Weaker presidents, better semi-presidentialism?

This post was first published at Presidential Power

9781137387806

Sophia Moestrup and I have just published another edited volume on semi-presidentialism. This time the focus is on Semi-presidentialism in the Caucasus and Central Asia. There are contributions from Alex Baturo on vertical power in the post-Soviet space, Alexander Markarov on Armenia, Jody LaPorte on Azerbaijan, Malkhaz Nakashidze on Georgia, Dmitry Nurumov and Vasil Vashchanka on Kazakhstan, and Matto Fumagalli on Kyrgyzstan. Sophia and I contribute two chapters. The first addresses some misconceptions about the notion of semi-presidentlaism, such as the idea that semi-presidential regimes must have quite powerful presidents but never very powerful or very weak presidents, and also that autocracies cannot be semi-presidential – they can, not least because semi-presidential regimes do not have to comprise only countries with quite powerful presidents. Our second chapter sums up the contributions to to the volume and argues that weaker presidents make for better semi-presidentialism. This is a brief summary of this second chapter.

The main attraction of institutional analysis is that it has the potential to generate better political outcomes. Given the assumption that institutions matter, we may be able to craft them so as to mitigate or even eradicate some of the negative outcomes that would otherwise be caused by the behaviour of political actors. We wish to draw one institutional policy recommendation from this book. All else equal, countries with weaker presidents are likely to experience better outcomes than countries with stronger presidents.

There is evidence from Armenia, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan that weaker presidents have been associated with better outcomes. In Kyrgyzstan the decline in the president’s constitutional powers has been dramatic. That said, the shift to a weak president is relatively new, dating back to 2010. Kyrgyzstan also has a history of democratic reversals. So, we should avoid any definitive judgement at this early stage. More than that, the shift occurred in the context of the collapse of the previous regime and the desire on the part of the constitution builders to trammel the power of the presidency, which was seen as one of the main obstacles to democratic consolidation under the previous regime. This suggests that any positive effects of the weak presidency may be endogenous to the choice of the new institutional framework. All the same, we note that the early period of the new constitutional framework has been marked by less presidential posturing, less executive/legislative conflict, and, for now at least, less democratic backsliding. These are positive signs.

In Armenia, the decline in presidential power has been less dramatic. The president’s constitutional powers were never as great as the other countries in the region. Moreover, even after the passage of the 2005 reforms, the president still enjoyed some not inconsiderable constitutional powers. What is more, as in Kyrgyzstan, the context in which the president’s powers were reduced in 2005 means that we have to take account of the problem of endogenous institutional choice. Further still, Armenia remains a hybrid democratic regime in which there is plenty of political competition, but where democratic procedures have been manipulated to the advantage of incumbent power holders, although perhaps less so in the most recent elections than previously. In this context, we have to be careful about any lessons that we might we wish to draw from the Armenian case. Even so, we might benefit from thinking counterfactually. What would be the situation if there were now a super-president in Armenia? Would the situation be worse? We cannot know. Yet, we do know that in practice there was a form of super-presidentialism after the passage of the 1995 constitution. We can also confidently claim that this period marked the low point of democratic performance in Armenia to date. Armenia has not experienced a weak presidency, but it has experienced very strong presidents. It is not unreasonable to conclude by comparing the experience of the 1995-2005 super-presidency and the post-2005 period that the latter was less problematic.

By far the strongest evidence, though, comes from Georgia. Here, there were two periods when the problem of endogenous institutional choice was at least partly offset because of a dramatic change in the political context. In the first period there was a very strong president. In the second period, there was a very weak president. In this latter case, it is tempting to think in terms of quasi-experimental conditions. In the same historical, cultural, economic, and social context, there was an institutional treatment, namely the move to a weak presidency. The result has been much better political performance. The period of cohabitation under the previous president-parliamentary form of semi-presidentialism was marked by intense president/prime ministerial conflict as well as conflict between the president and the government and legislature generally. By contrast, the recent period under the weak presidency and a premier-presidential form of government has, to date, been characterized by much calmer relations. Indeed, this latter period is doubly interesting because the president distanced himself from his former political allies immediately after his election. The resulting situation should not be classed as a period of cohabitation, but it is certainly not a period where the president’s loyalty to the ruling party has quashed, perhaps artificially, any political competition within the executive branch. While there have been major disagreements between the president and the government, they have not become regime threatening. Indeed, arguably, post-2013 president/government relations in Georgia resemble those in countries like the Czech Republic or Slovakia where weak but directly elected presidents act as a counterweight to the government, but where there are no serious attempts to assume real presidential power.

