Presidential System and its features
Presidential System and its features:
It can be stated that countries are at liberty to choose the system of Government that they will operate, however, such choice is to be in full adherence to the constitution operating in that country. Countries can be ruled by elected leaders or by Monarchs. In the Monarchical system of Government, the rulers are not elected into office, instead, they are appointed or can be inherited. The monarchy can be absolute or constitutional.
Democracy is therefore a system of government that permits the full participation of the general masses. In this system of Government, the masses are at liberty to choose their leader. The Presidential and the Parliamentary systems are the two systems of Government that can be engrafted from today’s democratic system of Government. Do note that democracy allows for the periodical election into the office of the leaders (Executives and Legislature).
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Flowing from the above, it will be right to note that the Parliamentary system of Government always allows for two heads of Government, to wit: the Head of state and the Head of Government. It is important to further note that the Head of the state usually for ceremonial duties while the Head of the Government runs the affairs of the country. The two leaders can be addressed as the prime Minister and the President respectively.
In the Presidential System of Government, the head of the government is usually the chief executive who is directly elected by the people and is not subject to the supreme power of the legislature. In this system of Government, there is only one head of Government, who is the president. In a one-line definition, the presidential system of Government is a system of Government where both the
Meanwhile, in this system of Government, the three organs are operating separately by the provisions of the operating constitution. This entails that there can only be checked and balanced but none of them is directly under the authority of the other.
The Attributes of the Presidential System of Government
It may generally be argued that none of the systems of Government is perfect but the presidential system of Government possesses the following characteristics that make it distinct from other systems of Government:
- Executive can veto acts of the legislature: This veto power does not grant him (the President) the to alter or change the content of the legislation, but only the ability to approve or reject the bill. Meanwhile, this particular feature is not available in the Parliamentary system of Government, where the president is usually a ceremonial head.
- President has a fixed tenure: The president in this system of Government has a fixed tenure and an elected president shall be expected to vacate office after the expiration of a certain period. This system abhors the ideology of being born to rule for life.
- President holds quasi-judicial powers: The President has the power to pardon and commute judicial sentences awarded to the offenders.
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The merit of the Presidential system of Government
- Separation of powers: This is one of the advantages of this system of Government. This system of Government separates power between the three arms of Government; to wit: Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary. It is an elementary view that the Executive executes and enforces the Law, the Legislature makes the law and the Judiciary interprets the law. In this system of Government, the different arms are focused on their duties while they also apply checks and balances on each other.
- Expert Government: The members appointed in the Cabinet by the President are not necessarily part of the legislature and this helps the President to choose the experts for different departments and ministries.
- Less influence of party system: There is less influence of political parties in the decision-making process. They do not threaten the leader to dissolve the government as the tenure is fixed.
- Stability: The presidential system is much more stable when compared to the Parliamentary system. Since the tenure of the president is fixed and is not subject to the condition of the majority support in the legislature, he has no fear of losing the government. There is no instance and danger of a sudden fall of the government.