Talk:Semi-presidential system

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Definitions and scale[edit]

1. The definition of semi-presidentialism has often been contested. For clarity, it would be useful to distinguish between "executive powers" and "moderating powers". Executive powers are those which concern the day-to-day management of the State, the determination and implementation of executive and administrative policy, and foreign relations. Examples would include appointing and dismissing Cabinet members, negotiating treaties, declaring war etc. Moderating powers are those which stand above and outside day-to-day management, as a check against the executive and legislature, and a means of resolving deadlocks etc. Examples would include dissolving Parliament, appealing to the people by referendum, and appointing "non-political" officials such as central bankers.

2. It helps if we come up with a six-point scale, ranging from Hyper-Presidentialism at one end to pure Parliamentarism at the other.

(1) Hyper-Presidential System: President has executive authority, Prime Minister is weak and dependent upon President's support. President also has moderating powers, enabling the President to dominate the political process. Example: Russia

(2) Pure Presidential System: President has executive authority, no separate Prime Minister. Moderating powers are non-existent or shared with the legislature and courts. Example: USA.

(3) Semi-Presidential System (Strong Presidency): President has significant leadership role in the setting and implementation of executive policy, but must share executive powers and delegate day-to-day decision making to a Prime Minister responsible to the legislature. President has significant choice of Prime Minister, but may be constrained by hostile Parliamentary majorities. The President also has some significant moderating powers. When the President has a majority in Parliament, and can therefore appoint a Prime Minister of his/her own choosing, this can resemble hyper-Presidentialism; at other times, it can resemble Semi-Presidential System (Moderating Presidency). Example: France.

(4) Semi-Presidential System (Moderating Presidency): President does not take part in executive policy setting or implementation - these powers belong to the Prime Minister who is responsible to Parliament; but the President does have significant moderating powers, in order to form coalitions, resolve deadlocks, protect the Constituion, veto or call referenda on legislation, dissolve parliaments etc. Example: Finland (until 2000).

(5) Parliamentary System (Figurehead Presidency): The President has no executive power and little moderating of his/her own: the President is mainly a figurehead and is expected to act only on the Prime Minister's advice. Thus the Prime Minister and Cabinet have both executive and moderating powers. In some, narrowly defined, circumstances, the President may nevertheless exercise a marginal influence: e.g. refusing to dissolve Parliament on the advice of a Prime Minister who has lost a vote of confidence. Example: Ireland.

(6) Pure Parliamentary System: The Head of State (Monarch or President) has no personal influence over the political system and is merely decorative. Example: United Kingdom.

Hope this helps. 19:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)Elliot86.138.139.41 19:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Academic Experts on Semi-Presidentialism[edit]

Prof. Robert Elgie of Dublin City University (School of Law and Government) is a leading academic on Semi-presidentialism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Killardf (talkcontribs) 13:12, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

And he considers the number of semi-presidential republics wider than some Wikipedia noob editors who consider, despite the constitution, to some of them being parliamentary, ridiculous... (talk) 19:16, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Which came first, the French or the Finn?[edit]

2. The article states that the Finnish system was based on the French, when in fact the Constitution of Finland pre-dates that of the French Fifth Republic, which established the semi-presidential system in France, by several decades.

Changes made[edit]

Edited this page in two ways.

1. I added "popularly elected" to the reference to semi-presidential systems featuring a president who is more than a figurehead. It is standard (though not universal) among political scientists to confine the term "semi-presidential" to systems where the president is popularly elected.

2. I deleted some countries from the list of examples of semi-presidentialism. The ones I deleted lack popularly elected presidents (Germany, post WWII, which is almost universally classified as parliamentary, and Pakistan and Lebanon, where the president is not elected). I also deleted Egypt because the PM is hardly relevant in a system that is in fact a presidential authoritarian system, not a democracy (or even semi-democracy, like Pakistan). One could make a strong case for deleting Finland after constitutional reforms in 2000 deprived the president of almost all his authority, but I left it in.

