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Political Regime

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Determining and studying political regime of a state helps us to highlight the ways, the procedures or the methods by means of which, those who have the task of exercising political power, govern.

According to the Western doctrine, political regimes are classified into:

  1. Pluralist political regimes
  2. Dictatorships or totalitarian political regimes

Pluralist Political Regimes

In the group of pluralist regimes we can identify:

  1. Presidential regimes
  2. Parliamentary regimes
  3. Mixed regimes or semi-presidential regime

Semi-presidential Regime

M Duverger was the first to define the semi-presidential regime “understood as the institutions of a democracy including the two following elements: a president elected by universal suffrage and provided with notable personal powers and a first minister and government accountable before the parliament”.

The semi-presidential regime is a French creation, however, as previously mentioned, the current French political regime classification, a regime established especially after the 1962 revision of the Constitution of 1958, is very different. Thus, for example, A. Hauriou mentioned that this regime is half parliamentary, half presidential, highlighting two imbalances within it - one related to the executive branch, the other to the public authorities.

On the contrary, J.P. Jacqué considers that the current French regime is presidential, better said, presidentialist .

I. Deleanu believes that the current French system is a "hybrid" after having previously been presidential.

Besides, the latter author argues that the presidential regime, typically French, as well as the conventional regime in which the legislative primacy is obvious, such as in Austria, and the intermittent presidential regime, such as in Portugal and Finland, are mixed regimes

The features of such a regime that tried "to substitute a series of disadvantages of the presidential system, but also imperfections of the parliamentary regime", are difficult to identify especially since each state establishing it has also made it distinctive.

Thus, the president of a semi-presidential republic has the right to conduct the meetings of the government, he may even have the right to vote in such meetings; only some of the acts issued by the president must be countersigned by the prime minister to be valid; the president is not entitled to legislative initiative; in certain situations and subject to the observance of certain conditions clearly specified by the Constitution, the president can dissolve the parliament; the president is entitled to call for a referendum; the president can be dismissed only in certain conditions and subject to the observance of certain procedures.

The current political regimes established by the constitution are based either on the stricter separation of powers - the presidential regime, either on their collaboration - the parliamentary regime, but also the semi-presidential regime, or on the fusion of powers. In the latter category, we can identify: the dictatorship regime, the directorial regime and the assembly regime.

In the framework of the dictatorial regime, we must note the predominance of the executive compared to the legislative, although the power is individualized and held by means of coercion.

In the directorial regime, the executive is mainly monocratic, being represented by a collegial body elected by the legislative, but before which it is not accountable, the legislative not being able to revoke it, but only to annul and amend the acts.

Such a system is established by the Swiss Constitution, the doctrine appreciating that, legally, it is certain that the Government of this state – the Federal Council is nothing but a body whose members are elected by the Federal Assembly – the Federal Parliament being bound to observe the Parliament’s policy without being able to resign and without being conferred by the Constitution with effective specific pressure means.

Assembly Regime

The Assembly Regime is a type of Mixed regimes or semi-presidential regime. This situation arises with confusion of power in the legislative branch. It closely resembles to Parliamentary regimes.

Features of an Assembly Regime are:

  1. Collegial structure of the executive
  2. Its designation and revocation by the legislative
  3. The lack of accountability from the executive before the legislative
  4. The Legislative being able to annul or amend the executive’s decisions
Examples
  • Such a system existed in France during the 10 months of the Convention replacing the legislative (20/09/1792 - 26/07/1793)
  • At present moment, due to the play of the multiple parties, the Italian parliamentary system actually works as an assembly government