A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona that
officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign
state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation
of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or
concurrently the head of government.
In countries with parliamentary systems, the head of state is
typically a ceremonial figurehead that does not actually guide
day-to-day government activities or is not empowered to exercise any
kind of secular political authority (e.g., Queen
Elizabeth II of the
Commonwealth Realms). In countries where the head of state is also
the head of government, the head of state serves as both a public
figurehead and the actual highest-ranking political leader who
oversees the executive branch (e.g., the
President of the United
Former French president Charles de Gaulle, while developing the
Constitution of France
Constitution of France (1958), said the head of state should
embody l'esprit de la nation ("the spirit of the nation").
1 Constitutional models
1.1 Parliamentary system
1.1.1 Standard model
1.1.2 Non-executive model
1.1.3 Executive model
1.2 Semi-presidential systems
1.3 Presidential system
1.4 Single-party states
1.5 Complications with categorization
2.1 Symbolic role
2.2 Executive role
2.2.1 Appointment of senior officials
2.2.2 Diplomatic role
2.2.3 Military role
2.3 Legislative roles
2.4 Summoning and dissolving the legislature
2.5 Other prerogatives
2.5.1 Granting nobility, knighthood and various titles and other
2.5.3 Reserve Powers
2.5.4 Right of pardon
3 Governors-general (Commonwealth realms)
4 Selection and various types and styles of heads of state
4.1 European writers and revolutions, 16th–20th centuries
4.2 Shared and substitute heads of state
4.2.3 Extraordinary arrangements
4.3 Religious heads of state
4.4 City states and crowned republics
4.5 Multiple or collective heads of state
4.6 Unique cases and titles
5.1 By fiction or fiat
5.2 By divine appointment
5.3 By social contract
5.4 By constitution
5.5 By hereditary succession
5.6 By election
5.7 By appointment
5.8 By force or revolution
5.9 By foreign imposition
6 Former heads of state
6.1 Personal influence or privileges
7 See also
11 External links
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Grassalkovich Palace in
Bratislava is the seat of the
Some academic writers discuss states and governments in terms of
An independent nation state normally has a head of state, and
determines the extent of its head's executive powers of government or
formal representational functions. In protocolary terms, the head
of a sovereign, independent state is usually identified as the person
who, according to that state's constitution, is the reigning monarch,
in the case of a monarchy, or the president, in the case of a
Among the different state constitutions (fundamental laws) that
establish different political systems, four major types of heads of
state can be distinguished:
The parliamentary system, with two subset models;
The standard model, in which the head of state, in theory, possesses
key executive powers, but the exercise of such power is done on the
binding advice of a head of government (e.g., United Kingdom, India,
The non-executive model, in which the head of state has either none or
very limited executive powers, and mainly has a ceremonial and
symbolic role (e.g., Sweden, Japan, Israel).
The semi-presidential system, in which the head of state shares key
executive powers with a head of government or cabinet (e.g., Russia,
France, Sri Lanka); and
The presidential system, in which the head of state is also the head
of government and has all executive powers (e.g., United States,
The same role in a federal constituent and a dependent territory is
fulfilled by the corresponding office equivalent to that of a head of
state. For example, in each Canadian province the role is fulfilled by
the Lieutenant Governor, whereas in most British Overseas Territories
the powers and duties are performed by the Governor. The same applies
to Australian states, Indian states, etc. Hong Kong's constitutional
document, the Basic Law, for example, specifies the Chief Executive as
the head of the special administrative region, in addition to his role
as the head of government. These non-sovereign-state heads,
nevertheless, have limited or no role in diplomatic affairs, depending
on the status and the norms and practices of the territories
World's parliamentary states, as of 2018, coloured by form of
Green = republics with an executive president elected by a parliament
Orange = parliamentary republics
Red = parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch
does not personally exercise power
In parliamentary systems the head of state may be merely the nominal
chief executive officer, heading the executive branch of the state,
and possessing limited executive power. In reality, however, following
a process of constitutional evolution, powers are usually only
exercised by direction of a cabinet, presided over by a head of
government who is answerable to the legislature. This accountability
and legitimacy requires that someone be chosen who has a majority
support in the legislature (or, at least, not a majority opposition
– a subtle but important difference). It also gives the legislature
the right to vote down the head of government and their cabinet,
forcing it either to resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution. The
executive branch is thus said to be responsible (or answerable) to the
legislature, with the head of government and cabinet in turn accepting
constitutional responsibility for offering constitutional advice to
the head of state.
In parliamentary constitutional monarchies, the legitimacy of the
unelected head of state typically derives from the tacit approval of
the people via the elected representatives. Accordingly, at the time
of the Glorious Revolution, the English parliament acted of its own
authority to name a new king and queen (the joint monarchs Mary II and
William III); likewise, Edward VIII's abdication required the approval
of each of the six independent realms of which he was monarch. In
monarchies with a written constitution, the position of monarch is a
creature of the constitution and could quite properly be abolished
through a democratic procedure of constitutional amendment, although
there are often significant procedural hurdles imposed on such a
procedure (as in the
Constitution of Spain).
In republics with a parliamentary system (such as India, Germany,
Italy and Israel) the head of state is usually titled
president and the principal functions of such presidents are mainly
ceremonial and symbolic, as opposed to the presidents in a
presidential or semi-presidential system.
President Pranab Mukherjee, head of state of the
Republic of India
from July 2012 to July 2017
In reality, numerous variants exist to the position of a head of state
within a parliamentary system. The older the constitution, the more
constitutional leeway tends to exist for a head of state to exercise
greater powers over government, as many older parliamentary system
constitutions in fact give heads of state powers and functions akin to
presidential or semi-presidential systems, in some cases without
containing reference to modern democratic principles of accountability
to parliament or even to modern governmental offices. Usually, the
king had the power of declaring war without previous consent of the
For example, under the 1848 constitution of the Kingdom of Italy, the
Statuto Albertino—the parliamentary approval to the government
appointed by the king—was customary, but not required by law. So,
Italy had a de facto parliamentarian system, but a de jure
Examples of heads of state in parliamentary systems using greater
powers than usual, either because of ambiguous constitutions or
unprecedented national emergencies, include the decision by King
Léopold III of the Belgians to surrender on behalf of his state to
the invading German army in 1940, against the will of his government.
Judging that his responsibility to the nation by virtue of his
coronation oath required him to act, he believed that his government's
decision to fight rather than surrender was mistaken and would damage
Belgium. (Leopold's decision proved highly controversial. After World
Belgium voted in a referendum to allow him back on the throne,
but because of the ongoing controversy he ultimately abdicated.) The
Belgian constitutional crisis in 1990, when the head of state refused
to sign into law a bill permitting abortion, was resolved by the
cabinet assuming the power to promulgate the law while he was treated
as "unable to reign" for twenty-four hours.
Two contemporary heads of state who are constitutional monarchs, but
with no political power:
Japan (left), and King
Carl XVI Gustaf of
These officials are excluded completely from the executive: they do
not possess even theoretical executive powers or any role, even
formal, within the government. Hence their states' governments are not
referred to by the traditional parliamentary model head of state
styles of His/Her Majesty's Government or His/Her Excellency's
Government. Within this general category, variants in terms of powers
and functions may exist.
Japan (日本国憲法, Nihonkoku-Kenpō) was
drawn up under the Allied occupation that followed
World War II
World War II and
was intended to replace the previous militaristic and quasi-absolute
monarchy system with a form of liberal democracy parliamentary system.
The constitution explicitly vests all executive power in the Cabinet,
who is chaired by the prime minister (articles 65 and 66) and
responsible to the Diet (articles 67 and 69). The emperor is defined
in the constitution as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of
the people" (article 1), and is generally recognized throughout the
world as the Japanese head of state. Although the emperor formally
appoints the prime minister to office, article 6 of the constitution
requires him to appoint the candidate "as designated by the Diet",
without any right to decline appointment. He is a ceremonial
figurehead with no independent discretionary powers related to the
governance of Japan.
Since the passage in
Sweden of the
1974 Instrument of Government, the
Swedish monarch no longer has many of the standard parliamentary
system head of state functions that had previously belonged to him or
her, as was the case in the preceding 1809 Instrument of Government.
Speaker of the Riksdag
Speaker of the Riksdag appoints (following a vote in the
Riksdag) the prime minister and terminates his or her commission
following a vote of no confidence or voluntary resignation. Cabinet
members are appointed and dismissed at the sole discretion of the
prime minister. Laws and ordinances are promulgated by two Cabinet
members in unison signing "On Behalf of the Government" and the
government—not the monarch—is the high contracting party with
respect to international treaties. The remaining official functions of
the sovereign, by constitutional mandate or by unwritten convention,
are to open the annual session of the Riksdag, receive foreign
ambassadors and sign the letters of credence for Swedish ambassadors,
chair the foreign advisory committee, preside at the special Cabinet
council when a new prime minister takes office, and to be kept
informed by the prime minister on matters of state.