New discussion.[edit]

Finland should not be classified as Semi-Presidential today. The definition of Semi-Presidentialism is also dependent on the presidential authorities. I evaluate the authorities of the president from two perspectives, i) the formal independent powers of the president such as veto-authority over legislation or right to dissolve the parliament, ii) The executive power of the president, which is defined mainly by, whether the president participate(influence) in the governments executive work, and the authority to appoint or dismiss ministers of the cabinet. Finland of today does not have a presidency with major authority in these matters, prior to 1988 the finnish presidency had a larger degree of authority. On the other hand the president was then elected from a electoral collegium and not directly by the people, still I consider the finnish system more semi-presidential then. Today´s finnish system is what I define as Uni-Presidential: "Directly elected with limited authority. Besides Finland countries like Slovakia, Austria and Ireland are defined as such by me. I do not remove Finland from the Semi-Presidential-list on Wikkipedia at this point.


I would like to make a few remarks about semi-presidentialism in France. First, unlike the US President, the President of the French Republic cannot veto legislation; he/she may however send a bill (only once) back to Parliament for reconsideration, or refer any bill to the Constitutional Council for review of constitutionality, or call a popular referendum on any law. Second, the French President can in theory dissolve the National Assembly (provided that he doesn't do that in two consecutive years), but the constitution of the fifth republic requires that he/she first consults the prime minister and the presiding officers of the National Assembly and the Senate. I guess that, in the end, a system of government becomes semi-presidential or semi-parliamentary not so much based on the text of the constitution itself, but rather on political conditions and unwritten conventions. In France, the unofficial convention seems to be that, even in periods of "cohabitation", the President is given a special role in directing foreign and defense policy and representing France in international forums, whereas the prime minister and the council are in charge of the daily running of the government, including the budget, following up legislation in parliament, etc...

The principal definition of Semi-Presidentialism is besides a directly elected president, also a government originated from and /or responsible to the parliament. The presidential powers could as well exceed the traditional powers of a Semi-Presidential system such as Russia or other CIS-countries. Political systems of this sort has shown a presidential function combined with a semi-presidential form. By this I mean that the government however responsible to the parliament is closely related to the president and does not by originate from the parliament. The government is more oten composed of extra-parliamentarian individualos without party affiliation.


Hence As Finland by a Uni-Presidential system, is located between the Semi-Presidential and the Parliamentarian system, Russia and Georgia is located between the Presidential and Semi-Presidential system


a s-p system differs from a parliamentary system in that it has a popularly president, not from a presidential system [which includes a popularly elected president] so i changed the terms. 09:16, 19 January 2006 (UTC)tstbild

It makes no sense[edit]

It makes no sense why Finland is classified as a semi-presidential country if countries like Bulgaria, Ireland and Slovakia are not. Since the presidential authority are very much the same in these countries, and considerably weaker than in the french system, the named countries should either be classified as parliamentarian,Semi-presidential or as something in between. Besides that Portugal and Poland shows systems where the president is not participant in the executive like the french, on the other hand the presidents individual authorities exceeds the weaker finnisg, slovakian etc, and resembles more to the french. This creates a variety of semi-presidential systems that should be examined. If one include Russia or Ukraine the differences of the weaker and stronger semi-presidential systems appears too grat to be united under a single definition. Just like a parliamentarian system should requie democratic legitimacy so should the semi-presidential in my point of view. Algeria, Eegypt and Pakistan are not democratic enough to be classified as semi-presidential. Should we let Pakistan and Egypt in this system, there are numerous other countries that should also be included.


Learn to use the discussion format: two dashes - and four tildes ~ after the comment, replies marked with a colon :. But, Finland has a semi-presidential system, because the president does have real powers, and is responsible for the foreign policy. The president is not merely an useless figurehead like in a parliamentarism. --Vuo 12:34, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if Finland is a semi-presidential republic, but in List of European Union member states by political system it is classified as a parliamentary one. I think we should try to resolve this contradiction by discussing also with the authors of that article. --fudo 12:51, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

There's also a mistake in Portugal. Portugal is a semipresidential republic, based on the 120.º, 121.º/1, 133.º/e) and 190.º of the Portuguese Constitution (with 2005 revision). Please change the colour to yellow.