If we are right to conclude that weaker presidents are better presidents, then we also wish to assert that the party system is an important intervening variable, as indicated above. It is perhaps no coincidence that in Georgia there has been a solid parliamentary majority since 2013. In other words, the president has not had the opportunity to try to offset his weak constitutional powers by building an alternative and potentially destabilizing pro-presidential coalition within the legislature. We might add that there has also been a relatively stable legislative majority in Kyrgyzstan since the 2010 reforms. Again, the president has not had the incentive to craft a majority that is personally loyal to him and that often requires the distribution of state resources in a geographically skewed and perhaps even corrupt way. In Armenia, by contrast, presidents have not always enjoyed a parliamentary majority and have been forced to forge coalitions in the legislature. This perhaps helps to account for the continued presence of a patronage president in a way that harms the rational functioning of the regime and democratic performance. Indeed, the recent constitutional reform that will introduce a parliamentary system after the next electoral contests might confirm this suspicion. The introduction of a parliamentary system and a weak president should be a positive development on the basis of our logic, but it may merely be a way of maintaining patronage politics in the context of an uninstitutionalized party system.

So, we acknowledge that many economic, social, and political factors affect political performance. We also believe that the party system is a particularly important variable for determining the practice of presidential politics. Even so, we claim that political performance is likely to be better when presidents have fewer powers. This suggests that constitution makers should consider the benefits of reforms that reduce the power of their presidency. We are aware that our conclusion assumes that institutions matter and, therefore, is susceptible to the problem of endogenous institutional choice, but we would like to address the endogeneity problem by arguing that even endogenously chosen weak presidents are better than endogenously chosen strong presidents. In other words, we believe that there are benefits to be gained from the endogenous selection of weak presidents. We should endeavour to create the conditions for decision makers to calculate that their system would benefit from a weak presidency. Fundamentally, if we are right that weak presidents bring benefits, we are unconcerned whether this outcome comes about endogenously or exogenously. That said, even if institutions are chosen endogenously, political actors still have to interpret the institutions with which they are faced. At some point, the economic, social, or political context is likely to change. At that point, if not before, institutions may have at least a partly exogenous impact. In those circumstances, it is better to have a weak presidency in place than a strong one. In other words, we would encourage upstream efforts to create the conditions for a constitutionally weak president. We believe that there are benefits to be gained from a system in which actors are willing to work without the presence of a super-president and that these benefits are likely to be both endogenous to institutional choice and at some point exogenous too.

We wish to make one final point. We promote the idea of a weak presidency, but we also wish to promote a weak presidency in the context of a wider constitutional and political system in which there is a genuine separation of powers and checks and balances. For example, we are not convinced that there are benefits to be gained from replacing a system in which there is a super-president and a weak prime minister by one where there is a weak president and a super-prime minister. This merely shifts the problem. It does not replace it. And it may characterise what is about to happen in Armenia. Let us express this point differently. We are not opposed to weak but directly elected presidents. As we argue in our introduction to the volume, semi-presidential constitutions are consistent with both very strong and very weak presidents. We prefer the latter. Let us make the same point in another way. We do not believe that parliamentarism with a weak but indirectly elected president is necessarily a guarantee of better political performance if there are no checks on the prime minister in the parliamentary system.

To sum up, we are happy to recommend a directly elected president as long as the president’s powers are weak and are exercised in the context of a system in which power is not concentrated in any political actor.

Semi-Presidentialism in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Sophia Moestrup and I have edited a new volume called Semi-Presidentialism in the Caucasus and Central Asia. It is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

9781137387806

The book contains two chapters by Sophia and I. In the Introductory chapter we describe constitutional variation across the region and outline the basic research questions of the book: do institutions matter in post-Soviet countries? If so, do they matter for democratic performance? Whatever the answer, has the organization of the executive and executive-legislative relations had an impact on political life? In the Concluding chapter, ‘Weaker Presidents, Better Semi-Presidentialism’, we present a single policy recommendation: countries should adopt a constitution with a relatively weak presidency. All else equal, weak presidential institutions are likely to be more beneficial than super-presidencies. We argue that these benefits derive both from the intrinsic institutional incentives associated with such a system as well as the creation of environment in which the choice of a weak presidency is seen as being an attractive constitutional choice.