In contrast, the only contact the
President of Ireland has with the
Irish government is through a formal briefing session given by the
taoiseach (head of government) to the president. However, he or she
has no access to documentation and all access to ministers goes
through the Department of the Taoiseach. The president does, however,
hold limited reserve powers, such as referring a bill to the supreme
court to test its constitutionality, which are used under the
The most extreme non-executive republican Head of State is the
President of Israel, which holds no reserve powers whatsoever. The
least ceremonial powers held by the
President are to appoint the Prime
Minister, to approve the dissolution of the
Knesset made by the Prime
Minister, and to pardon criminals or to commute their sentence.
Some parliamentary republics (like South Africa,
Suriname) have fused the roles of the head of state with the head of
government (like in a presidential system), while having the sole
executive officer, often called a president, being dependent on the
Parliament's confidence to rule (like in a parliamentary system).
While also being the leading symbol of the nation, the president in
this system acts mostly as a prime minister, since the incumbent must
be a member of the legislature at the time of the election, answer
question sessions in Parliament, avoid motions of no confidence, etc.
Charles de Gaulle,
President and head of state of the French Fifth
Main article: Semi-presidential system
Semi-presidential systems combine features of presidential and
parliamentary systems, notably (in the president-parliamentary
subtype) a requirement that the government be answerable to both the
president and the legislature. The constitution of the Fifth French
Republic provides for a prime minister who is chosen by the president,
but who nevertheless must be able to gain support in the National
Assembly. Should a president be of one side of the political spectrum
and the opposition be in control of the legislature, the president is
usually obliged to select someone from the opposition to become prime
minister, a process known as Cohabitation.
Mitterrand, a Socialist, for example, was forced to cohabit with the
neo-Gaullist (right wing) Jacques Chirac, who became his prime
minister from 1986 to 1988. In the French system, in the event of
cohabitation, the president is often allowed to set the policy agenda
in security and foreign affairs and the prime minister runs the
domestic and economic agenda.
Other countries evolve into something akin to a semi-presidential
system or indeed a full presidential system. Weimar Germany, for
example, in its constitution provided for a popularly elected
president with theoretically dominant executive powers that were
intended to be exercised only in emergencies, and a cabinet appointed
by him from the Reichstag, which was expected, in normal
circumstances, to be answerable to the Reichstag. Initially, the
President was merely a symbolic figure with the Reichstag dominant;
however, persistent political instability, in which governments often
lasted only a few months, led to a change in the power structure of
the republic, with the president's emergency powers called
increasingly into use to prop up governments challenged by critical or
even hostile Reichstag votes. By 1932, power had shifted to such an
extent that the German President, Paul von Hindenburg, was able to
dismiss a chancellor and select his own person for the job, even
though the outgoing chancellor possessed the confidence of the
Reichstag while the new chancellor did not. Subsequently, President
von Hindenburg used his power to appoint
Adolf Hitler as Chancellor
without consulting the Reichstag.
George Washington, the first
President of the United States, set the
precedent for an executive head of state in republican systems of
Main article: Presidential system
Note: The head of state in a "presidential" system may not actually
hold the title of "president" - the name of the system refers to any
head of state who actually governs and is not directly dependent on
the legislature to remain in office.
Some constitutions or fundamental laws provide for a head of state who
is not only in theory but in practice chief executive, operating
separately from, and independent from, the legislature. This system is
known as a "presidential system" and sometimes called the "imperial
model", because the executive officials of the government are
answerable solely and exclusively to a presiding, acting head of
state, and is selected by and on occasion dismissed by the head of
state without reference to the legislature. It is notable that some
presidential systems, while not providing for collective executive
accountability to the legislature, may require legislative approval
for individuals prior to their assumption of cabinet office and
empower the legislature to remove a president from office (for
example, in the
United States of America). In this case the debate
centers on confirming them into office, not removing them from office,
and does not involve the power to reject or approve proposed cabinet
members en bloc, so it is not accountability in the sense understood
in a parliamentary system.
Presidential systems are a notable feature of constitutions in the
Americas, including those of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador,
Mexico and Venezuela; this is generally attributed to the strong
influence of the
United States in the region, and as the United States
Constitution served as an inspiration and model for the Latin American
wars of independence of the early 19th century. Most presidents in
such countries are selected by democratic means (popular direct or
indirect election); however, like all other systems, the presidential
model also encompasses people who become head of state by other means,
notably through military dictatorship or coup d'état, as often seen
in Latin American, Middle Eastern and other presidential regimes. Some
of the characteristics of a presidential system (i.e., a strong
dominant political figure with an executive answerable to them, not
the legislature) can also be found among absolute monarchies,
parliamentary monarchies and single party (e.g., Communist) regimes,
but in most cases of dictatorship, their stated constitutional models
are applied in name only and not in political theory or practice.
In the 1870s in the United States, in the aftermath of the impeachment
Andrew Johnson and his near-removal from office, it was
speculated that the United States, too, would move from a presidential
system to a semi-presidential or even parliamentary one, with the
Speaker of the House of Representatives becoming the real center of
government as a quasi-prime minister. This did not
happen and the presidency, having been damaged by three late
nineteenth and early twentieth century assassinations (Lincoln,
Garfield and McKinley) and one impeachment (Johnson), reasserted its
political dominance by the early twentieth century through such
Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
In certain states under Marxist constitutions of the constitutionally
socialist state type inspired by the former Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR) and its constitutive Soviet republics, real political
power belonged to the sole legal party. In these states, there was no
formal office of head of state, but rather the leader of the
legislative branch was considered to be the closest common equivalent
of a head of state as a natural person. In the
Soviet Union this
position carried such titles as Chairman of the Central Executive
Committee of the USSR; Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet; and in the case of the Soviet
Russia Chairman of the Central
Executive Committee of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets (pre-1922),
and Chairman of the
Bureau of the Central Committee
Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian
SFSR (1956–1966). This position may or may not have been held by the
de facto Soviet leader at the moment. For example, Nikita Khrushchev
never headed the Supreme Soviet but was First Secretary of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party (party leader) and Chairman of the
Council of Ministers (head of government).
This may even lead to an institutional variability, as in North Korea,
where, after the presidency of party leader Kim Il-Sung, the office
was vacant for years. The late president was granted the posthumous
title (akin to some ancient Far Eastern traditions to give posthumous
names and titles to royalty) of "Eternal President". All substantive
power, as party leader, itself not formally created for four years,
was inherited by his son Kim Jong Il. The post of president was
formally replaced on 5 September 1998, for ceremonial purposes, by the
office of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly,
while the party leader's post as Chairman of the National Defense
Commission was simultaneously declared "the highest post of the
state", not unlike
Deng Xiaoping earlier in the People's
Complications with categorization
Emperor of India, and
Empress Mary at the Delhi Durbar,
While clear categories do exist, it is sometimes difficult to choose
which category some individual heads of state belong to. In reality,
the category to which each head of state belongs is assessed not by
theory but by practice.
Constitutional change in
Liechtenstein in 2003 gave its head of state,
the Reigning Prince, constitutional powers that included a veto over
legislation and power to dismiss the head of government and
cabinet. It could be argued that the strengthening of the Prince's
powers, vis-a-vis the Landtag (legislature), has moved Liechtenstein
into the semi-presidential category. Similarly the original powers
given to the Greek
President under the
1974 Hellenic Republic
Greece closer to the French semi-presidential
Another complication exists with South Africa, in which the President
is in fact elected by the National Assembly (legislature) and is thus
similar, in principle, to a head of government in a parliamentary
system but is also, in addition, recognized as the head of state.
The offices of
President of Nauru and
similar in this respect to the South African presidency.
Panama, during the military dictatorships of
Omar Torrijos and Manuel
Noriega, was nominally a presidential republic. However, the elected
civilian presidents were effectively figureheads with real political
power being exercised by the chief of the Panamanian Defense Forces.
Historically, at the time of the
League of Nations
League of Nations (1920–1946) and
the founding of the
United Nations (1945), India's head of state was
the monarch of the United Kingdom, ruling directly or indirectly as
India through the
Viceroy and Governor-General of India.
Bhumibol Adulyadej at his coronation on 5
May 1950 (left), and Queen
Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in
her coronation portrait on 2 June 1953.
Head of state
Head of state is the highest-ranking constitutional position in a
sovereign state. A head of state has some or all of the roles listed
below, often depending on the constitutional category (above), and
does not necessarily regularly exercise the most power or influence of
governance. There is usually a formal public ceremony when a person
becomes head of state, or some time after. This may be the swearing in
at the inauguration of a president of a republic, or the coronation of
One of the most important roles of the modern head of state is being a
living national symbol of the state; in hereditary monarchies this
extends to the monarch being a symbol of the unbroken continuity of
the state. For instance, the Canadian monarch is described by the
government as being the personification of the Canadian state and is
described by the
Department of Canadian Heritage
Department of Canadian Heritage as the "personal
symbol of allegiance, unity and authority for all Canadians".
