 3 (3): 323–351. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200087. ISSN 1476-3427. OCLC 6895745903. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  12. ^ See article 5, title II, of the French Constitution of 1958. Jean Massot, Quelle place la Constitution de 1958 accorde-t-elle au Président de la République?, Constitutional Council of France website (in French).
  13. ^ Le Petit Larousse 2013 p. 880
  14. ^ a b Poulard JV (Summer 1990). "The French Double Executive and the Experience of Cohabitation" (PDF). Political Science Quarterly (quarterly). 105 (2): 243–267. doi:10.2307/2151025. ISSN 0032-3195. JSTOR 2151025. OCLC 4951242513. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  15. ^ Barrington, Lowell (1 January 2012). Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1111341930 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Barrington, Lowell; Bosia, Michael J.; Bruhn, Kathleen; Giaimo, Susan; McHenry, Jr., Dean E. (2012) [2009]. Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cenage Learning. pp. 169–170. ISBN 9781111341930. LCCN 2011942386. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via Google Books.

Notes

  1. ^ In France, the President chooses but cannot dismiss the Prime Minister, but the National Assembly can remove the Prime Minister from office with a vote of no confidence. The president can also dissolve the National Assembly once.
  2. ^ Following the 19th amendment, Sri Lankan president can only appoint the prime minister following vacating of the position due to loss of confidence of Parliament, death or resignation. And does not hold the power to dismiss the prime minister at will.

External links

1992 Malagasy constitutional referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Madagascar on 19 August 1992. The new constitution created a semi-presidential system and a Senate. It was approved by 73% of voters, with a 65% turnout.

2005 Croatian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Croatia in January 2005, the fourth such elections since independence in 1991. They were the first presidential elections held after the constitutional changes of November 2000, which replaced a semi-presidential system with an incomplete parliamentary system, greatly reducing the powers of the President in favor of the Prime Minister and their cabinet. Incumbent president Stjepan Mesić, who had been elected in 2000 as the candidate of the Croatian People's Party, was eligible to seek reelection to a second term and ran as an independent as the constitution prohibits the President from holding party membership while in office.

The elections resulted in the landslide re-election of Mesić for a second five-year term. They were also the first in which a woman, HDZ candidate Jadranka Kosor, took part in the runoff. The percentage of the vote received by Mesić in the second round – 65.93% – is the highest of any president to date. Mesić had received an absolute majority of the votes cast within Croatia itself in the first round, but the votes of Croatian citizens living abroad forced a run-off by reducing Mesić's overall percentage to just under the necessary 50% + 1 vote threshold needed to win in the first round. Voter turnout was 50.57% in the first round and 51.04% in the second round.

Mesić was sworn in for a second term on 18 February 2005 by the Chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

Cabinet department

A cabinet department or prime minister's department is a department or other government agency that directly supports the work of the government's central executive office, usually the cabinet and/or prime minister, rather than specific ministerial portfolios. Such a department is present in many parliamentary democracies. The department is roughly equivalent in function to a president's office in a presidential system of government or an office of the council of ministers in a semi-presidential system.

In many countries, such a department is called a Prime Minister's Office. In some other countries, there is a Cabinet Office. In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister's Office is a part of the Cabinet Office; in Australia and New Zealand, there is a single department called the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. In some countries, such as Germany and Poland, the department supporting the prime minister (the Chancellor in Germany) is called the chancellery.

Self-governing states and provinces within federations that are parliamentary democracies often have similar departments, such as a premier's department or, in Australia, Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Constitution of Armenia

The Constitution of Armenia was adopted by a nationwide Armenian referendum on July 5, 1995. This constitution established Armenia as a democratic, sovereign, social, and constitutional state. Yerevan is defined as the state's capital. Power is vested in its citizens, who exercise it directly through the election of government representatives. Decisions related to changes in constitutional status or to an alteration of borders are subject to a vote of the citizens of Armenia exercised in a referendum. There are 117 articles in the 1995 constitution. On November 27, 2005, a nationwide constitutional referendum was held and an amended constitution was adopted. The constitution was amended again in a national referendum on December 6, 2015 that changed the political structure from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic.