The book also contains a scene-setting chapter by Alex Baturo. This chapter provides an overview of similarities and differences between the political regimes that emerged in post-Soviet Eurasia, showing how “patronal” first secretaries under the Soviet Union became “patronal” presidents of their own nation-states after independence.

There are also four country case study chapters on semi-presidentiaism in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, as a well as a fifth case study of presidential Kazakhstan. These chapters look at the reasons for institutional choice in these countries, including Kazakhstan’s brief flirtation with semi-presidentialism in the early 1990s, as well as an assessment of the constitutional powers of the presidents in all of these countries, and an analysis of the reality of vertical power and political pluralism (or its absence) in practice.

More details can be found at the Palgrave website. Indeed, there are more details still, including chapter abstracts, from the Springer website.

Time-Leste is premier-presidential

Over at Presidential Power, Lydia Beuman argues that Timor-Leste is a clear case of a premier-presidential form of semi-presidentialism. Absolutely right! Lydia’s new book on semi-presidentialism and democracy in Timor-Leste is now out and is a must read.

9781138950337

Congo-Brazzaville – Return to semi-presidentialism

This is a cross-post from Presidential Power

In October 2015 the Republic of Congo – Congo-Brazzaville – held a referendum to ratify a new constitution. In a country with a 2016 Freedom House rating of Not Free, it is unsurprising that the new constitution was overwhelmingly ratified. The official figures show that turnout in the referendum was 72.4% and that 92.3% of those voting supported the new constitution.

The immediate motivation for the reform was to secure the legal position in power of the incumbent president, Denis Sassou Nguesso. Sassou came to power in 1997 following a civil war, which brought an end to Congo-Brazzaville’s brief five-year flirtation with a semi-presidential democracy. In January 2002 a new constitution was passed. This constitution reintroduced direct presidential elections and stipulated a two-term presidential limit. In March 2002 President Sassou was elected president with over 89% of the vote. In 2009 he was re-elected with nearly 79%. With a new presidential election due to be held in March 2016, President Sassou needed to find a way to remain in power in a manner that conformed with the law. The solution was to adopt a new constitution that, if passed, would mean that President Sassou had not served any terms under the new regime. With the counter reset to zero, he was free to stand for election in 2016. As Sophia Moestrup reported in a previous post, with the new constitution in place President Sassou was duly elected at the first round of that election, winning 60.4% of the vote.

While the main motivation for the new constitution was to maintain President Sassou in power, the reforms were quite wide ranging. For example, even though the president is still limited to serving two terms, the presidential term was itself reduced from seven to five years. The age limit for presidential candidates, which had been 70 under the old constitution, was also abolished. President Sassou was born in 1943. The text of the new constitution is available here.

One element of the new constitution was a return to semi-presidentialism. Art. 98 re-established the position of prime minister, which had been present from 1992-1997, but was abolished from the constitution when President Sassou assumed power. In addition, Art. 100 states that the prime minister is responsible to the National Assembly. There is no investiture vote. Indeed, Art. 103 makes this explicit. However, Art. 159 states that the prime minister can call for a motion of confidence. If it fails, then the government has to to resign. The National Assembly can also table a vote of no-confidence, which if passed means that the government has to resign. In short, the new constitution is clearly semi-presidential.

The text of the constitution also makes Congo-Brazzaville an example of a president-parliamentary form of semi-presidentialism, though there is some ambiguity. In the original French, Art. 83 reads “Le Président de la République nomme le Premier Ministre et met fin à ses functions.” This is usually translated into English as: “The President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minister and shall terminate his term of office”. This is clearly designed to allow the president to sack the PM if necessary. This point becomes clearer if we compare it with the original wording of the 1958 French constitution, which once again is the model for a francophone country. The French constitution states: “Le Président de la République nomme le Premier ministre. Il met fin à ses fonctions sur la présentation par celui-ci de la démission du Gouvernement.” This is translated as: “The President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minister. He shall terminate the appointment of the Prime Minister when the latter tenders the resignation of the Government.” In other words, in France the president merely transacts a decision that has been made elsewhere. In Congo-Brazzaville, the president can act independently.