In many countries, official portraits of the head of state can be
found in government offices, courts of law, even airports, libraries,
and other public buildings. The idea, sometimes regulated by law, is
to use these portraits to make the public aware of the symbolic
connection to the government, a practice that dates back to medieval
times. Sometimes this practice is taken to excess, and the head of
state becomes the principal symbol of the nation, resulting in the
emergence of a personality cult where the image of the head of state
is the only visual representation of the country, surpassing other
symbols such as the flag.
Other common representations are on coins, postage and other stamps
and banknotes, sometimes by no more than a mention or signature; and
public places, streets, monuments and institutions such as schools are
named for current or previous heads of state. In monarchies (e.g.,
Belgium) there can even be a practice to attribute the adjective
"royal" on demand based on existence for a given number of years.
However, such political techniques can also be used by leaders without
the formal rank of head of state, even party - and other revolutionary
leaders without formal state mandate.
Heads of state often greet important foreign visitors, particularly
visiting heads of state. They assume a host role during a state visit,
and the programme may feature playing of the national anthems by a
military band, inspection of military troops, official exchange of
gifts, and attending a state dinner at the official residence of the
At home, heads of state are expected to render luster to various
occasions by their presence, such as by attending artistic or sports
performances or competitions (often in a theatrical honor box, on a
platform, on the front row, at the honours table), expositions,
national day celebrations, dedication events, military parades and war
remembrances, prominent funerals, visiting different parts of the
country and people from different walks of life, and at times
performing symbolic acts such as cutting a ribbon, groundbreaking,
ship christening, laying the first stone. Some parts of national life
receive their regular attention, often on an annual basis, or even in
the form of official patronage.
Olympic Charter (rule 55.3) of the International Olympic Committee
states that the Olympic summer and winter games shall be opened by the
head of state of the host nation, by uttering a single formulaic
phrase as determined by the charter.
As such invitations may be very numerous, such duties are often in
part delegated to such persons as a spouse, a head of government or a
cabinet minister or in other cases (possibly as a message, for
instance, to distance themselves without rendering offense) just a
military officer or civil servant.
For non-executive heads of state there is often a degree of censorship
by the politically responsible government (such as the head of
government), discreetly approving agenda and speeches, especially
where the constitution (or customary law) assumes all political
responsibility by granting the crown inviolability (in fact also
imposing political emasculation) as in the
Kingdom of Belgium
Kingdom of Belgium from its
very beginning; in a monarchy this may even be extended to some degree
to other members of the dynasty, especially the heir to the throne.
Below follows a list of examples from different countries of general
provisions in law, which either designate an office as head of state
or define its general purpose.
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): Section 56 (1) of the Spanish
Constitution of 1978 states:
King is the Head of State, the symbol of its unity and permanence.
He arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning of the
institutions, assumes the highest representation of the Spanish State
in international relations, especially with the nations of its
historical community, and exercises the functions expressly conferred
on him by the
Constitution and the laws.
Example 2 (parliamentary absentee monarchy): Article 2 of the New
Constitution Act 1986 states:
Sovereign in right of New Zealand is the head of State of New
Zealand, and shall be known by the royal style and titles proclaimed
from time to time.
(2) The Governor-General appointed by the
Sovereign is the Sovereign's
representative in New Zealand.
Example 3 (parliamentary non-executive monarchy): Article 1 of the
Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the
People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom
resides sovereign power.
Example 4 (parliamentary republic): Title II, Article 87 of the
President of the
Republic is the Head of the State and represents
Example 5 (parliamentary republic): Article 67 of the Iraqi
constitution of 2005 states:
President of the
Republic is the Head of the State and a symbol of
the unity of the country and represents the sovereignty of the
country. He shall guarantee the commitment to the
Constitution and the
preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, and the
safety of its territories, in accordance with the provisions of the
Example 6 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Chapter I, Article
120 of the
Constitution of Portugal states:
President of the
Republic represents the Portuguese Republic,
guarantees national independence, the unity of the state and the
proper operation of the democratic institutions, and is ex officio
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Example 7 (presidential republic): Chapter IV, Section 1, Article 66
Constitution of the
Republic of Korea states:
President shall be the Head of State and represent the State
vis-à-vis foreign states.
President shall have the responsibility and duty to safeguard
the independence, territorial integrity and continuity of the State
and the Constitution.
Example 8 (semi-presidential republic): Chapter VI, Article 77 of the
President of the
Republic shall be Head of State.
He shall represent the State of
Lithuania and shall perform everything
with which he is charged by the
Constitution and laws.
Example 9 (semi-presidential republic): Chapter 4, Article 80, Section
1-2 of the
President of the Russian Federation shall be the Head of State.
President of the Russian Federation shall be the guarantor of
Constitution of the Russian Federation and of human and civil
rights and freedoms. In accordance with the procedure established by
Constitution of the Russian Federation, he (she) shall adopt
measures to protect the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, its
independence and State integrity, and shall ensure the coordinated
functioning and interaction of State government bodies.
Example 10 (presidential republic): Section 87 (Second Division,
Chapter 1) of the
Constitution of Argentina provides that:
The Executive Power of the Nation shall be vested in a citizen with
the title of "
President of the Argentine Nation".
In the majority of states, whether republics or monarchies, executive
authority is vested, at least notionally, in the head of state. In
presidential systems the head of state is the actual, de facto chief
executive officer. Under parliamentary systems the executive authority
is exercised by the head of state, but in practice is done so on the
advice of the cabinet of ministers. This produces such terms as "Her
Majesty's Government" and "His Excellency's Government." Examples of
parliamentary systems in which the head of state is notional chief
executive include Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India,
Spain and the United Kingdom.
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): According to Section 12 of the
Subject to the limitations laid down in this
Constitution Act the King
shall have the supreme authority in all the affairs of the Realm, and
he shall exercise such supreme authority through the Ministers.
Example 2 (parliamentary absentee monarchy): Under Chapter II, Section
61 of the Commonwealth of
Constitution Act 1900:
The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is
exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's representative, and
extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of
the laws of the Commonwealth.
Example 3 (parliamentary republic): According to Article 26 (2) of the
Constitution of Greece:
The executive power shall be exercised by the
President of the
Republic and the Government.
Example 4 (parliamentary republic): According to Article 53 (1) of the
Constitution of India:
The executive power of the union shall be vested in the
shall be exercised by him either directly or indirectly through the
officers subordinate to him in accordance to the Constitution.
Example 5 (semi-presidential republic): Under Chapter 4, Article 80,
Section 3 of the
Constitution of Russia:
President of the Russian Federation shall, in accordance with the
Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal laws, determine the
basic objectives of the internal and foreign policy of the State.
Example 6 (presidential republic): Title IV, Chapter II, Section I,
Article 76 of the
Constitution of Brazil:
The Executive Power is exercised by the
President of the Republic,
assisted by the Ministers of State.
Example 7 (presidential republic): Article 2, Section 1 of the United
The executive Power shall be vested in a
President of the United
States of America.
The few exceptions where the head of state is not even the nominal
chief executive - and where supreme executive authority is according
to the constitution explicitly vested in a cabinet - include the Czech
Republic, Ireland, Israel,
Japan and Sweden.
Appointment of senior officials
The head of state usually appoints most or all the key officials in
the government, including the head of government and other cabinet
ministers, key judicial figures; and all major office holders in the
civil service, foreign service and commissioned officers in the
military. In many parliamentary systems, the head of government is
appointed with the consent (in practice often decisive) of the
legislature, and other figures are appointed on the head of
In practice, these decisions are often a formality. The last time the
prime minister of the
United Kingdom was unilaterally selected by the
monarch was in 1963, when Queen
Elizabeth II appointed Alec
Douglas-Home on the advice of outgoing Prime Minister Harold
In presidential systems, such as that of the United States,
appointments are nominated by the president's sole discretion, but
this nomination is often subject to confirmation by the legislature;
and specifically in the US, the Senate has to approve senior executive
branch and judicial appointments by a simple majority vote.
The head of state may also dismiss office-holders. There are many
variants on how this can be done. For example, members of the Irish
Cabinet are dismissed by the president on the advice of the taoiseach;
in other instances, the head of state may be able to dismiss an office
holder unilaterally; other heads of state, or their representatives,
have the theoretical power to dismiss any office-holder, while it is
exceptionally rarely used. In France, while the president cannot
force the prime minister to tender the resignation of the government,
he can, in practice, request it if the prime minister is from his own
majority. In presidential systems, the president often has the
power to fire ministers at his sole discretion. In the United States,
the unwritten convention calls for the heads of the executive
departments to resign on their own initiative when called to do so.
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 96 of the
King appoints and dismisses his ministers.
The Federal Government offers its resignation to the
King if the House
of Representatives, by an absolute majority of its members, adopts a
motion of no confidence proposing a successor to the prime minister
for appointment by the
King or proposes a successor to the prime
minister for appointment by the
King within three days of the
rejection of a motion of confidence. The
King appoints the proposed
successor as prime minister, who takes office when the new Federal
Government is sworn in.