According to the November 2005 Constitution, the President of the Republic appoints the Prime Minister based on the distribution of the seats in the National Assembly and consultations with the parliamentary factions. The President also appoints (or dismisses from office) the members of the Government upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Given the constitutional powers of the president, Armenia can be regarded as a semi-presidential republic.

Constitution of Mali

The 1992 Constitution of Mali was approved by a referendum on 12 January 1992 after being drawn up by a national conference in August 1991. The constitution provides for multi party democracy within a semi-presidential system.It was suspended after the 2012 military coup and then in 2013.

Constitution of the Republic of the Congo

The Constitution of the Republic of the Congo is the basic law governing the Republic of the Congo. In it, it is stated that the Republic of the Congo is a pluralistic, multi-party democracy. A presidential system since 2009, the president’s term was originally 7 years, which has now been reduced to five after a 2015 constitutional referendum that instituted a new Constitution, which also reinstated the position of Prime Minister and moved the country to a semi-presidential system. The Council of Ministers – the government – is appointed by the President.

The country’s parliament is bicameral, made up of a National Assembly and a Senate.

The chief court is the Supreme Court. In addition, Congo has a Constitutional Court which rules on constitutional matters.

Congo is divided into 12 départements (counties or regions), each of which has its own local council.

The old and new constitutions both reference several important texts with reference to basic human rights:

The UN Charter

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights

The 1991 Congolese Charter of National Unity and the Charter of Rights and FreedomsCongo is a decentralised, secular and democratic republic.

Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan

The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan (Urdu: آئین پاکستان میں آٹھویں ترمیم) allowed the President to unilaterally dissolve the National Assembly and elected governments. The Majlis-e-Shoora amended the Constitution of Pakistan in 1985 and the law stayed on the books until its repeal in 1997.

The bill was passed in the absence of the elected Parliament. The eighth amendment was drafted and later enforced by the technocratic-military government of General Zia-ul-Haq. The eighth amendment changed Pakistan's system of government from a parliamentary democracy to a semi-presidential system. The eighth amendment strengthened the authority of the President and also granted additional powers to dismiss the elected Prime Minister's government. These powers included the right, expressed in sub-section 2(b) inserted into Article 58, to dissolve the National Assembly (but not the Senate) if, in his or her opinion, "a situation has arisen in which the Government of the Federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and an appeal to the electorate is necessary." (Constitution of Pakistan, Article 58) with the consequence of dismissing the Prime Minister and his or her Cabinet.

Elections in Guinea-Bissau

Elections in Guinea-Bissau take place within the framework of a multi-party democracy and a semi-presidential system. Both the President and the National People's Assembly are directly elected by voters.

Elections in Niger

Elections in Niger take place within the framework of a semi-presidential system. The President and National Assembly are elected by the public, with elections organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Government of Sri Lanka

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය Śrī Laṃkā Rajaya) is a semi-presidential system determined by the Sri Lankan Constitution. It administers the island from both its commercial capital of Colombo and the administrative capital of Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.

List of Presidents of Croatia

This is a list of heads of state of the republic of Croatia (as distinct from the preceding hereditary monarchs), since the introduction of a republican system in 1943/45.

Historically, the first republican heads of state of Croatia (then a constituent republic of the SFR Yugoslavia) were the Presidents of the Presidium of the Croatian Parliament, an office notably distinct from the Speaker of the Parliament (Predsjednik Sabora). When the Presidium was abolished in the constitutional reforms of 1953, the position defaulted to the Presidents of the Parliament. In 1974, a new constitution brought about the collective Croatian Presidency, with the President of the Presidency as head of state of the Republic. The next constitution of 1990 abolished the Presidency and established a single office of the President, which (under a new semi-presidential system) was now much more empowered than any of the previous offices. Up until this point, the various heads of state wielded far less real executive power than the Prime Ministers.

Since 1990, the President of the Republic of Croatia (Predsjednik) is directly elected to a five-year term and is limited to a maximum of two terms. However, with the constitution of 2001, the powers of the President (much expanded in 1990) were now again severely curtailed, as Croatia shifted from a semi-presidential system, to an incomplete parliamentary system. As in most parliamentary systems, the President is now by-and-large a ceremonial office, with the Prime Minister de facto heading the executive branch.

