Meaning, Advantages And Disadvantages Of Presidential System Of Government

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Presidential System Of Government
2. Features Of Presidential System Of Government
3. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Presidential System of Government
4. Functions Of The President

Definition Of Presidential System Of Government

A presidential system of government exists where the head of state is also the head of government. It has non-parliamentary executive, e.g. U.S.A. and Nigeria in the 2nd and 4th Republic.

Features Of Presidential System Of Government

1. The head of state is also the head of government.

2. It has a non-parliamentary executive. That is, members of the executive are not also members of the legislature. There is therefore separation of powers.

3. The president is a popular choice of the entire electorate.

4. There is the existence of checks and balances.

5. The president is not accountable to the legislature but he could be removed through impeachment.

6. The legislature enjoys fixed term of office.

7. There is absence of collective responsibility.

8. There is absence of official recognized opposition party.

Advantages Of Presidential System Of Government

1. The single leadership inherent in the system makes for effective leadership and removes the possibility of conflict which exists in dual leadership of cabinet system.

2. The president choose his political office holders and can remove them. He is therefore free to choose those he considers can serve him and nation well.

3. The absence of “winners take all” makes it possible for the best talents in the country to be chosen from any where in the country.

4. Members of the executive are not also members of the legislature, this helps to serve as a check to depotism.

5. The practice of removing the government by a vote of no confidence does not apply in a presidential system hence frequent elections, which may destabilise the state, are avoided.

6. Decisions can easily be taken because of absence of collective responsibility. Matters of national importance can be urgently attended to.

7. The president is a popular choice of the whole electorate and hence an embodiment of the state and a symbol of unity.

8. No party is regarded as opposition in a presidential system, members of the legislature are able to work together as a team.

Disadvantages Of Presidential System Of Government

1. The existence of single leadership with overwhelming power can bread dictatorship.

2. The power of impeachment could be abused by members of the legislature.

3. The power of the president to choose his political office holders and remove them at will could be abused by a reckless Chief executive and there is possibility of lobbying and corruption.

4. The power of veto exercised by the presidential in the system could be recklessly applied.

Functions Of The President

1. He is both the head of state and head of government.

2. He appoints his ministers and can remove them.

3. He is the commander in chief of the Armed Forces.

4. He formulates major policies of government and sees to their execution.

5. He receives ambassadors accredited to the country as well as receiving visiting heads of states.

6. He takes the salute on ceremonial occasions.

7. He opens new sessions of parliament and sends presidential messages to the parliament.

8. He exercises the power of prerogative of mercy.

9. He has power to declare a state of emergency.

10. He gives assent to bill.

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