Example 2 (parliamentary non-executive republic): Article 13.1.1 of
Constitution of Ireland:
President shall, on the nomination of Dáil Éireann, appoint the
Example 3 (semi-presidential republic): Chapter 4, Section 2 of the
Constitution of the
Republic of Korea states:
The Prime Minister is appointed by the
President with the consent of
the National Assembly.
Example 4 (presidential republic): Article 84 of the
President of the
Republic shall have the exclusive power to:
I - appoint and dismiss the Ministers of State:
XIII - ...appoint the commanders of Navy, Army and Air Force, to
promote general officers and to appoint them to the offices held
exclusively by them;
XIV - appoint, after approval by the Senate, the Justices of the
Supreme Federal Court
Supreme Federal Court and those of the superior courts, the Governors
of the territories, the Attorney-General of the Republic, the
President and the Directors of the Central Bank and other civil
servants, when established by law;
XV - appoint, with due regard for the provisions of article 73, the
Justices of the Federal Court of Accounts;
XVI - appoint judges in the events established by this Constitution
and the Advocate-General of the Union;
XVII - appoint members of the Council of the Republic, in accordance
with article 89, VII
XXV - fill and abolish federal government positions, as set forth by
Some countries have alternative provisions for senior appointments: In
Sweden, under the Instrument of Government of 1974, the Speaker of the
Riksdag has the role of formally appointing the prime minister,
following a vote in the Riksdag, and the prime minister in turn
appoints and dismisses cabinet ministers at his/her sole
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Lesotho, presenting his
credentials to Russian
President Vladimir Putin
Daniel B. Shapiro, U.S.
Ambassador to Israel, presents his credentials
Shimon Peres on 3 August 2011
A 1992 Letter of Credence, written in French, for the Czechoslovakian
Ambassador to Lithuania, signed by the
addressed to his Lithuanian counterpart
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which codified
longstanding custom, operates under the presumption that the head of a
diplomatic mission (i.e. ambassador or nuncio) of the sending state is
accredited to the head of state of the receiving state. The
head of state accredits (i.e. formally validates) his or her country's
ambassadors (or rarer equivalent diplomatic mission chiefs, such as
high commissioner or papal nuncio) through sending formal a Letter of
Credence (and a Letter of Recall at the end of a tenure) to other
heads of state and, conversely, receives the letters of their foreign
counterparts. Without that accreditation, the chief of the
diplomatic mission cannot take up their role and receive the highest
diplomatic status. The role of a head of state in this regard, is
codified in the
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations from 1961,
which (as of 2017) 191 sovereign states has ratified.
However, there are provisions in the Vienna Convention that a
diplomatic agent of lesser rank, such as a Chargé d'affaires, is
accredited to the minister of foreign affairs (or equivalent).
The head of state is often designated the high contracting party in
international treaties on behalf of the state; signs them either
personally or has them signed in his/her name by ministers (government
members or diplomats); subsequent ratification, when necessary, may
rest with the legislature. The treaties constituting the European
Union and the
European Communities are noteworthy contemporary cases
of multilateral treaties cast in this traditional format, as are the
accession agreements of new member states. However, rather
than being invariably concluded between two heads of state, it has
become common that bilateral treaties are in present times cast in an
intergovernmental format, e.g., between the Government of X and the
Government of Y, rather than between His Majesty the
King of X and His
President of Y.
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 8 of the
the Principality of
1) The Reigning
Prince shall represent the State in all its relations
with foreign countries, without prejudice to the requisite
participation of the responsible Government.
2) Treaties by which territory of the State would be ceded, State
property alienated, sovereign rights or prerogatives of the State
affected, a new burden imposed on the Principality or its citizens, or
an obligation assumed that would limit the rights of the citizens of
Liechtenstein shall require the assent of Parliament to attain legal
Example 2 (parliamentary republic): Article 59 (1) of the Basic Law of
President shall represent the Federation in its
international relations. He shall conclude treaties with foreign
states on behalf of the Federation. He shall accredit and receive
Example 3 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Article 14 of the
Constitution of 1958 states:
President of the
Republic shall accredit ambassadors and envoys
extraordinary to foreign powers; foreign ambassadors and envoys
extraordinary shall be accredited to him.
Example 4 (semi-presidential republic): Chapter 4, Article 86, Section
4 of the
President of the Russian Federation:
a) shall direct the foreign policy of the Russian Federation;
b) shall hold negotiations and sign international treaties of the
c) shall sign instruments of ratification;
d) shall receive letters of credence and letters of recall of
diplomatic representatives accredited to his (her) office.
Example 5 (single party republic): Section 2, Article 81 of the
Constitution of the People's
Republic of China states:
President of the People's
Republic of China receives foreign
diplomatic representatives on behalf of the People's
Republic of China
and, in pursuance of decisions of the Standing Committee of the
National People's Congress, appoints and recalls plenipotentiary
representatives abroad, and ratifies and abrogates treaties and
important agreements concluded with foreign states.
In Canada, these head of state powers belong to the monarch as part of
the Royal Prerogative, but the Governor General has
been permitted to exercise them since 1947 and has done so since the
Main article: Commander in Chief
King of the Belgians inspecting troops on Belgium's
national day in 2011
France and General Jean-Louis Georgelin,
Chief of the Defence Staff, reviewing troops during the 2008 Bastille
Day military parade on the
Champs-Élysées in Paris
A head of state is often, by virtue of holding the highest executive
powers, explicitly designated as the commander-in-chief of that
nation's armed forces, holding the highest office in all military
chains of command.
In a constitutional monarchy or non-executive presidency, the head of
state may de jure hold ultimate authority over the armed forces but
will only normally, as per either written law or unwritten convention,
exercise their authority on the advice of their responsible ministers:
meaning that the de facto ultimate decision making on military
maneuvers is made elsewhere. The head of state will, regardless of
actual authority, perform ceremonial duties related to the country's
armed forces, and will sometimes appear in military uniform for these
purposes; particularly in monarchies where also the monarch's consort
and other members of a royal family may also appear in military garb.
This is generally the only time a head of state of a stable,
democratic country will appear dressed in such a manner, as statesmen
and public are eager to assert the primacy of (civilian, elected)
politics over the armed forces.
In military dictatorships, or governments which have arisen from coups
d'état, the position of commander-in-chief is obvious, as all
authority in such a government derives from the application of
military force; occasionally a power vacuum created by war is filled
by a head of state stepping beyond his or her normal constitutional
Albert I of Belgium
Albert I of Belgium did during World War I. In these and
in revolutionary regimes, the head of state, and often executive
ministers whose offices are legally civilian, will frequently appear
in military uniform.
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): Article III, Section 15 of the
Constitution Act, 1867, a part of the
Constitution of Canada, states:
The Command-in-Chief of the Land and Naval Militia, and of all Naval
and Military Forces, of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue
to be vested in the Queen.
Example 2 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 25 of the
King is Commander-in-Chief of the land and naval forces of the
Realm. These forces may not be increased or reduced without the
consent of the Storting. They may not be transferred to the service of
foreign powers, nor may the military forces of any foreign power,
except auxiliary forces assisting against hostile attack, be brought
into the Realm without the consent of the Storting.
The territorial army and the other troops which cannot be classed as
troops of the line must never, without the consent of the Storting, be
employed outside the borders of the Realm.
Example 3 (parliamentary republic): Chapter II, Article 87, 4th
section of the
President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, shall
preside over the Supreme Council of Defense established by law, and
shall make declarations of war as have been agreed by Parliament of
Example 4 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Article 15 of the
Constitution of 1958 states:
President of the
Republic shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces. He shall preside over the higher national defence councils and
Example 5 (semi-presidential republic): According to Chapter 4,
Article 87, Section 1 of the
Constitution of Russia:
President of the Russian Federation shall be the Supreme
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Example 6 (presidential republic): Article II, Section 2 of the United
President shall be
Commander in Chief
Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the
United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called
into the actual Service of the United States.
Example 7 (executive monarchy): Article 65 of the
Qatar provides that:
Emir is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He shall
supervise the same with the assistance of Defence Council under his
direct authority. The said Council shall be constituted by an Emiri
Resolution, which will also determine the functions thereof.
Some countries with a parliamentary system designate officials other
than the head of state with command-in-chief powers.
In Germany, the Basic Law of the Federal
Republic vests this authority
in the Minister of Defence in normal peace-time (article 65a), and
that command authority is transferred to the Federal
Chancellor when a
State of Defence is invoked (article 115b): something which has never
happened so far.
In Israel, the applicable basic law states that the ultimate authority
Israel Defense Forces rests with the Government of
a collective body. The authority of the Government is exercised by the
Minister of Defense on behalf of the Government, and subordinate to
the Minister is the Chief of General Staff who holds the highest level
of command within the military.
It is usual that the head of state, particularly in parliamentary
systems as part of the symbolic role, is the one who opens the annual
sessions of the legislature, e.g. the annual State Opening of
Parliament with the
Speech from the Throne
Speech from the Throne in Britain. Even in
presidential systems the head of state often formally reports to the
legislature on the present national status, e.g. the State of the
Union address in the
United States of America.