At this point, such constitutional niceties are unlikely to worry President Sassou. The country may have adopted a semi-presidential constitution, but, as yet, no prime minister has even been appointed. More importantly, there has been violence after the election (or re-election, take your pick) of the president. This left a number of people dead. The opposition still contests the result of the election, though the Constitutional Council, unsurprisingly, has validated the election. Since the election, there have been various arrests of opposition figures. However, the opposition fears that violence is being exaggerated and even manipulated by the regime to justify an even harsher crackdown. President Sassou is still in control, but the situation remains volatile.

Presidential power scores – ordinal rankings vs. continuous measures

Over at the Presidential Power blog, David Doyle and I have reported a set of presidential power scores. These scores provide a continuous measure of the power of directly and indirectly presidents on a range from 0 (weak) to 1 (strong).

Scores for almost all semi-presidential countries are included. You can see how there is great variation in the presidential power scores across the set of countries with a semi-presidential constitution. For example, you can see how Austria and Iceland are constitutionally president-parliamentary, but have very low presidential power scores. You can also see that some parliamentary regimes with indirectly elected presidents have higher presidential power scores than some semi-presidential regimes with directly elected presidents.

This confirms the idea that the definition of regime types is first and foremost a taxonomical exercise. We can systematically capture differences between regime types by referring solely to the combination of a very small number of constitutional provisions. However, presidential power in practice depends on more than this combination of factors. So, while regimes types may provide a basic ordinal ranking of the relative strength of presidents – presidential and president-parliamentary countries do indeed tend to have stronger presidents than premier-presidential countries, which, in turn, do indeed tend to have stronger presidents than parliamentary countries – this ranking masks considerable variation in presidential power within each regime type.

So, if you wish to examine empirically the impact of presidential power on some or other outcome, then you have to make a decision. Is it better to test for the effect of regime types in the knowledge that this is operationalising a taxonomy that captures a fairly crude ordinal ranking of presidential power but that still might allow you to say something about the effect of presidentialism and president-parliamentarism relative to premier-presidentialism etc, or is it better to test for the effect of presidential power scores that capture such power continuously and in a much more fine-grained way, but that doesn’t allow you to say anything about regime types? It depends on your theory, I suppose.

If you do choose to to test for the effect of continuous presidential power scores, then we recommend that you use the scores in Doyle and Elgie.

General information

Since the switch to the new blog, Presidential Power, I am not updating this blog with information about semi-presidential countries. However, to facilitate visitors who want to find general information about semi-presidentialism very quickly, here are the links to the most frequently viewed posts on this blog.

List of current semi-presidential countries

List of historic semi-presidential countries

List of president-parliamentary and premier-presidential semi-presidential countries

List of presidential and parliamentary countries

Semi-presidentialism in disputed area or territories (current and historic)

List of periods of cohabitation

 

Visitors might also be interested in the following series of posts. Please just follow the thread on the archives.

When was the first reference to semi-presidentialism?

What was the first semi-presidential country?

Some difficult cases of semi-presidentialism

List of cohabitations

Here are links to a series of posts that record the cases of cohabitation in countries with semi-presidential constitutions. Cohabitation is defined as the situation where the president and prime minister are from different parties and where the president’s party is not represented in the cabinet. Presidents classed as non-party cannot generate any periods of cohabitation. Some difficult classification cases can be found here.

Austria

1.) April 1966-April 1970:

President – Franz Jonas (SPÖ); PM – Josef Klaus (ÖVP); government – ÖVP

2.) Jul 1986-Jan 1987:

President – Kurt Waldheim (ÖVP); PM – Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ); government – SPÖ, FPÖ

3.) July 2004-Jan 2007

President – Heinz Fischer (SPÖ); PM – Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP); government – ÖVP, FPÖ/BZÖ

 

Bulgaria

1.) January 1995 – February 1997:

President – Zhelyu Zhelev (SDS); PM – Zhan Vasilev Videnov (BSP); government – BSP, BZnS(AS), DE

2.) July 2001 – January 2002

President – Petur Stoyanov (SDS); PM – Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski (NDSV); government – NDSV, DPS

3.) January 2002 – August 2005:

President – Georgi Sedefchov Purvanov (BSP); PM – Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski (NDSV); government – NDSV, DPS

4.) July 2009 – January 2012

President – Georgi Sedefchov Purvanov (BSP); PM – Boyko Borisov (GERB); government – GERB (minority)

 

Cape Verde

September 2011 –

President – Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca (MPD); PM – José Maria Pereira Neves (PAICV); government – PAICV

Technically, there was also a very brief period of cohabitation from 1 Feb 2001 to 22 Mar 2001. On 1 February, José Maria Neves of the PAICV took up the post of PM, but the outgoing MPD President António Mascarenhas Monteiro did not leave office until 22 March.

