Political system: Unitary Republic. Semi-presidential system; popularly elected President, popularly elected parliament, and Prime Minister and government appointed by President and responsible to National Assembly. Regime History: Frequent regime changes since the French Revolution of 1789. Most recently, a dictatorial regime based on Vicky collaborated with the Nazis during World War II; the Fourth Republic existed from 1946-1958; and the Fifth Republic, originating in 1958, has become universally accepted. Administrative structure: Unitary, with 22 regions and 100 departments. Executive: Dual Executive: President (five-year term) Prime Minister appointed by President, the leader of a majority coalition in National Assembly, and responsible to National Assembly (as well as informally responsible to President. ) Legislature: Bicameral.
Senate (upper house) has the power to delay legislation passed by a lower house and to veto proposed constitutional amendments. National Assembly (lower house) can pass legislation and force government to resign by passing a certain motion. Judiciary: A system of administrative, criminal and civil courts. At the top, a nine-member independent constitutional council named for nonrenewable nine-year terms; President of republic names three members, President each house of parliament names three.
The constitutional council exercises right of judicial review. Party system: Multiparty. The Chancellor is the strongman in the German System. His election to the post is through a difficult process, but once he is there, the Chancellor cannot be dismissed by a vote of no confidence. This is the essential difference between the French and German system of governments. But the Chancellor is elected upon the proposal of the President. After the national elections, the newly elected members of the Bundestag elect the by a majority vote.
Not on the basis of the majority of the members present, but a majority of all elected members needs to be achieved. In six decades, Germany had only 8 Chancellors, which indicates the stability of this procedure of election.
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