Most countries require that all bills passed by the house or houses of
the legislature be signed into law by the head of state. In some
states, such as the United Kingdom,
Belgium and Ireland, the head of
state is, in fact, formally considered a tier of the legislature.
However, in most parliamentary systems, the head of state cannot
refuse to sign a bill, and, in granting a bill their assent, indicate
that it was passed in accordance with the correct procedures. The
signing of a bill into law is formally known as promulgation. Some
monarchical states call this procedure royal assent.
Example 1 (non-executive parliamentary monarchy): Chapter 1, Article 4
of the Swedish
Riksdag Act provides that:
The formal opening of a
Riksdag session takes place at a special
meeting of the Chamber held no later than the third day of the
session. At this meeting, the Head of State declares the session open
at the invitation of the Speaker. If the Head of State is unable to
attend, the Speaker declares the session open.
Example 2 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 9 of the
the Principality of
Liechtenstein provides that:
Every law shall require the sanction of the Reigning
Prince to attain
Example 3 (parliamentary republic): Section 11.a.1. of the Basic Laws
President of the State shall sign every Law, other than a Law
relating to its powers.
Example 4 (semi-presidential republic): According to Chapter 4,
Article 84 of the
Constitution of the Russian Federation:
President of the Russian Federation:
a) shall announce elections to the
State Duma in accordance with the
Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal law;
c) shall announce referendums in accordance with the procedure
established by federal constitutional law;
d) shall submit draft laws to the State Duma;
e) shall sign and promulgate federal laws;
f) shall address the Federal Assembly with annual messages on the
situation in the country and on the basic objectives of the internal
and foreign policy of the State.
Example 5 (presidential republic): Article 1, Section 7 of the United
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and
the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the
President of the United States; If he approves he shall sign it, but
if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which
it shall have originated... 
Example 6 (presidential republic): Article 84 of the Brazilian
Constitution provides that:
President of the
Republic shall have the exclusive power to:
III – start the legislative procedure, in the manner and in the
cases set forth in this Constitution;
IV - sanction, promulgate and order the publication of laws, as well
as to issue decrees and regulations for the true enforcement thereof;
V - veto bills, wholly or in part;
XI - upon the opening of the legislative session, send a government
message and plan to the National Congress, describing the state of the
nation and requesting the actions he deems necessary;
XXIII - submit to the National Congress the pluriannual plan, the bill
of budgetary directives and the budget proposals set forth in this
XXIV - render, each year, accounts to the National Congress concerning
the previous fiscal year, within sixty days of the opening of the
Example 7 (ruling monarchy): Article 106 of the
Constitution of Qatar
1. Any draft law passed by the Council shall be referred to the Emir
2. If the Emir, declines to approve the draft law, he shall return it
a long with the reasons for such declination to the Council within a
period of three months from the date of referral.
3. In the event that a draft law is returned to the Council within the
period specified in the preceding paragraph and the Council passes the
same once more with a two-thirds majority of all its Members, the Emir
shall ratify and promulgate it. The
Emir may in compelling
circumstances order the suspension of this law for the period that he
deems necessary to serve the higher interests of the country. If,
however, the draft law is not passed by a two-thirds majority, it
shall not be reconsidered within the same term of session.
In some parliamentary systems, the head of state retains certain
powers in relation to bills to be exercised at his or her discretion.
They may have authority to veto a bill until the houses of the
legislature have reconsidered it, and approved it a second time;
reserve a bill to be signed later, or suspend it indefinitely
(generally in states with royal prerogative; this power is rarely
used); refer a bill to the courts to test its constitutionality; refer
a bill to the people in a referendum.
If he or she is also chief executive, he or she can thus politically
control the necessary executive measures without which a proclaimed
law can remain dead letter, sometimes for years or even forever.
Summoning and dissolving the legislature
A head of state is often empowered to summon and dissolve the
country's legislature. In most parliamentary systems, this is often
done on the advice of the head of government. In some parliamentary
systems, and in some presidential systems, however, the head of state
may do so on their own initiative. Some states have fixed term
legislatures, with no option of bringing forward elections (e.g.,
Article II, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution). In other systems
there are usually fixed terms, but the head of state retains authority
to dissolve the legislature in certain circumstances. Where a head of
government has lost support in the legislature, some heads of state
may refuse a dissolution, where one is requested, thereby forcing the
head of government's resignation.
Example 1 (parliamentary non-executive republic): Article 13.2.2. of
Constitution of Ireland states:
President may in absolute discretion refuse to dissolve Dáil
Éireann on the advice of a
Taoiseach who has ceased to retain the
support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.
Example 2 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Article 12, first
sentence of the French
Constitution of 1958 states:
President of the
Republic may, after consulting the Prime Minister
and the Presidents of the Houses of Parliament, declare the National
Example 3 (semi-presidential republic): Chapter 4, article 84 of the
Constitution of the Russian Federation provides:
President of the Russian Federation:
b) shall dissolve the
State Duma in the cases and in accordance with
the procedure provided for by the
Constitution of the Russian
Granting nobility, knighthood and various titles and other
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 113 of the
King may confer titles of nobility, without ever having the power
to attach privileges to them.
Example 2 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 23 of the
King may bestow orders upon whomever he pleases as a reward for
distinguished services, and such orders must be publicly announced,
but no rank or title other than that attached to any office. The order
exempts no one from the common duties and burdens of citizens, nor
does it carry with it any preferential admission to senior official
posts in the State. Senior officials honorably discharged from office
retain the title and rank of their office. This does not apply,
however, to Members of the Council of State or the State Secretaries.
No personal, or mixed, hereditary privileges may henceforth be granted
Example 3 (parliamentary republic): Title II, Article 87, 8th section
President shall confer the honorary distinctions of the
Sovereign immunity and Immunity from prosecution
Example 1 (parliamentary non-executive monarchy): Chapter 5, Article 8
of the Swedish Instrument of Government of
King or Queen who is Head of State cannot be prosecuted for his or
her actions. Nor can a
Regent be prosecuted for his or her actions as
Head of State.
Example 2 (parliamentary monarchy): Article 5 of the
The King's person is sacred; he cannot be censured or accused. The
responsibility rests with his Council.
Example 3 (parliamentary republic): Chapter 3, Article 65 of the
Constitution of the Czech
President of the
Republic may not be detained, subjected to
criminal prosecution or prosecuted for offense or other administrative
President of the
Republic may be prosecuted for high treason at
the Constitutional Court based on the Senate's suit. The punishment
may be the loss of his presidential office and of his eligibility to
(3) Criminal prosecution for criminal offenses committed by the
President of the
Republic while executing his office shall be ruled
Example 4 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Chapter I, Article
130 of the
Constitution of Portugal states:
President of the
Republic answers before the Supreme Court of
Justice for crimes committed in the exercise of his functions.
2. Proceedings may only be initiated by the Assembly of the Republic,
upon a motion subscribed by one fifth and a decision passed by a
two-thirds majority of all the Members of the Assembly of the Republic
in full exercise of their office.
3. Conviction implies removal from office and disqualification from
4. For crimes that are not committed in the exercise of his functions,
President of the
Republic answers before the common courts, once
his term of office has ended.
Example 5 (executive monarchy): Article 64 of the
Emir is the head of State. His person shall be inviolable and he
must be respected by all.
See also: reserve power
Example 1 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Article 16 of the
Constitution of 1958 states:
Where the institutions of the Republic, the independence of the
Nation, the integrity of its territory or the fulfilment of its
international commitments are under serious and immediate threat, and
where the proper functioning of the constitutional public authorities
is interrupted, the
President of the
Republic shall take measures
required by these circumstances, after formally consulting the Prime
Minister, the Presidents of the Houses of Parliament and the
He shall address the Nation and inform it of such measures.
The measures shall be designed to provide the constitutional public
authorities as swiftly as possible, with the means to carry out their
duties. The Constitutional Council shall be consulted with regard to
Parliament shall sit as of right.
The National Assembly shall not be dissolved during the exercise of
such emergency powers.
After thirty days of the exercise of such emergency powers, the matter
may be referred to the Constitutional Council by the
President of the
National Assembly, the
President of the Senate, sixty Members of the
National Assembly or sixty Senators, so as to decide if the conditions
laid down in paragraph one still apply. The Council shall make its
decision publicly as soon as possible. It shall, as of right, carry
out such an examination and shall make its decision in the same manner
after sixty days of the exercise of emergency powers or at any moment
Example 2 (executive monarchy): Articles 69 & 70 of the
Constitution of Qatar:
Emir may, be a decree, declare Martial Laws in the country in the
event of exceptional cases specified by the law; and in such cases, he
may take all urgent necessary measures to counter any threat that
undermine the safety of the State, the integrity of its territories or
the security of its people and interests or obstruct the organs of the
State from performing their duties. However, the decree must specify
the nature of such exceptional cases for which the martial laws have
been declared and clarify the measures taken to address this
situation. Al-Shoura Council shall be notified of this decree within
the fifteen days following its issue; and in the event that the
Council is not in session for any reason whatsoever, the Council shall
be notified of the decree at its first convening. Martial laws shall
be declared for a limited period and the same shall not be extended
unless approved by Al-Shoura Council.