 

Croatia

1.) February 2010 – December 2011

President – Ivo Josipović (SDP); PM – Jadranka Kosor (HDZ); Coalition – HDZ, HSS, HSLS, SDSS

2.) February 2015 –

President – Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (HDZ); PM – Zoran Milanović (SDH); Coalition – SDH, HNS, IDS

 

See also this post

 

Czech Republic

1.) March 2013 – July 2013

President – Miloš Zeman (Party of Civic Rights – Zeman’s people, SPOZ); PM – Petr Nečas (Civic Democratic Party, ODS); Coalition – ODS, TOP 09, LIDEM

2.) January 2014 –

President – Miloš Zeman (Party of Civic Rights – Zeman’s people, SPOZ); PM – Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD); Coalition – CSSD, ANO, KDU-CSL

 

Finland

1.) December 1926 – December 1927

President – Lauri Kristian Relander (ML); PM – Väinö Alfred Tanner (SDP); Government – SDP

2.) December 1928 – August 1929

President – Lauri Kristian Relander (ML); PM – Oskari Mantere (ED); Government – ED, KOK

3.) March 1946 – July 1948

President – Juho Kusti Paasikivi (KOK); PM – Mauno Pekkala (SKDL); Government – SKDL, SFP, ML, SDP

4.) July 1948 – March 1950

President – Juho Kusti Paasikivi (KOK); PM – Karl August Fagerholm (SDP); Government – SDP

5.) March 1950 – November 1953

President – Juho Kusti Paasikivi (KOK); PM – Urho Kekkonen (ML); Government – ML, ED (until Sep 1951), SFP, SDP (Jan 1951-July 1953)

6.) May 1954 – October 1954

President – Juho Kusti Paasikivi (KOK); PM – Ralf Johan Gustaf Törngren (SDP); Government – SFP, SDP, ML

7.) October 1954 – February 1956

President – Juho Kusti Paasikivi (KOK); PM – Urho Kekkonen (ML); Government – ML, SDP

8.) February 1972 – September 1972

President – Urho Kekkonen (ML/KESK); PM – Kustaa Rafael Paasio (SDP); Government – SDP

9.) April 1991 – March 1994

President – Mauno Henrik Koivisto (SDP); PM – Esko Tapani Aho (KESK); Government – KESK, KOK, RKP/SFP, SKL

10.) March 1994 – April 1995

President – Martti Ahtisaari (SDP); PM – Esko Tapani Aho (KESK); Government – KESK, KOK, RKP/SFP, SKL (to June 1994)

11.) April 2007 – June 2011

President – Tarja Kaarina Halonen (SDP); PM – Matti Taneli Vanhanen (KESK); Government – KESK, RKP/SFP, VIHR

 

France

1.) March 1986 – May 1988

President – François Mitterrand (socialists); PM – Jacques Chirac (RPR); government – RPR, UDF

2.) March 1993 – May 1995

President – François Mitterrand (socialists); PM – Edouard Balladur (RPR); government – RPR, UDF

3.) June 1997 – May 2002

President – Jacques Chirac (RPR); PM – Lionel Jospin (socialists); government – socialists, communists, greens, left-radicals, citizens’ movement

 

Georgia

October 2012-November 2013

President – Mikheil Saakashvili (United National Movement – UNM); PM – Bidzina Ivanishvili (Georgian Dream); Coalition – Georgian Dream

 

Germany (Weimar)

1.) June 1920 – May 1921

President – Friedrich Ebert (SPD); PM – Konstantin Fehrenbach (Z); Government – Z, DPP, DVP

2.) November 1923 – May 1925

President – Friedrich Ebert (SPD); PM – Wilhelm Marx (Z); Government – Z, DDP, DVP, BVP (until June 1924)

Note:

