Presidential and Parliamentary System – صدارتی نظام کی بحث

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Due to massive corruption, bad governance and misrule In Pakistan, there is a debate about Presidential vs Parliamentary System of democratic government. In Pakistan, the political leaders, party head can just nominate any puppet or front man as prime minister who will cover up their corruption even if they get disqualified by courts. In Presidential system it is not possible, the President or Governor in provinces have to be directly elected through direct vote by people. Hence he has to be of high stature leader not a puppet. No one can get executive office through intrigue and manipulation.

Both are democratic systems adopted by different countries according to their environments. Hence it is futile to condemn one in favor of other on pretext of democracy. The presidential system by military dictators was not democratic system, 80,000 union councilors used to elect president. It was just to get democratic legitimacy but yet this was the golden period of development and progress.

We shall carryout a brief comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Systems. But first lets see how system can be changed in Pakistan. One option is amendment of constitution through 2/3 majority of parliament, which present government lacks. The other option is through referendum. The PM can request and the joint session of parliament can approve with simple majority, possible if many members opt for conscious vote on matter of issue of national importance. US or French models can be considered.

Every country in the world has its own constitution, according to which policies are framed, government bodies and institutions function and decisions are made. In finer terms, it is the constitution, that covers all the aspects of the political system adopted by the country. There are two forms of government, Parliamentary and Presidential. In Parliamentary System, the political party winning the majority seats in the parliament makes the government and elects a person from among themselves as the Prime Minister who is the head of the Government.

On the other hand, in the presidential form of government, the President is the chief executive, who is directly elected by the people or by the members of the electoral college. The difference between the Parliamentary and Presidential form of government is discussed in the article in detail.

Comparison Chart

Meaning In Parliamentary system the legislative and executive body of government are closely related, while the judiciary is independent of the other two bodies of government. In Presidential system, the legislative, executive and judiciary body of the government are independent of each other.
Executive Dual executive Single executive
Accountability The executive is accountable to the legislature. The executive is not accountable to the legislature.
Powers Concentrated Divided
Ministers Only the members of Parliament can be appointed as minster. Persons outside the legislature are appointed as ministers.
Dissolution of lower house Prime Minister can dissolve the lower house before the expiry of its term. President cannot dissolve lower house.
Tenure of Executive Not fixed Fixed

Parliamentary form of Government

Parliamentary form of government represents a system of democratic governance of a country, wherein the executive branch is derived from the legislative body, i.e. the Parliament. Here, the executive is divided into two parts, the Head of the State, i.e. President, who is only the nominal executive and the Head of the Government, i.e. Prime Minister, who is the real executive.

As per this system, the political party getting the maximum number of seats during federal elections, in the Parliament, forms the government. The party elects a member, as a leader, who is appointed as the Prime Minister by the President. After the appointment of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet is formed by him, whose members should be out of the Parliament. The executive body, i.e. the Cabinet is accountable to the legislative body, i.e. Parliament

This system is prevalent in the countries like United Kingdom, India, Japan and Canada.

Presidential form of Government

When a country follows the Presidential form of Government, it denotes that there is only one person as the head of the state and government, i.e. the President. The election of the President is made directly by the citizens of the country or sometimes by the members of the electoral college for a fixed period.

The President elects some ministers as the Secretary and forms a small Cabinet, who assist in governing the country. Neither the President nor the Secretaries are accountable to the Congress (Parliament) for their acts. Indeed, they do not attend the sessions as well.

This form of government can be found in the countries like United States of America, Russia, Brazil and Srilanka.

Main Differences Between Parliamentary and Presidential form of Government

The points presented below are important so far as the differences between parliamentary and presidential form of government is concerned:

  1. The Parliamentary system of government is one in which there exists a harmonious relationship between the legislative and executive body, while the judiciary body works independently. As against this, in Presidential form of government, the three organs of the government work independently of each other.
  2. In Parliamentary form of government, the executive is divided into two parts, i.e. the Head of the State (President) and the Head of the Government (Prime Minister). On the contrary, the President is the chief executive of the Presidential form of Government.
  3. In the Parliamentary form of government, the executive body, i.e. the Council of Ministers is accountable to the Parliament for its acts. Conversely, in the Presidential form of Government, there is no such accountability, i.e. the executive body is not accountable to the Parliament for its acts.
  4. Fusion of powers exists in the Parliamentary system, whereas the powers are separated in Presidential system.
  5. In Parliamentary form, only those persons are appointed as ministers in the executive body who are the members of Parliament. Unlike, in Presidential form, persons other than those working in the legislature can be appointed as secretaries.
  6. In Parliamentary government, the Prime Minister has the power to dissolve the lower house before the completion of its term. As opposed, the President cannot dissolve the lower house, in Presidential government.
  7. The tenure of the executive is not fixed in Parliamentary government, as in, if a no-confidence motion is passed in the Parliament, the Council of Ministers is dismissed. Contrary to this, the executive has a fixed term in the Presidential government.


The members of the cabinet possess double membership, i.e. of legislative and executive organ of government. Contrary to this, in the presidential form of government, the members of the cabinet possesses the membership of executive organ only.

When it comes to dominance, in the Parliamentary System, the President is only the titorial head, while the real powers lie in the hands of the Prime Minister. On the contrary, in the Presidential System, the President has got the supreme power


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Presidential System

Differences from a parliamentary system

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