Emir may, in the event of exceptional cases that require measures
of utmost urgency which necessitate the issue of special laws and in
case that Al-Shoura Council is not in session, issue pertinent decrees
that have the power of law. Such decree-laws shall be submitted to
Al-Shoura Council at its first meeting; and the Council may within a
maximum period of forty days from the date of submission and with a
two-thirds majority of its Members reject any of these decree-laws or
request amendment thereof to be effected within a specified period of
time; such decree-laws shall cease to have the power of law from the
date of their rejection by the Council or where the period for
effecting the amendments have expired.
Right of pardon
See also: Pardon
Example 1 (parliamentary monarchy): Section 24 of the
King can grant pardons and amnesties. He may only pardon Ministers
convicted by the Court of
Impeachment with the consent of
Example 2 (parliamentary republic): According to Chapter V, Article
60(2) of the Basic Law of the Federal
Republic of Germany:
He [The President] shall exercise the power to pardon individual
offenders on behalf of the Federation.
Example 3 (semi-presidential republic): Title II, Article 17 of the
Constitution of 1958 states:
President of the
Republic is vested with the power to grant
Example 4 (presidential republic): Article II, Section 2 of the
Constitution of the
United States provides that:
...and he [The President] shall have Power to grant Reprieves and
Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of
Example 5 (presidential parliamentary republic): Part XI, Article 80
Constitution of Nauru:
(a) grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions, to a
person convicted of an offence;
(b) grant to a person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified
period, of the execution of a punishment imposed on that person for an
(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment
imposed on a person for an offence; or
(d) remit the whole or a part of a punishment imposed on a person for
an offence or of a penalty or forfeiture on account of an offence.
Governors-general (Commonwealth realms)
Main article: Governor-General § Modern Commonwealth
The Lord Tweedsmuir (left) was Governor General of
Canada from 1935 to
Paulias Matane (right) was Governor-General of Papua New Guinea
from 2004 to 2010
In the Commonwealth realms, other than the United Kingdom, a
governor-general (governor general in Canada) is appointed by the
sovereign, on the advice of the relevant prime minister, as a
representative and to exercise almost all the Royal Prerogative
according to established constitutional authority. In
present Queen is generally assumed to be head of state, since the
governor-general and the state governors are defined as her
"representatives". However, since the governor-general performs
almost all national regal functions, the governor-general has
occasionally been referred to as head of state in political and media
discussion. To a lesser extent, uncertainty has been expressed in
Canada as to which officeholder—the monarch, the governor general,
or both—can be considered the head of state. New Zealand, Papua
New Guinea, and Tuvalu explicitly name the monarch as their
head of state (though Tuvalu's constitution states that "references in
any law to the Head of State shall be read as including a reference to
the Governor-General"). Governors-general are frequently treated
as heads of state on state and official visits; at the United Nations,
they are accorded the status of head of state in addition to the
An example of a governor-general departing from constitutional
convention by acting unilaterally (that is, without direction from
ministers, parliament, or the monarch) occurred in 1926, when Canada's
governor general refused the head of government's formal advice
requesting a dissolution of parliament and a general election. In a
letter informing the monarch after the event, the Governor General
said: "I have to await the verdict of history to prove my having
adopted a wrong course, and this I do with an easy conscience that,
right or wrong, I have acted in the interests of
Canada and implicated
no one else in my decision."
Another example occurred when, in the 1975 Australian constitutional
crisis, the Governor-General unexpectedly dismissed the Prime Minister
in order to break a stalemate between the House of Representatives and
Senate over money bills. The Governor-General issued a public
statement saying he felt it was the only solution consistent with the
constitution, his oath of office, and his responsibilities, authority,
and duty as governor-general. A letter from the Australian
monarch's Private Secretary at the time, Martin Charteris, confirmed
that the only person competent to commission an Australian prime
minister was the governor-general and it would not be proper for the
monarch to personally intervene in matters that the
so clearly places within the governor-general's jurisdiction.
Commonwealth realms that are now constituted with a
governor-general as the viceregal representative of
Elizabeth II are:
Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, New
Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the
Selection and various types and styles of heads of state
Although many constitutions, particularly from the 19th century and
earlier, make no explicit mention of a head of state in the generic
sense of several present day international treaties, the officeholders
corresponding to this position are recognized as such by other
countries. In a monarchy, the monarch is generally understood
to be the head of state. In a republic, the head of state
nowadays usually bears the title of President, but some have or had
had other titles.
In medieval Europe, it was universally accepted that the
first among all rulers and was followed by the Holy Roman Emperor.
Pope also had the sole right to determine the precedence of all
others. This principle was first challenged by a Protestant
ruler, Gustavus Adolphus of
Sweden and was later maintained by his
country at the Congress of Westphalia. Great Britain would later
claim a break of the old principle for the Quadruple Alliance in
1718.[note 1] However, it was not until the 1815 Congress of
Vienna, when it was decided (due to the abolition of the Holy Roman
Empire in 1806 and the weak position of
France and other catholic
states to assert themselves) and remains so to this day, that all
sovereign states are treated as equals, whether monarchies or
republics. On occasions when multiple heads of state or their
representatives meet, precedence is by the host usually determined in
alphabetical order (in whatever language the host determines, although
French has for much of the 19th and 20th centuries been the lingua
franca of diplomacy) or by date of accession. Contemporary
international law on precedence, built upon the universally admitted
principles since 1815, derives from the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations (in particular, articles 13, 16.1 and Appendix
There are also several methods of head of state succession in the
event of the removal, disability or death of an incumbent head of
European writers and revolutions, 16th–20th centuries
Niccolò Machiavelli used
Prince (Italian: Principe) as a generic term
for the ruler, similar to contemporary usage of head of state, in his
classical treatise The Prince, originally published in 1532: in fact
that particular literary genre it belongs to is known as Mirrors for
Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan (1651) used the term
Europe the role of a monarchs has gradually transitioned
from that of a sovereign ruler—in the sense of Divine Right of Kings
as articulated by Jean Bodin, Absolutism and the "L'etat c'est
moi"—to that of a constitutional monarch; parallel with the
conceptual evolution of sovereignty from merely the personal rule of a
single person, to
Westphalian sovereignty (
Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia ending
Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War & Eighty Years' War) and popular
sovereignty as in consent of the governed; as shown in the Glorious
Revolution of 1688 in
England & Scotland, the
French Revolution in
1789, and the German
Revolution of 1918–1919. The monarchies who
survived through this era were the ones who were willing to subject
themselves to constitutional limitations. Titles commonly used by
monarchs are King/Queen or Emperor/Empress, but also many other; e.g.,
Grand Duke, Prince,
Emir and Sultan.
European writers of 16th and 17th centuries
Title page of 1550 Italian edition of Machiavelli's The Prince
Bodin named on title page of Discorsi politici (1602) by Fabio
Albergati who compared Bodin's political theories unfavourably with
those of Aristotle
Frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan (1651)
Shared and substitute heads of state
Whenever a head of state is not available for any reason,
constitutional provisions may allow the role to fall temporarily to an
assigned person or collective body. In a republic, this is - depending
on provisions outlined by the constitution or improvised - a
vice-president, the chief of government, the legislature or its
presiding officer. In a monarchy, this is usually a regent or
collegial regency (council). For example, in the
United States the
President acts when the
President is incapacitated, and in the
United Kingdom the Queen's powers may be delegated to Counselors of
State when she is abroad or unavailable.
In some countries where there is no resident head of state, such as
Andorra, a local representative is appointed. In the case of Andorra,
two co-princes act as the principality's heads of state; one is also
President of France, residing in France, and the
other is the Bishop of Urgell, residing in Spain. Each co-prince is
Andorra by a delegate, though these persons hold no
In exceptional situations, such as war, occupation, revolution or a
coup d'état, constitutional institutions, including the symbolically
crucial head of state, may be reduced to a figurehead or be suspended
in favor of an emergency office (such as the original Roman Dictator)
or eliminated by a new "provisionary" regime, such as a collective of
the junta type, or removed by an occupying force, such as a military
governor (an early example being the Spartan Harmost).[citation
Religious heads of state
Francis, from March 2013 the sovereign head of
Vatican City State, an
ex officio role of the Pope
Since antiquity, various dynasties or individual rulers have claimed
the right to rule by divine authority, such as the Mandate of Heaven
and the divine right of kings. Some monarchs even claimed divine
ancestry, such as Egyptian pharaohs and Sapa Incas, who claimed
descent from their respective sun gods and often sought to maintain
this bloodline by practicing incestuous marriage. In Ancient Rome,
during the Principate, the title divus ('divine') was conferred
(notably posthumously) on the emperor, a symbolic, legitimating
element in establishing a de facto dynasty.