22 Nov 1922 – 13 Aug 1923

President – Friedrich Ebert (SPD); PM – Wilhelm Cuno (non-party); Government – technocrats plus Z, DPP, DVP

 

Iceland

1.) August 1952 – September 1953

President – Ásgeir Ásgeirsson (AF, Social Democrats); PM – Steingrímur Steinthórsson (FSF, Progressive party); Coalition – FSF (Progressive party), SSF (Independence Party)

2.) September 1953 – July 1956

President – Ásgeir Ásgeirsson (AF, Social Democrats); PM – Ólafur Thors (SSF, Independence Party); ; Coalition – FSF (Progressive party), SSF (Independence Party)

3.) August 1996 – 1998

President – Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (AP, People’s Alliance/SFK, Social Democratic Alliance); PM – Davíd Oddsson (SSF, Independence Party); Coalition – FSF (Progressive party), SSF (Independence Party)

 

Ireland

1.) February 1948 – June 1951

President – Sean T. O’Kelly (FF); PM – John A. Costello (FG); Coalition – FG, Labour, National Labour, Clann na Poblachta, Clann na Talmhan

2.) June 1954 – March 1957

President – Sean T. O’Kelly (FF); PM – John A. Costello (FG); Coalition – FG, Labour, Clann na Talmhan

3.) March 1973 – July 1977

Presidents – Erskine Childers (June 1973-Nov 1974), Cearbhall O Dalaigh (Dec 1974-Oct 1976), Patrick Hillery (from Dec 1976) all FF; PM – Liam Cosgrave (FG); Coalition – FG, Labour

4.) June 1981 – March 1982

President – Patrick Hillery (FF); PM – Garret FitzGerald (FG); Coalition – FG, Labour

5.) December 1982 – March 1987

President – Patrick Hillery (FF); PM – Garret FitzGerald (FG); Coalition – FG, Labour

6.) December 1990 – February 1992

President – Mary Robinson (Lab); PM – Charles J. Haughey (FF); Coalition – FF, PD

7.) February 1992 – January 1993

President – Mary Robinson (Lab); PM – Albert Reynolds (FF); Coalition – FF, PD

8.) June 1997 – September 1997

President – Mary Robinson (Lab); PM – Bertie Ahern (FF); Coalition – FF, PD

9.) March 2011 – November 2011

President – Mary McAleese (FF); PM – Enda Kenny (FG); Coalition – FG, Labour

 

Lithuania

1.) November 1996 – February 1998

President – Algirdas Brazauskas (LDDP); PM – Gediminas Vagnorius (TS-LK): Coalition – TS-LK, LKDP, LCS

2.) February 2003 – April 2004

President – Rolandas Paksas (LLS/LLP); PM – Algirdas Brazauskas (LSDP); Coalition – LSDP, LDDP (merged with LSDP), LRS (part of Brazauskas electoral coalition), NU-SL

 

Macedonia

1.) November 2002 – May 2004

President – Boris Trajkovski (VMRO-DPMNE); PM – Branko Crvenkovski (SDSM/ZMZ): Coalition – SDSM/ZMZ, DUI

2.) August 2006 – April 2009

President – Branko Crvenkovski (SDSM/ZMZ); PM – Nikola Gruevski (VMRO-DPMNE); Coalition – Until July 2008 VMRO-DPMNE, DPA, NSDP, DOM; From July 2008-; VMRO-DPMNE, DUI

 

Mongolia

1.) June 1993 – July 1996

President – Punsalmaagiyn Ochirbat (MUAN/MNDP); PM – Puntsagiyn Jasray (MAKN/MPRP): Government – MAKN/MPRP

2.) June 1997 – April 1998

President – Natsagiyn Bagabandi (MAKN/MPRP); PM – Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan (MUAN/MNDP); Coalition – MUAN/MNDP and DU (MSDN/MSDP)

3.) April 1998 – December 1998

President – Natsagiyn Bagabandi (MAKN/MPRP); PM – Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj (MUAN/MNDP); Coalition – MUAN/MNDP and DU (MSDN/MSDP)

4.) December 1998 – July 1999

President – Natsagiyn Bagabandi (MAKN/MPRP); PM – Janlavyn Narantsatsralt (MUAN/MNDP); Coalition – MUAN/MNDP and DU (MSDN/MSDP)

