What Is Presidential System Of Government? Definition, Meaning, Advantages And Disadvantages

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Presidential System Of Government
2. Features Of Presidential System Of Government
3. Advantages Of Presidential System Of Government
4. Disadvantages Of Presidential System Of Government
5. Functions Of The President As Head Of Government And Head Of State
6. How Legislature Checks The Powers Of The President
7. Differences Between The Parliamentary And Presidential System Of Government

Meaning Of Presidential System Of Government

Presidential system of government is defined as the system of government in which the head of state of country is also the head of government. It is a system in which all executive powers are vested in one person with the little of the executive president.

The constitution of a presidential system of government is supreme and has succeed in depositing offices of the head of state and government in the executive president, for example in Nigeria’s second republic of “1979-1983”, President Shagari was both the head of state and government of Nigeria, exercising executive powers within the system. He was also the commander in chief of the armed forces and the police forces. The “1999” constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria that was in the third republic also gave the same powers to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The while country is the presidents constituency and he is popularly elected by th electorate. To asset a vice president to whom he can delegate some of his duties. The principle of separation of powers among the three organs of government: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary is strictly adhere to in this system.

Features Of Presidential System Of Government

1. Head Of State And Government: The executing president serves as both the head of the state and that of government in the system.

2. Ceremonial And Executive Functions: The president performs both the ceremonial and executive functions.

3. Popularly Elected: The executive president is popularly elected by the electorate. The whole country is his constituency.

4. Appointment Of Cabinet Members: He has the constitutional power to appoint any member of his cabinet from within and outside his own party.

5. Fixed Term Of Offices: The president is elected for example: Nigeria second republic of 1979-1983, The president stayed in office for four years and for a maximum of two terms (Eight Years). The 1999 constitution also provide for four years with a maximum of terms.

6. Individual Responsibility: Ministers are individually responsible to the president who appointed them. The therefore has direct control over them.

7. Minister Not Part Of The Legislative: Ministers in this system can only be in the cabinet and cannot form part of the legislative.

8. Impeachment: The president or the governors of states can be removed by the parliament through the process called impeachment if found guilty of gross misconduct.

Advantages Of Presidential System Of Government

1. It Is Democratic: All institution that make for democratic government are embedded in this system. For instance, electoral institution independence of the judiciary e.t.c are always there.

2. Enough Time: Minister have enough time to attend to their duties, this is because they only belong to the executive.

3. Activities Of The Ministers: The president can effectively check the activities of the ministers because they are individually responsible to him.

4. Separation Of Powers: Power are districtly separated and this enhances effective performance of each of the organs.

5. Popularly Elected: The president is popularly elected and as the party does not have control over him but can only advise.

6. Checks And Balance: Checks and balance are very effective among the three organs of government.

Disadvantages Of Presidential System Of Government

1. Voting Of Bills: The president can misuse or even abuse the powers given to him to vote bills.

2. Problem May Arise Between The Executive And The Legislature: This can result when the ruling party is not maintaining the majority in the legislature.

3. Impeachment Process May Be Difficult: The difficulty in the process of impeachment could make a president to stay and abuse his office and yet complete his term.

4. Delay In The Execution Of Programme: Separation of powers can cause delay in the execution of some government programmes.

5. Costly To Operate: There are too many duplication of functions both in the executive and the legislature.

6. No Security Of Tenure For Ministers: Ministers can be removed from office anytime by the president. There is no security of tenure for them.

Functions Of The President As Head Of Government

1. Head Of State And Government: The executive president is both head of state and government.

2. Departments Of Government: He controls the civil service, agencies and departments of government.

3. Adviser: He appoints some special adviser E.g adviser on budgetary matters, etc.

4. Joint Meeting Of The National Assembly: The president addresses the joint meeting of the national assembly over national issues. E.g The budget.

5. Armed Forces: He is the commander in chief of the armed forces and the polices.

6. Policy Making: The limitate the formulation of policies in the country.

Functions Of The President As Head Of State

1. Asserts: He has the power to sign a bill into law.

2. Visitors: He receives visitors from other part of the world.

3. Internal Conferences: He represent the country at international conferences, E.g U.N.O, A.U etc.

4. Ceremonial Functions: He also represent the country at some events.

How The Legislature Checks The Powers Of The President

1. Supremacy Of The Constitution: The constitution defines the powers of the president and his tenure. This is a check on his powers.

2. Passage Of Bills: If the ruling party is not constituting a majority in the parliament, the passage of president’s bill will be difficult.

3. Approval Of Appointment: The parliament has the power to approve or reject names submitted to it by the president for appointment as ministers, ambassadors etc.

4. Impeachment: The president can be impeached or removed from office by the parliament if he is found to violate the provision of the constitution.

5. Judicial review.

Differences Between The Cabinet Or Parliamentary And The Presidential System Of Government

1. In Presidential System: The executive president is both head of state and government. While In Cabinet Or Parliamentary: The queen/president is head of state while the prime ministers is the head of government.

2. Presidential System: The people elect the executive president through popular ballot.

Parliamentary System: The header of the party that won the election is appointed as the prime minister.

3. Presidential System: The principle of separation of powers is more pronounced.

Parliamentary System: The principle of separation of powers is not well pronounced.

4. In Presidential System: Individual responsibility of ministers is applicable.

While

In Parliamentary System: Collective responsibility of minister is applicable.

5. In Presidential System: There is supremacy of constitution. While In Parliamentary System: There is parliamentary supremacy not the constitution.

6. In Presidential System: The president can appoint his minister not only from his party. While In Parliamentary System: Minister are choosen by the prime minister from his party men in the legislature.

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