In Roman Catholicism, the pope was once sovereign pontiff and head of
state, first, of the politically important Papal States. After Italian
unification, the pope remains head of state of Vatican City.
Furthermore, the Bishop of
Urgell is ex officio one of the two
Co-Princes of Andorra. In the Church of England, the reigning monarch
holds the title Defender of the Faith and acts as Supreme Governor of
the Church of England, although this is purely a symbolic role.
Abdulmecid II is the 150th and last
Caliph of Islam
Caliph of Islam from Ottoman
During the early period of Islam, caliphs were spiritual and temporal
absolute successors of the Prophet Mohammed. Various political Muslim
leaders since have styled themselves
Caliph and served as dynastic
heads of state, sometimes in addition to another title, such as the
Ottoman Sultan. Historically, some theocratic Islamic states known as
imamates have been led by imams as head of state, such as in what is
now Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.
In the modern Islamic
Republic of Iran, the Supreme Leader, at present
Ali Khamenei serves as head of state. The Aga Khans, a unique dynasty
of temporal/religious leadership, leading an offshoot of
Shia Islam in
Central and South Asia, once ranking among British India's princely
states, continue to the present day.
In Hinduism, certain dynasties adopted a title expressing their
positions as "servant" of a patron deity of the state, but in the
sense of a viceroy under an absentee god-king, ruling "in the name of"
the patron god(ess), such as
Patmanabha Dasa (servant of Vishnu) in
the case of the
Maharaja of Travancore.
From the time of the
5th Dalai Lama
5th Dalai Lama until the political retirement of
14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama in 2011, Dalai Lamas were both political and
spiritual leaders ("god-king") of Tibet.
Outer Mongolia, the former homeland of the imperial dynasty of Genghis
Khan, was another lamaist theocracy from 1585, using various styles,
such as tulku. The establishment of the Communist Mongolian People's
Republic replaced this regime in 1924.
City states and crowned republics
The polis in Greek Antiquity and the equivalent city states in the
feudal era and later, (many in Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, the
Moorish taifa in Iberia, essentially tribal-type but urbanized regions
throughout the world in the Maya civilization, etc.) offer a wide
spectrum of styles, either monarchic (mostly identical to homonyms in
larger states) or republican, see Chief magistrate.
Doges were elected by their Italian aristocratic republics from a
patrician nobility, but "reigned" as sovereign dukes.
The paradoxical term crowned republic refers to various state
arrangements that combine "republican" and "monarchic"
Netherlands historically had officials called stadholders and
stadholders-general, titles meaning "lieutenant" or "governor",
originally for the
Multiple or collective heads of state
A collective head of state can exist in republics (internal
complexity), e.g., nominal triumvirates, the Directoire, the
Swiss Federal Council
Swiss Federal Council (where each member acts in turn as
president for one year),
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina with a three-member
presidium from three different nations,
San Marino with two
"Captains-regent" which maintains the tradition of Italian medieval
republics that had always had an even number of consuls.
In condominiums, sovereignty is shared between two external powers,
Andorra (president of
France and bishop of Urgell, Spain,
co-princes), and the former Anglo-French
New Hebrides (each nation's
head of state was represented by a high commissioner).
In the Roman
Republic there were two heads of state, styled Consul,
both of whom alternated months of authority during their year in
office, similarly there was an even number of supreme magistrates in
the Italic republics of Ancient Age. In the Athenian
were nine supreme magistrates, styled archons. In
Carthage there were
two supreme magistrates, styled kings or suffetes (judges). In ancient
Sparta there were two hereditary kings, belonging to two different
dynasties. In the
Soviet Union the Central Executive Committee of the
Congress of Soviets (between 1922-1938) and later the Presidium of the
Supreme Soviet (between 1938-1989) served as the collective head of
World War II
World War II the Soviet model was subsequently
adopted by almost all countries belonged to its sphere of influence.
Czechoslovakia remained the only country among them that retained an
office of president as a form of a single head of state throughout
this period, followed by
Romania in 1974.
Such arrangements are not to be confused with supranational entities
which are not states and are not defined by a common monarchy but may
(or not) have a symbolic, essentially protocollary, titled highest
Head of the Commonwealth
Head of the Commonwealth (held by the British crown, but
not legally reserved for it) or 'Head of the Arab Union' (14 February
- 14 July 1958, held by the Hashemite
King of Iraq, during its
short-lived Federation with Jordan, its Hashemite sister-realm).
The National Government of the
Republic of China, established in 1928,
had a panel of about 40 people as collective head of state. Though
beginning that year, a provisional constitution made the Kuomintang
the sole government party and the National Government bound to the
instructions of the Central Executive Committee of that party.
Unique cases and titles
Though president and various monarchichal titles are most commonly
used for heads of state, in some nationalistic regimes, the leader
adopts, formally or de facto, a unique style simply meaning "leader"
in the national language, e.g., Germany's single national socialist
party chief and combined head of state and government, Adolf Hitler,
Führer between 1934 and 1945.
In 1959, when former British crown colony
self-government, it adopted the Malay style Yang di-Pertuan Negara
(literally means "head of state" in Malay) for its governor (the
actual head of state remained the British monarch). The second and
last incumbent of the office, Yusof bin Ishak, kept the style at the
31 August 1963 unilateral declaration of independence and after the 16
September 1963 accession to
Malaysia as a state (so now as a
constituent part of the federation, a non-sovereign level). After its
Malaysia on 9 August 1965,
Singapore became a sovereign
Commonwealth republic and installed
Yusof bin Ishak
Yusof bin Ishak as its first
In 1959 after the resignation of Vice
Sukarno abolished the position and title of
vice-president, assuming the positions of Prime Minister and Head of
Cabinet. He also proclaimed himself president for life (Indonesian:
Presiden Seumur Hidup Panglima Tertinggi; "panglima" meaning
"commander or martial figurehead", "tertinggi" meaning "highest";
roughly translated to English as "Supreme Commander of the
Revolution"). He was praised as "Paduka Yang Mulia", a Malay honorific
originally given to kings;
Sukarno awarded himself titles in that
fashion due to his noble ancestry.
There are also a few nations in which the exact title and definition
of the office of head of state have been vague. During the Chinese
Cultural Revolution, following the downfall of Liu Shaoqi, who was
Chairman of the People's
Republic of China, no successor was named, so
the duties of the head of state were transferred collectively to the
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. This situation
was later changed: the Head of State of the PRC is now the President
of the People's
Republic of China.
In North Korea, the late
Kim Il-sung was named "Eternal President" 4
years after his death and the presidency was abolished. As a result,
some of the duties previously held by the
constitutionally delegated to the Chairman of the Presidium of the
Supreme People's Assembly, who performs some of the roles of a Head of
State, such as accrediting foreign ambassadors and undertaking
overseas visits. However, the symbolic role of a Head of State is
generally performed by Kim Jong-un, who as the leader of the party and
military, is the most powerful person in North Korea.
There is debate as to whether
Samoa is/was an elective monarchy or an
aristocratic republic, given the comparative ambiguity of the title O
le Ao o le Malo and the nature of the head of state's office.
In some states the office of head of state is not expressed in a
specific title reflecting that role, but constitutionally awarded to a
post of another formal nature. Thus in March 1979 Colonel Muammar
Gaddafi, who kept absolute power (until his overthrow in 2011 referred
to as "Guide of the Revolution"), after ten years as combined Head of
Head of government
Head of government of the Libyan Jamahiriya ("state of the
masses"), styled Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council,
formally transferred both qualities to the General secretaries of the
General People's Congress (comparable to a Speaker) respectively to a
Prime Minister, in political reality both were his creatures.
Sometimes a head of state assumes office as a state becomes legal and
political reality, before a formal title for the highest office is
determined; thus in the since 1 January 1960 independent republic
Cameroon (Cameroun, a former French colony), the first President,
Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo, was at first not styled président but
'merely' known as chef d'état - (French 'head of state') until 5 May
1960. In Uganda,
Idi Amin the military leader after the coup of 25
January 1971 was formally styled military head of state till 21
February 1971, only from then on regular (but unconstitutional, not
In certain cases a special style is needed to accommodate imperfect
statehood, e.g., the title
Sardar-i-Riyasat was used in Kashmir after
its accession to India, and the Palestine Liberation Organization
leader, Yasser Arafat, was styled the first "
President of the
Palestinian National Authority" in 1994. In 2008, the same office was
restyled as "
President of the State of Palestine".
The position of head of state can be established in different ways,
and with different sources of legitimacy.
By fiction or fiat
Power can come from force, but formal legitimacy is often established,
even if only by fictitious claims of continuity (e.g., a forged claim
of descent from a previous dynasty). There have been cases of
sovereignty granted by deliberate act, even when accompanied by orders
of succession (as may be the case in a dynastic split). Such grants of
sovereignty are usually forced, as is common with self-determination
granted after nationalist revolts. This occurred with the last Attalid
king of Hellenistic Pergamon, who by testament left his realm to Rome
to avoid a disastrous conquest.