5.) July 1999 – July 2000

President – Natsagiyn Bagabandi (MAKN/MPRP); PM – Rinchinnyamyn Amarjargal (MUAN/MNDP); Coalition – MUAN/MNDP and DU (MSDN/MSDP)

 

Niger

February 1995 – January 1996

President – Mahamane Ousmane (CDS); PM – Hama Amadou (MNSD): Government – MNSD, PNDS

 

Poland

1.) December 1991 – Jun 1992

President – Lech Wałęsa (NSZZ); PM – Jan Olszewski (PC); Government – PC, ZChN, PL

2.) June 1992 – July 1992

President – Lech Wałęsa (NSZZ); PM – Waldemar Pawlak (PSL); Government – PSL, PC, ZChN

3.) July 1992 – October 1993

President – Lech Wałęsa (NSZZ); PM – Hanna Suchocka (UD); Government – UD, KLD, ZChN, PChD, SL-Ch, PPG, PL

4.) October1993 – March 1995

President – Lech Wałęsa (NSZZ); PM – Waldemar Pawlak (PSL); Government – SLD, PSL

5.) March 1995 – December 1995

President – Lech Wałęsa (NSZZ); PM – Józef Oleksy (SdRP/SLD); Government – SLD, PSL

6.) October 1997 – October 2001

President – Aleksander Kwaśniewski (SdRP/SLD); PM – Jerzy Karol Buzek (AWS); Government – AWS, UW (to June 2000)

7.) November 2007 – April 2010

Lech Aleksander Kaczyński (PiS); PM – Donald Tusk (PO); Government – PO, PSL

8.) August 2015 – November 2015

Andrzej Duda (PiS); PM – Ewa Kopacz (PO); Government – PO, PSL

 

Portugal

1.) March 1986 – October 1995

President – Mário Soares (PS); PM – Aníbal Cavaco Silva (PSD); Government – PSD

2.) April 2002 – July 2004

President – Jorge Sampaio (PS); PM – José Manuel Barroso (PSD); Government – PSD, CDS-PP

3.) July 2004 – March 2005

President – Jorge Sampaio (PS); PM – Pedro Miguel Lopes (PSD); Government – PSD, CDS-PP

4.) March 2006 – June 2011

President – Aníbal Cavaco Silva (PSD); José Sócrates (PS); Government – PS

 

Romania

1.) April 2007- December 2008

President – Traian Băsescu (PD/PD-L); PM – Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (PNL); Coalition – PNL, UDMR

2.) May 2012-December 2014

President – Traian Băsescu (PD/PD-L); PM – Victor Ponta (PSD); Coalition – PSD, PNL until March 2014, then PSD, UDMR

3.) December 2014 –

President – Klaus Werner Johannis (if he is counted as PNL); PM – Victor Ponta (PSD); Coalition – PSD, LRP, PC, UNPR

 

São Tomé e Príncipe

1.) October 1994 – December 1995

President – Miguel Trovoada (ADI); PM – Carlos da Graça (MLSTP-PSD); Coalition – MLSTP-PSD, PCD

2.) December 1995 – November 1996

President – Miguel Trovoada (ADI); PM – Armindo Vaz d’Almeida (MLSTP-PSD); Coalition – MLSTP-PSD, PCD

3.) November 1996 – January 1999

President – Miguel Trovoada (ADI); PM – Raul Bragança Neto (MLSTP-PSD); Coalition – MLSTP-PSD, PCD

4.) January 1999 – September 2001

President – Miguel Trovoada (ADI); PM – Guilherme Posser de Costa (MLSTP-PSD); Coalition – MLSTP-PSD

5.) March 2004 – September 2004

President – Fradique de Menezes (MDFM-PL); PM – Maria das Neves Ceita Baptista de Sousa (MLSTP-PSD); MLSTP-PSD, Ue-K (inc ADI)

6.) September 2004 – Jun 2005

President – Fradique de Menezes (MDFM-PL); PM – Damião Vaz d’Almeida (MLSTP-PSD); Coalition – MLSTP-PSD, ADI

7.) January 2010 – August 2010

President – Fradique de Menezes (MDFM-PL); PM – Joaquim Rafael Branco (MLSTP-PSD); Coalition – MLSTP-PSD, PCD

8.) August 2010 – September 2011

President – Fradique de Menezes (MDFM-PL); PM – Patrice Trovoada (ADI); Government – ADI