Minister-president

A minister-president or minister president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments with a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government where they preside over the council of ministers. It is an alternative term for prime minister, premier, chief minister, or first minister and very similar to the title of president of the council of ministers.

Parliamentary republic

A parliamentary republic is a republic that operates under a parliamentary system of government where the executive branch (the government) derives its legitimacy from and is accountable to the legislature (the parliament). There are a number of variations of parliamentary republics. Most have a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state, with the head of government holding real power, much like constitutional monarchies (however in some countries the head of state, regardless of whether the country's system is a parliamentary republic or a constitutional monarchy, has 'reserve powers' given to use at their discretion in order to act as a non-partisan 'referee' of the political process and ensure the nation's constitution is upheld). Some have combined the roles of head of state and head of government, much like presidential systems, but with a dependency upon parliamentary power.

For the first case mentioned above, the form of executive-branch arrangement is distinct from most other government and semi-presidential republics that separate the head of state (usually designated as the "president") from the head of government (usually designated as "prime minister", "premier" or "chancellor") and subject the latter to the confidence of parliament and a lenient tenure in office while the head of state lacks dependency and investing either office with the majority of executive power.

Politics of Egypt

The politics of Egypt is based on republicanism, with a semi-presidential system of government, established following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, and the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. The President of Egypt is elected for a maximum of two four-year terms and the Parliament is unicameral and unbiased. The President can appoint up to 5% of the total number of seats in Parliament, and can also dissolve it. Parliament can also impeach the President. Egypt was traditionally ruled by royals until 1952, but the first freely elected President was in 2006. The Parliament of Egypt is the oldest legislative chamber in Africa and the Middle East.

President of Cuba

The President of the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: Presidente de la República de Cuba), officially called President of the Council of State (Spanish: Presidente del Consejo de Estado de Cuba) between 1976 and 2019, is the head of the Council of State of Cuba. The office in its current form was established under the Constitution of 2019. The president is the second most powerful position, after the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.Under the 1901 constitution, Cuba had a presidential system based on that of the United States.

In 1940, a new constitution reformed the government into a semi-presidential system, 18 years before its modern archetype – the French Fifth Republic – came into being.

On 2 December 1976, the executive was reformed again by a new national constitution, this time in emulation of the Soviet Union. The presidential office was abolished and replaced by a collective head of state, the Council of State, elected by the National Assembly of People's Power. However, unlike the USSR's arrangements, where the Chairmen of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the Council of Ministers were distinct posts, the Chairman of the Council of State also chaired the Council of Ministers.

Furthermore, unlike English and Russian, Spanish does not distinguish between the terms "chairman/председатель" and "president/президент", translating both as "presidente". Thus, when back-translated into English, the term used was not "Chairman" (on the precedent of similar institutions in countries whose languages have a chairman/president distinction, such as the USSR and East Germany), but rather "President", from the shared etymology with the Spanish "presidente".

The incumbent since 19 April 2018 has been Miguel Díaz-Canel, who took over from Raúl Castro on that date.

On February 24, 2019, another constitution – Cuba's current – was adopted in a referendum. Under it, the government was again re-organized, and the posts of President and Prime Minister were restored. This reorganization, however, has yet to enter into effect.In cases of the absence, illness or death of the President of the Council of State, a vice president assumes the President’s duties.

The position is distinct from the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba; although Fidel Castro held both positions from 1976 to 2008, and Raúl Castro held both positions from 2011 to 2018.

The current president is Miguel Díaz-Canel.

Presidential system

A presidential system is a democratic and republican system of government where a head of government leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch. This head of government is in most cases also the head of state, which is called president.

In presidential countries, the executive is elected and is not responsible to the legislature, which cannot in normal circumstances dismiss it. Such dismissal is possible, however, in uncommon cases, often through impeachment.

The title "president" has persisted from a time when such person personally presided over the governing body, as with the President of the Continental Congress in the early United States, prior to the executive function being split into a separate branch of government.

A presidential system contrasts with a parliamentary system, where the head of government is elected to power through the legislative. There is also a hybrid system called semi-presidentialism.

