In the United States the Presidency is headed by the president, who has many roles, such as:
- Chief of State: The chief public representative of a country, who may also be the head of government.
- Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces: Is the civilian commander of a nation’s military forces.
- Chief Legislator: Gives information to Congress to consider through the state of the Union address and recommendations for consideration of new statutes.
- Chief Diplomat: The president is both a national spokesman and a world leader. As representative of a country of immigrants with ties around the globe, the president is expected to defend America’s security and economic interests, and also to promote democratic principles and human rights internationally. Several presidents whose domestic policies were frustrated by an uncooperative Congress have focused their attention on foreign affairs, where their power and freedom to determine policy was less hindered.
- Chief Executive: A president serves as the government’s chief administrative officer, with the responsibility to see that the laws are faithfully executed. The president also appoints officials, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The United States holds their presidential election every four years. At the national convention, major and minor political parties nominate candidates for the president and vice president. Citizens then vote on the presidential and vice presidential candidate of their choice. However, these votes do not elect a candidate directly. Instead, the votes are sent to the Electoral College, and cast ballots for presidential electors. The candidate with a majority in the Electoral College will win the presidential or vice presidential election.
The French presidency is based on a semi-presidential system where both a president and a prime minister are active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state. France’s president appoints a prime minister, who then forms a government. France’s presidency includes the three traditional branches: the Executive, Judicial and Legislative, but it also includes a fourth branch called the Constitutional Council, which determines the constitutionality of new laws.
Since the formation of the French Fifth Republic in 1958, France has had a semi-presidential system. Historically France has not had a semi-presidential system. For example, between 1875 and 1958 during the French Third Republic and French Fourth Republic, France’s presidency was based on a Parliamentary System.
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