 

Serbia

November 2006 – May 2007

President – Boris Tadić (DS); PM – Vojislav Koštunica (DSS); Government – DSS, G17+, SPO, and NS

 

Slovakia

See this post

 

Slovenia

1.) December 2004 – January 2006

President – Janez Drnovšek (LDS); PM – Janez Janša (SDS); Coalition – SDS, NSi, SLS, DeSUS

2.) December 2012 – March 2013

President – Borut Pahor (SD); PM – Janez Janša (SDS); Coalition – SDS, NSi, SLS, DeSUS, LGV

 

Sri Lanka

1.) August 1994 – November 1994

President – Dingiri Banda Wijetunge (EJP); PM – Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (SLMP/SLNP); Government – SLMP/SLNP

2.) December 2001 – April 2004

President – Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (SLMP/SLNP); PM – Ranil Wickremasinghe (EJP); Gove

Semi-presidentialism in disputed area or territories (current and historic)

Adygea, Bashkortostan, Chechnya, Sakha – Yakutia, Tatarstan, Tuva (all Russia)

Anjouan (Comoros)

Crimea (Ukraine)

Kurdistan Region (Iraq)

Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan)

Palestinian National Authority

Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzogovina)

South Ossetia (Georgia)

Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (Cyprus)

Zanzibar (Tanzania)

New Blog – Presidential Power

I would like to invite you to visit my new blog, Presidential Power. This is a blog about presidents and presidential activity across the world. If you like The Semi-Presidential One, then you will like the new blog even more.

Presidential Power is a collaborative project. I have set it up with a number of great colleagues. Whereas this blog followed presidential politics in semi-presidential countries only. The new blog covers presidents around the world, thanks to the local knowledge of the various contributors.

Presidential Power has a presence on Facebook and also on Twitter. I would invite you to ‘like’ the Facebook page and to please follow us on Twitter.

The Semi-Presidential One will continue in three ways. First, the archives of past posts will still be available. Second, I will continue to update certain basic posts, such as the list of semi-presidential countries, periods of cohabitation, etc. However, I will not be posting news about individual countries any more. Third, I will use the post to publicise my own work and to discuss any other matters that don’t necessarily fit the Presidential Power blog.

I would still encourage you to continue to bookmark The Semi-Presidential One and to keep coming back. However, there will be less activity here now as attention switches to the new blog. So, while this isn’t a goodbye, I would nonetheless like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited the site over the nearly six years that it has been active.

Thank you and over to the new blog where regular posting will begin on Monday.

New Publications

Lydia M. Beuman, ‘Cohabitation in New Post-Conflict Democracies: The Case of Timor-Leste’, in Parliamentary Affairs Advance Access published August 13, 2013.

Parliamentary Affairs, vol. 66, no. 3, There is a debate on the concept of presidentialisation that is really interesting.

John Coakley, Reforming political institutions: Ireland in comparative perspective, Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2013 (chapter on presidents).

Frank R. Baumgartner, Sylvain Brouard, Emiliano Grossman, Sebastien G. Lazardeux, Jonathan Mood, ‘Divided Government, Legislative Productivity, and Policy Change in the USA and France’, Governance, early view.

J. L. Black and Michael Johns (eds.), Russia After 2012. From Putin to Medvedev to Putin – Continuity, Change, or Revolution?, London: Routledge, 2013.

Emőd Veress, ‘Improving the State: Critical Remarks on a Constitutional Reform Foretold’, Romanian Journal of Comparative Law, 2012, Vol. III, Number 2, 261-274.

Barry Levitt, Power in the balance: Presidents, parties and legislatures in Peru and beyond, 2012, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Sheila Perry and Paul Smith (eds.), Vivement dimanche – Media, Politics and France’s Electoral Year 2011-12, Nottingham French Studies, Volume 52.2 Summer 2013. Special issue with lots of topics to do with last year’s elections.

Susanna D. Wing, ‘Briefing. Mali: Politics of a Crisis’, African Affairs, vol. 112, pp. 476-485.

John Fitzgibbon, ‘Referendum Briefing: The Referendum On The Intergovernmental Treaty On Stability, Coordination And Governance In The Economic And Monetary Union In Ireland, 31 May 2012’, Representation, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 229-239, 2013.