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

division of responsibilities in France[edit]

For example, in France the president is responsible for foreign policy and the prime minister for domestic policy.

This is kind of true as a general rule, but not really. In cohabitation, it is the prime minister who gets to pick the minister of foreign affairs, and this minister is part of the prime minister's coalition. Védrine reported to Jospin as much as he did to Chirac; same deal with Juppé to Balladur and Mitterrand. john k 23:31, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

map seems OR[edit]

While this map seems OK to me, the map currently in the article seems suspiciously OR. Thoughts welcome at Image talk:Form of government.png#map seems OR? --Irpen 03:19, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Slight wikification and update[edit]

I wikified and found refs for this article, but am not an expert. I would suggest the next political scientist who reads this please update the article. See the Wikipedia manual of style and Wikipedia:Tutorial. Pointing out problems on the talk page of an article which clearly no one is working on will not help anyone. Please contribute by fixing the articles in your area of expertise, and doing so in accordance with Wikipedia's Style, Verifiability, and Neutral Point of View guidelines. Thank you. T L Miles (talk) 01:58, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

elected separately[edit]

This term is obscure. Of their nature, presidents and prime ministers will be elected separately because the two jobs are distinct. Does it, perhaps, mean that they are not elected at the same time?

They can be. It depends on the country. There's not set rule. For a long time, France elected the president at 7 year intervals and the legislature at 5 year intervals. After a period of cohabitation which produced uncomfortable gridlock, the French people changed the system so that they both occur at 5 year intervals. However, they are actually still elected at different times, the legislative election coming a month after the presidential election. This does leave room for the polls to change and for a different party to be elected, but the chance is reduced a lot from the previous system. The president also actually has the ability to dissolve the legislature and call for new elections, which Mitterand used to remedy his first period of cohabitation two years after the opposite party was elected. However, the power can only be used once a year. And I don't believe it's been used since the intervals were changed. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:16, 19 July 2012 (UTC)


Why is Kosovo shown on the map, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by ZvonimirIvanovic (talkcontribs) 23:14, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Kosovo is recognized as independent by many states. remember wikipedia didn't make that map. (talk) 05:47, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Massive deletions[edit]

WGee's pointless deletions: [1] Also, the comparison with a presidential system was also removed for no reason. --Vuo (talk) 13:58, 2 November 2008 (UTC)


Both the parliamentary system and presidential system articles list countries that use those systems, why doesn't this article? (talk) 17:24, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

That's a good idea. But it might be hard to do. The reason is because, until about 15-20 years ago, France was pretty much the only country that fit in this category. But since the fall of European Communism, many others, notably Poland, have become Semi-Prezes. I could compile a list myself, based upon my knowledge, but that would violate WP:OR. We need some source to get this in here. Unschool 20:06, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was not moved. Jafeluv (talk) 20:25, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Semi-presidential systemCivil government semi-presidential political system — This system is only used in civil government, not in politics (eg religiuos politics, ...) as a whole. (talk) 13:38, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose - No need to disambiguate title, per naming conventions. New title is a made-up term. - BilCat (talk) 16:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose The distinction between "civil government" and politics may possibly be defensible; but it will certainly be unclear to many readers - and is unlikely to be the natural search term for anybody. Keep it simple. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

There's a similar discussion with a broader reach going on at Talk:Politician#Requested move. —harej (talk) (cool!) 05:04, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Namibia is not a semi-presidential state[edit]

According to Namibia's own constitution (Chapter V, Article 21, section (1)), the President of Namibia serves as both the head of state and the head of government. In a semi-presidential system, doesn't the President serve only as the head of state, with the position of "head of government" held by a separate individual? Josh (talk) 02:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Namibia is classified as semi-presidential by Elgie, Sairoff, and Shugart and Carey. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

You are wrong. President being both head of state and government does not contradict that. Read Article 41: "All Ministers shall be accountable individually for the administration of their own Ministries and collectively for the administration of the work of the Cabinet, both to the President and to Parliament." I think this is clarifying, if the cabinet can be subject to a vote of no confidence or censure motion, then it is a case of a semi-presidential system. Peru also uses a similar system to that of Namibia, with the same codified powers. --B.Lameira (talk) 22:01, 20 December 2015 (UTC)


I think legislature is a better term than parliament, the way it is used here. (talk) 05:55, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Map discussion[edit]

The map is lacking gray for Tunisia, a country that will definitely change its form of governance with its new constitution.