Countries that feature a presidential or semi-presidential system of government are not the exclusive users of the title of president. Heads of state of parliamentary republics, largely ceremonial in most cases, are called presidents. Dictators or leaders of one-party states, popularly elected or not, are also often called presidents.

Presidentialism is the dominant form of government in the continental Americas, with 19 of its 22 sovereign states being presidential republics. It is also prevalent in Central and southern West Africa and in Central Asia.

Sahakyan government

Sahakyan's government is the current government of Artsakh since its formation in September 2017. It is the first cabinet after constitutional referendum in 2017, after which the country was transitioned from a semi-presidential system to a presidential system. As a result, presidential elections were delayed until 2020 in order to be held alongside legislative elections. In July 2017 the National Assembly elected the President for the next three years until the general election. 28 members of National Assembly voted for Bako Sahakyan, 4 of them voted for Eduard Aghabekyan, while one of the MPs did not vote for any of the candidates.

The incumbent government of Artsakh is a coalition government formed by three parliamentary groups: Free Motherland, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and Democratic Party.

The current structure of the government of Artsakh consists of twelve ministries and three other bodies. Each ministry is responsible for elaborating and implementing governmental decisions in its respective sphere.

Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan

The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan (Urdu: آئین پاکستان میں تیرہویں ترمیم) was a short-time amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, adopted by the elected Parliament of Pakistan in 1997 by the government of people elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It stripped the President of Pakistan of his reserve power to dissolve the National Assembly, and thereby triggering new elections and dismissing the Prime Minister. The Constitutional Amendment was supported by both the government and the opposition, and was thus passed unanimously. With the enforcing of this amendment, Pakistan's system of government was shifted from Semi-presidential system to Parliamentary democratic republic system.

The amendment removed Article 58(2)(b) of the Constitution, which gave the President the power to

dissolve the National Assembly in his discretion where, in his opinion ... a situation has arisen in which the Government of the Federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and an appeal to the electorate is necessary.In Pakistan, once legislators are elected to national or provincial assemblies, the people cannot recall them before the end of their five-year terms. In the past, this has contributed to a sense of immunity on the part of members of the ruling party, and to a public perception of rampant corruption among leading politicians – in 1997, Pakistan received the second-worst score in the world on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.

A few months later, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, which subjected Members of Parliament to very strict party discipline by giving party leaders unlimited power to dismiss legislators who failed to vote as directed. This virtually eliminated any chance of a Prime Minister of being thrown out of office by a motion of no confidence. The amendments removed nearly all institutional checks and balances on the Prime Minister's power, by effectively removing the legal remedies by which he could be dismissed.

Nawaz Sharif's government became increasingly unpopular after the passage of these amendments, even though it was the election of his Pakistan Muslim League by a heavy majority that enabled him to alter the Constitution in the first place. A few months later, Nawaz Sharif's partisan stormed the Supreme Court of Pakistan and forced the resignation of the Chief Justice. This strengthened the perception that the country was becoming a civilian dictatorship.

In 1999, the Pakistan Army General Pervez Musharraf assumed power in a military-led bloodless coup. Among the reasons he gave for doing so were the destruction of institutional checks and balances, and the prevailing corruption in the political leadership. The coup was widely welcomed in Pakistan. Amongst the Opposition, ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was one of the first leaders to congratulate General Pervez Musharraf for removing Nawaz Sharif. The Supreme Court later validated the removal on the grounds that the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments resulted in a situation for which there was no constitutional remedy.

In October 2002, elections were held in Pakistan. In December 2003, Parliament passed the Seventeenth Amendment, which partially restored the President's reserve power to dissolve Parliament and thus remove the Prime Minister from office, but made it subject to Supreme Court approval.

Union for Homeland

The Union for Homeland (Arabic: الإتحاد من أجل الوطن‎, Al-Ittihad min Ajl Al-Watan) is a political party in Libya, founded in 2012. It is mainly based in Misrata District. The party is led by Abdulrahman Sewehli, a prominent opponent of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Union advocates strong decentralisation of power on a local level, but rejects federalism. It proposes a semi-presidential system modelled on the French one. The Union for Homeland calls for a consequent break with the old regime and wants to ban figures who held ranks during Gaddafi's government from political influence.The party won two seats in the Libyan General National Congress election of 2012.

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