Pipers Woerterbuch zur Politik

Authors: Nohlen
Summary: In about 530 words the entry states central elements of a presidential system, refers to the American political system as a classic case, and discuses mixed-systems of parliamentary and presidential structures. As central elements of a presidential systems the entry states the strict separation of the executive (president) from the legislative branch (parliament), a monistic executive branch, the direct election of the president by the people, the absence of the ability of the parliament to replace the president and vice versa the inability of the president to dissolve the parliament, and typically a parliament not ruled by strict fractionalization but by ad-hoc majorities. While the United States are the classic case of a presidential system, some states have a mixed institutional set-up (for example France, Portugal, Finland and Weimar-Germany). There a prime minister exists who depends both on the parliament and the president, and more or less variation on the above principles let these systems tend more to the parliamentary or the presidential side.