List of president-parliamentary and premier-presidential countries with dates

Here is the list of president-parliamentary and premier-presidential regimes that I am currently working with (as of 22 April 2017).

These terms were first defined by Matthew Shugart and John Carey in Presidents and Assemblies. Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

The distinction between the two terms can be expressed as follows:

President-parliamentarism is a form of semi-presidentialism where the prime minister and cabinet are collectively responsible to both the legislature and the president.

Premier-presidentialism is a form of semi-presidentialism where the prime minister and cabinet are collectively responsible solely to the legislature.

If there are any classification errors, then do please let me know:

Current president-parliamentary countries:

Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso (1991-), Cameroon, Congo (Republic of), Gabon, Iceland, Madagascar (2010-), Mauritania (2009-), Mozambique, Namibia, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal (2001-), Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Togo

Current premier-presidential countries:

Algeria, Armenia (2005-), Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chad, Croatia (2001-), Czech Republic, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Egypt (2014-), Finland, France, Georgia (2013-), Haiti, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mali (2012-), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Niger, Poland, Portugal (1983-), Romania, São Tomé e Príncipe (2003-), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Ukraine (2014-)

There are countries that are no longer semi-presidential or which are currently semi-presidential but which have changed their form of semi-presidentialism over time. These cases are captured in the following lists.

Historic cases of president-parliamentarism:

Angola, Armenia (1995-2005), Burkina Faso (1978-1983), Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Croatia (1991-2000), Cuba, Egypt (2007-2011), Georgia (2004-2013), Germany (Weimar Republic), Guinea-Bissau, (1993-2012), Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar (1996-2009), Mauritania (2006-2008), Portugal (1976-1982), São Tomé e Príncipe (1990-2002), Senegal (1970-1983), South Vietnam, Tunisia, Ukraine (1996-2006, 2011-2014), Yemen (1994-2011)

Historic cases of premier-presidentialism:

Burkina Faso (1970-1974), Congo-Brazzaville, Egypt (2012-2013), Kenya, Madagascar (1992-1995), Mali (1992-2012), Mauritania (1991-2005), Moldova, Senegal (1991-2000), Turkey (2007-2017), Ukraine (2007-2010)

7 thoughts on “List of president-parliamentary and premier-presidential countries with dates

  1. Abdullah al-Hadith

    Hello Egypt (2012-2013) is Premier-presidential as PM/cabinet was solely accountable to legislature.

    Reply
  2. Tsering Tashi

    Dear sir,
    you have listed Austria into the Current president-parliamentary countries while Stephen D. Roper has put Austria in the category of premier -presidential countries in his article “Are all the semipresidential regimes the same?”. can do a explanation for that?

    Regard

    Reply
  3. Robert Elgie Post author

    Constitutionally, Austria is president-parliamentary as a function of the combination of two articles:

    Art. 67. (1) Save as otherwise provided by the Constitution, all official acts of the Federal President shall be based on recommendation by the Federal Government or the Federal Minister authorized by it. …
    (2) Save as otherwise provided by the Constitution, all official acts of the Federal President require for their validity the countersignature of the Federal Chancellor or the competent Federal Minister.
    and
    Art. 70. (1) The Federal Chancellor and, on his recommendation, the other members of the Federal Government are appointed by the Federal President. No recommendation is requisite to the dismissal of the Federal Chancellor or the whole Federal Government; the dismissal of individual members of the Federal Government ensues on the recommendation of the Federal Chancellor. The appointment of the Federal Chancellor or the whole Federal Government is countersigned by the newly appointed Federal Chancellor; dismissal requires no countersignature.

    What this means is that no-one else’s signature is needed to dismiss the Chancellor and the Government. So, the President has the power to do so unilaterally. This makes Austria president-parliamentary.

    However, even though Austria is president-parliamentary, the president’s powers are not used in practice. This is purely conventional. They still exist in law. So, while constitutionally Austria is president-parliamentary, in practice it operates like a standard parliamentary system.

    I don’t know why Roper classes Austria as premier-presidential. However, Austria and Iceland are the two cases where there is the biggest disparity between what the constitution says in terms of presidential power and how things work in practice. So, it makes little empirical sense to think of Austria as president-parliamentary.

    Samuels and Shugart have quite a long discussion of the ‘Austria problem’ in their book. In most cases, they choose to leave Austria out of their empirical discussions, precisely because it would be misleading to think that it operates in a standard president-parliamentary way.

    When we try to calculate presidential power on a range from 0 (weak) to 1 (strong), then we find that Austria has a prespow1 score of 0.09. So, this confirms that the president in practice is very weak. You ca find the prespow1 scores over at the Presidential Power blog.

    Reply
  4. Bojana Kocijan

    Robert,

    If Mali was premier-presidential from 1992 – 2012 and continues as premier-presidential after 2012, can you explain what kind of change occurred, given that you list Mali under current and historic examples of premier-presidentialism.

    Reply
    1. Robert Elgie Post author

      There was a coup in 2012 and the 1992 Constitution was suspended. When democracy was restored later in the year, there was a new period of semi-presidentialism. Thus, the period up to the coup becomes a historic period.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *