Category Archives: Germany

Cohabitation – Germany

This is a series of posts that records 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.

Here is my list of cohabitations under Weimar:

Jun 1920 – May 1921
President – Friedrich Ebert (SPD); PM – Konstantin Fehrenbach (Z); Government – Z, DPP, DVP

Nov 1923 – May 1925
President – Friedrich Ebert (SPD); PM – Wilhelm Marx (Z); Government – Z, DDP, DVP, BVP (until June 1924)

I do not count the following as cohabitation because of the non-party PM, but note also:
22 Nov 1922 – 13 Aug 1923
President – Friedrich Ebert (SPD); PM – Wilhelm Cuno (non-party); Government – technocrats plus Z, DPP, DVP

Sources: wikipedia lists coalition partners under PM’s name.

Georgia – Reforms proposed

Eurasia Daily Monitor reports that in Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili has proposed an institutional reform programme, some of which will involve amendments to the constitution. One of the proposed reforms is a simplification of the procedure for parliament to dismiss the government.

Currently, the procedures are, indeed, a little cumbersome. They comprise Arts. 80 and 81 of the 1995 Constitution as reformed in 2004. These articles have 13 clauses between them and some of the clauses are long paragraphs. Plus there are two additional Articles 81 that resulted from the reform! So, there might be some usefulness in simplifying procedures somewhat.

In the meantime, there is still opposition to President Saakashvili and criticism of his part in the events in South Ossetia. However, the first anniversary of the crackdown on the opposition by the government in November 2007 did not spark a mass protest as some had predicted. See RFE/RL report.