Summary for those not informed: Tunisia was a Presidential Republic under the Dictatorship of Ben Ali. Since the Tunisian Revolution, a new government is to be elected, to form the Constitution of this country. There is a debate between Al-Nahda and other parties over whether to have a Parliamentary system or a Semi-Presidential system.

Please change the map to reflect this. --Smart (talk) 03:32, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Head of Government[edit]

President of France is also head of government, since he chairs cabinet meeting, is this correct ?

(talk) 01:30, 05 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siyac (talkcontribs)

No pros vs. cons section?[edit]

How come the Presidential system and Parliamentary system articles have sections dealing with their respective (potential) advantages and disadvantages, but this article doesn't? (talk) 03:35, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

predodeniya classification[edit]

I think all the contradictions and disputes can be resolved within the framework of this concept: if the president's powers include foreign policy and defense and the possibility of the government's resignation on his initiative, but the government is a parliamentary responsibility, it makes sense to allocate similar presidential-dualistic system (as distinguished dualistic monarchy which is on the map wikipedia: Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, etc.), if foreign policy and defense are the responsibility of the president, but he can not influence the internal politics of the government and can not dismiss his own, is executive-parliamentary system, if the definition of a common policy throughout the government-owned, but some of the powers of government can exercise only with the consent of a parliamentary-presidential republic executive. By parliamentary include all other species. Cozer(17/08/2012213.208.162.174 (talk) 11:46, 17 August 2012 (UTC))

Vote of no confidence erroneously described?[edit]

Forgive my criticism/question if it is invalid, but the following makes no sense to me (in addition to being used as a proposition in an already-long introductory sentence):

"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."

Doesn't the vote of no confidence force the president to resign? The use of "which" does not clarify. (talk) 02:41, 1 February 2013 (UTC) Emile D

That is the difference between a parliamentary and semi-presidential system. The president cannot receive a vote of no confidence, and cannot be removed by the parliament. (talk) 01:01, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


The army have taken power, suspended the Constitution, and declared that the President of the Constitutional Council has replaced President Morsi. The colour for Egypt should be changed to olive. (talk) 15:48, 14 August 2013 (UTC)


Based on the description of semi-presidential system as given in this article, I don't see how Taiwan qualifies. In Taiwan, the President is elected by the people but then the premier is nominated by the president (confirmed by the legislative yuan) and not elected by the legislative branch as described in this article. ludahai 魯大海 (talk) 22:40, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

But that also occurs in Portugal and France. The main differences are that whether the president has discretion to dismiss a prime minister and cabinet, and whether the assembly is restricted in voting no confidence in a cabinet it can be best described as president-parliamentary system. And this source indicates Taiwan as having a semi-presidential system with a strong presidential power, here: Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive And Mixed Authority Patterns. B.Lameira (talk) 20:06, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

"the first country with a semi-presidential system"[edit]

The article state that [t]he Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was the first country with a semi-presidential system while the French Third Republic (1875-[1940-1946]) was de iure a semi-presidential system and was governed as such (de iure et de facto) between 1875 and 1879.Captain frakas (talk) 11:46, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Information about Georgia is outdated[edit]

