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Removal of Presidents

International IDEA’s Constitution-Building Primer 23
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Chapter 1

Introduction

Constitutions establishing presidential and semi-presidential systems of government (i.e. systems where the president is directly elected by the people) are characterized by the parallel popular legitimacy of the legislature and the president. Presidents in such systems ordinarily serve a guaranteed fixed term of office (tenure) and are generally not dependent on the political support (or ‘confidence’) of the legislature (which, in presidential systems, also normally enjoys a fixed term). Only the people can confer a mandate on presidents, and, owing to this, only they can change incumbent presidents by voting for another candidate in the next elections. This contrasts with prime ministers in parliamentary systems who are appointed by parliaments and where parliament can remove them during their term on purely political grounds and through regular procedures (i.e. without the need for a supermajority). However, many constitutions establishing presidential and semipresidential systems 1 of government provide exceptional grounds and procedures through which a president may be removed before the end of their term, usually connected with (a) accusations of serious misbehaviour, corruption or legal/constitutional violations (impeachment); or (b) physical or mental incapacity. In some cases, a president is removed to provide political accountability, during the period between presidential elections, through (c) a recall mechanism. The grounds for and process of presidential removal are complex and can be contentious, often involving both legal and political procedures.

 

Chapter 2

Presidential removal

2.1 Removal through impeachment

Constitutions establishing presidential and semi-presidential systems of government (i.e. systems where the president is directly elected by the people) are characterized by the parallel popular legitimacy of the legislature and the president. Presidents in such systems ordinarily serve a guaranteed fixed term of office (tenure) and are generally not dependent on the political support (or ‘confidence’) of the legislature (which, in presidential systems, also normally enjoys a fixed term). Only the people can confer a mandate on presidents, and, owing to this, only they can change incumbent presidents by voting for another candidate in the next elections. This contrasts with prime ministers in parliamentary systems who are appointed by parliaments and where parliament can remove them during their term on purely political grounds and through regular procedures (i.e. without the need for a supermajority). However, many constitutions establishing presidential and semipresidential systems of government provide exceptional grounds and procedures through which a president may be removed before the end of their term, usually connected with (a) accusations of serious misbehaviour, corruption or legal/constitutional violations (impeachment); or (b) physical or mental incapacity. In some cases, a president is removed to provide political accountability, during the period between presidential elections, through (c) a recall mechanism. The grounds for and process of presidential removal are complex and can be contentious, often involving both legal and political procedures.

Chapter 3

Case Example

3.1 Just a test

Constitutions establishing presidential and semi-presidential systems of government (i.e. systems where the president is directly elected by the people) are characterized by the parallel popular legitimacy of the legislature and the president. Presidents in such systems ordinarily serve a guaranteed fixed term of office (tenure) and are generally not dependent on the political support (or ‘confidence’) of the legislature (which, in presidential systems, also normally enjoys a fixed term). Only the people can confer a mandate on presidents, and, owing to this, only they can change incumbent presidents by voting for another candidate in the next elections. This contrasts with prime ministers in parliamentary systems who are appointed by parliaments and where parliament can remove them during their term on purely political grounds and through regular procedures (i.e. without the need for a supermajority). However, many constitutions establishing presidential and semipresidential systems of government provide exceptional grounds and procedures through which a president may be removed before the end of their term, usually connected with (a) accusations of serious misbehaviour, corruption or legal/constitutional violations (impeachment); or (b) physical or mental incapacity. In some cases, a president is removed to provide political accountability, during the period between presidential elections, through (c) a recall mechanism. The grounds for and process of presidential removal are complex and can be contentious, often involving both legal and political procedures.

Chapter 4

Example Number two

4.1 Just another test

1.

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2.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo.

3.

Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio.

  • At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium.
  • Voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident.
  • Similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga.
4.

This is to test the footnotes function

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