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Presidential system

Form of government / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government, typically with the title of president, leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in systems that use separation of powers. This head of government is in most cases also the head of state. In a presidential system, the head of government is directly or indirectly elected by a group of citizens and is not responsible to the legislature, and the legislature cannot dismiss the president except in extraordinary cases. A presidential system contrasts with a parliamentary system, where the head of government comes to power by gaining the confidence of an elected legislature.

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Systems of government
Republican forms of government:
  Presidential republics with an executive presidency separate from the legislature
  Semi-presidential system with both an executive presidency and a separate head of government that leads the rest of the executive, who is appointed by the president and accountable to the legislature
  Parliamentary republics with a ceremonial and non-executive president, where a separate head of government leads the executive and is dependent on the confidence of the legislature
  Republics in which a combined head or directory of state and government is elected or nominated by the legislature
  One-party states in which all other parties are either outlawed or only enjoy limited and controlled participation in elections.

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

  Countries where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended
  Countries which do not fit any of the above systems (e.g. provisional government or unclear political situations)

Not all presidential systems use the title of president. Likewise, the title is sometimes used by other systems. It originated from a time when such a 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. It may also be used by presidents in semi-presidential systems. Heads of state of parliamentary republics, largely ceremonial in most cases, are called presidents. Dictators or leaders of one-party states, whether popularly elected or not, are also often called presidents.

The presidential system is the dominant form of government in the mainland Americas, with 18 of its 22 sovereign states being presidential republics, the exceptions being Canada, Belize, Guyana and Suriname. It is also prevalent in Central and southern West Africa and in Central Asia. By contrast, there are very few presidential republics in Europe, with Belarus, Cyprus, and Turkey being the only examples.

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