now president of Georgia appoints prime minister from party or group of parties that has won parliamentary elections, that process repeats itself after every parliamentary elections. constitution of Georgia was changed in 2010, these changes entered into force in 2013 after presidential elections. President is not active in executive policy after changes in constitution. PS I am a jurist from Georgia.--Nugo92 (talk) 21:28, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Neither is the case in France where, until the recent constitution change, the President appointed the Prime Minister from the results of the parliamentary elections, but since the reduction of President's term from 7 to 5 years this is no longer the case as the presidential and legislative elections are held in a one-month timeline. --B.Lameira (talk) 22:51, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
The French president can still dismiss the parliament, and new legislative elections will be held, giving it a normal full term of 5 years. If a new president of another majority is elected he may immediately dismiss the parliament to have new legislative elections, but if the president is in the same majority, he will keep the current legislature up to its end, or choose to keep it for some time, and keep it if the president is reelected. There may still be several legislatures over the same presidential mandate. The change of presidential madate length to 5 years has no effect on the system. In France, the president has stroing powers on the parliament, but does not govern itself, and the government is permanently accountable to the parliament which may dismiss it at any time. The government is only proposed by the president, but the parliament must approve it in all case. The only way for a president to force a government would be to dismiss the parliament, organize new legistlative elections, and then repropose its government to the new parliament. Note that the president cannot dismiss the senate (second chamber of the parliament), but the senate has a second role, and the national assembly finally decides what will be the government. The president however can still sometimes decide itself in lots of exclusive domains (notably the national defense), or by using a non-parliamentary procedure, but it does this by consulting the government and informing the parliament and French people in a public statement. Some of the presidential decisions may come from proposals by the majority in the senate when it is opposed to the current majority in the national assembly, or when the assembly does not want to pass a law proposed by the government. Effectively, the president governs in tight relations with the government (notably the prime ministry and the ministries of Defense and of Foreign affairs), when it is in the same majority. "Cohabitation" is still possible even with the 5-years presidential term, unless the president resigns itself (but he is not required to do it and will keep his mandate for 5 years against an national assembly and governement in his opposition, but possibly the senate and several or most regional assemblies in his majority). verdy_p (talk) 07:32, 19 February 2016 (UTC)


Almost all scholars agree that Finland is a semi-presidential country. Indeed, Robert Elgie, the most prolific academic on semi-presidentialism, categorises Finland as semi-presidential, so too does David Arter, Sairoff, and Shugart and Carey. In short, add Finland to the list.

Using Elgie, Shugart and Carey, and Sairoff, the following are semi-presidential:

Algeria Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Bulgaria Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Democratic Republic of Congo Croatia East Timor Egypt FINLAND France Gabon Georgia Guinea-Bissau Haiti Iceland Ireland Kazakhstan Lithuania Macedonia Mali Mauritania Mongolia Montenegro Mozambique Namibia Peru Poland Portugal Romania Russia Rwanda Sao Tome e Principe Senegal Serbia Slovakia Slovenia

Finland is today a parliamentary republic, since 2000. -- (talk) 10:38, 15 July 2017 (UTC)


There is a misconception about this article's section. Premier-presidential system is closer to parliamentary than presidential system and president-parliamentary system is closer to the presidential system. Additionally, there are countries of the two subtypes in the same sentence, which describes that same variant of semi-presidential system. B.Lameira (talk) 07:53, 8 December 2015 (UTC)


There has been some discussion about the system of government of Tunisia, please join the discussion at Talk:Tunisia#Tunisian system of government. Whizz40 (talk) 10:25, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Olive Green and brown colors should be combined[edit]

Olive green and brown colors should be combined. One-party systems like China can't hold power without force due to the military, and a government like Myanmar (Burma) is basically a one party system; demonstratively the military. I suggest either make all the Olive Green countries gray or all the gray into olive green. To make them separate bespeaks of pro-Chinese diplomatic correctness.Strongunit (talk) 19:47, 8 September 2016 (UTC)Ken B

No, and this even is not the appropriate page to discuss it. -B.Lameira (talk) 23:47, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Portugal is completely misclassified following wikipedias definitions[edit]

It classifies Portugal as premier-presidential and says that the "President chooses the prime minister and cabinet". The president is not responsible for the cabinet or prime minister in the slightest. The prime minister is the head of the party, or coalition, that wins the legislative elections and forms a cabinet. The president merely has the power to dissolve parliament or "emergency powers". He is largely a figure head unless needed in extreme circumstances. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:08, 30 April 2017 (UTC)