By divine appointment
Under a theocracy, perceived divine status translated into earthly
authority under divine law. This can take the form of supreme divine
authority above the state's, granting a tool for political influence
to a priesthood. In this way, the
Amun priesthood reversed the reforms
Akhenaten after his death. The division of theocratic power
can be disputed, as happened between the
Pope and Holy Roman Emperor
in the investiture conflict when the temporal power sought to control
key clergy nominations in order to guarantee popular support, and
thereby his own legitimacy, by incorporating the formal ceremony of
unction during coronation.
By social contract
The notion of a social contract holds that the nation—either the
whole people or the electorate—gives a mandate, through acclamation
Individual heads of state may acquire their position by virtue of a
constitution. An example includes SFR
Yugoslavia whose Constitution
from 1974, article 333, stated that Federal Assembly can appoint
Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito as the
Republic without time
By hereditary succession
Four generations of Danish kings in 1903:
King Christian IX (left),
Christian (X) (back), Frederick (VIII) (right), and Frederick (IX)
The position of a monarch is usually hereditary, but in constitutional
monarchies, there are usually restrictions on the incumbent's exercise
of powers and prohibitions on the possibility of choosing a successor
by other means than by birth. In a hereditary monarchy, the position
of monarch is inherited according to a statutory or customary order of
succession, usually within one royal family tracing its origin through
a historical dynasty or bloodline. This usually means that the heir to
the throne is known well in advance of becoming monarch to ensure a
smooth succession. However, many cases of uncertain succession in
European history have often led to wars of succession.
Primogeniture, in which the eldest child of the monarch is first in
line to become monarch, is the most common system in hereditary
monarchy. The order of succession is usually affected by rules on
gender. Historically "agnatic primogeniture" or "patrilineal
primogeniture" was favoured, that is inheritance according to
seniority of birth among the sons of a monarch or head of family, with
sons and their male issue inheriting before brothers and their issue,
and male-line males inheriting before females of the male line.
This is the same as semi-Salic primogeniture. Complete exclusion of
females from dynastic succession is commonly referred to as
application of the
Salic law (see Terra salica).
Before primogeniture was enshrined in European law and tradition,
kings would often secure the succession by having their successor
(usually their eldest son) crowned during their own lifetime, so for a
time there would be two kings in coregency – a senior king and a
junior king. Examples include Henry the Young
England and the
early Direct Capetians in France.
Sometimes, however, primogeniture can operate through the female line.
In some systems a female may rule as monarch only when the male line
dating back to a common ancestor is exhausted. In 1980, Sweden, by
rewriting its 1810 Act of Succession, became the first European
monarchy to declare equal (full cognatic) primogeniture, meaning that
the eldest child of the monarch, whether female or male, ascends to
the throne. Other European monarchies (such as the
Norway in 1990 and
Belgium in 1991) have since followed suit.
Similar reforms were proposed in 2011 for the
United Kingdom and the
other Commonwealth realms, which came into effect in 2015 after having
been approved by all of the affected nations. Sometimes religion is
affected; under the
Act of Settlement 1701 all Roman Catholics and all
persons who have married Roman Catholics are ineligible to be the
British monarch and are skipped in the order of succession.
In some monarchies there may be liberty for the incumbent, or some
body convening after his or her demise, to choose from eligible
members of the ruling house, often limited to legitimate descendants
of the dynasty's founder. Rules of succession may be further limited
by state religion, residency, equal marriage or even permission from
Other hereditary systems of succession included tanistry, which is
semi-elective and gives weight to merit and Agnatic seniority. In some
monarchies, such as Saudi Arabia, succession to the throne usually
first passes to the monarch's next eldest brother, and only after that
to the monarch's children (agnatic seniority).
Election usually is the constitutional way to choose the head of state
of a republic, and some monarchies, either directly through popular
election, indirectly by members of the legislature or of a special
college of electors (such as the Electoral College in the United
States), or as an exclusive prerogative. Exclusive prerogative allows
the heads of states of constituent monarchies of a federation to
choose the head of state for the federation among themselves, as in
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. The Pope, head of state of
Vatican City, is chosen by previously appointed cardinals under 80
years of age from among themselves in a papal conclave.
A head of state can be empowered to designate his successor, such as
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth Oliver Cromwell, who was succeeded
by his son Richard.
By force or revolution
A head of state may seize power by force or revolution. This is not
the same as the use of force to maintain power, as is practiced by
authoritarian or totalitarian rulers. Dictators often use democratic
titles, though some proclaim themselves monarchs. Examples of the
Emperor Napoleon III of
King Zog of Albania.
In Spain, general
Francisco Franco adopted the formal title Jefe del
Estado, or Chief of State, and established himself as regent for a
vacant monarchy. Uganda's
Idi Amin was one of several who named
President for Life.
By foreign imposition
A foreign power can establishing a branch of their own dynasty, or one
friendly to their interests. This was the outcome of the Russo-Swedish
War from 1741 to 1743 where the Russian
Empress made the imposition of
her relative Adolf Frederick as the heir to the Swedish Throne, to
succeed Frederick I who lacked legitimate issue, as a peace condition.
Apart from violent overthrow, a head of state's position can be lost
in several ways, including death, another by expiration of the
constitutional term of office, abdication, or resignation. In some
cases, an abdication cannot occur unilaterally, but comes into effect
only when approved by an act of parliament, as in the case of British
King Edward VIII. The post can also be abolished by constitutional
change; in such cases, an incumbent may be allowed to finish his or
her term. Of course, a head of state position will cease to exist if
the state itself does.
Heads of state generally enjoy widest inviolability, although some
states allow impeachment, or a similar constitutional procedure by
which the highest legislative or judicial authorities are empowered to
revoke the head of state's mandate on exceptional grounds. This may be
a common crime, a political sin, or an act by which he or she violates
such provisions as an established religion mandatory for the monarch.
By similar procedure, an original mandate may be declared invalid.
Serious violations of certain fundamental treaty obligations is
sometimes considered a valid reason for the relevant international
community to depose a head of state, as the
United Nations Security
Council or certain alliances may do.
Former heads of state
Kaiser Wilhelm I
Kaiser Wilhelm I in Berlin, Germany,
Effigies, memorials and monuments of former heads of state can be
designed to represent the history or aspirations of a state or its
people, such as the equestrian bronze sculpture of Kaiser Wilhelm I,
Emperor of a unified Germany erected in Berlin at the end of
the nineteenth century (monument demolished 1950); or the Victoria
Memorial erected in front of
Buckingham Palace London, commemorating
Queen Victoria and her reign (1837–1901), and unveiled in 1911 by
King George V; or the monument, placed in front of the
Memorial Hall, Kolkata (Calcutta) (1921), commemorating Queen
Victoria's reign as
India from 1876. Another, twentieth
century, example is the
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a group
sculpture constructed (1927–1941) on a conspicuous skyline in the
Black Hills of
South Dakota (40th state of the Union, 1889), in the
midwestern United States, representing the territorial expansion of
United States in the first 130 years from its founding, which is
promoted as the "Shrine of Democracy".
Personal influence or privileges
Former Presidents of the United States, while holding no political
powers per se, sometimes continue to exert influence in national and
A monarch may retain his style and certain prerogatives after
abdication, as did
King Leopold III of Belgium, who left the throne to
his son after winning a referendum which allowed him to retain a full
royal household deprived him of a constitutional or representative
role. Napoleon transformed the Italian principality of Elba, where he
was imprisoned, into a miniature version of his First Empire, with
most trappings of a sovereign monarchy, until his Cent Jours escape
and reseizure of power in
France convinced his opponents, reconvening
the Vienna Congress in 1815, to revoke his gratuitous privileges and
send him to die in exile on barren Saint Helena.
By tradition, deposed monarchs who have not freely abdicated continue
to use their monarchical titles as a courtesy for the rest of their
lives. Hence, even after Constantine II ceased to be
King of the
Hellenes, it is still common to refer to the deposed king and his
family as if they were still on the throne, as many European royal
courts and households do in guest lists at royal weddings, as in
Sweden in 2010, Britain in 2011 and Luxembourg in 2012.
Greece oppose the right of their deposed monarch and
former royal family members to be referred to by their former titles
or bearing a surname indicating royal status, and has enacted
legislation which hinder acquisition of
Greek citizenship unless those
terms are met. The former king brought this issue, along with property
ownership issues, before the
European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights for
alleged violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, but
lost with respect to the name issue.
However, some other states have no problem with deposed monarchs being
referred to by their former title, and even allow them to travel
internationally on the state's diplomatic passport.
In the Italian constitution provides that after the period sent the
President of the
Republic takes the title
President Emeritus of the
Republic is also a senator for life, and enjoys immunity,
flight status and official residences certain privileges.
Air transports of heads of state and government
Cult of personality
Head of government
Mirrors for princes
National day of mourning
Oath of allegiance
Oath of office
Official state car
Power behind the throne
List of current heads of state and government
List of heads of state by diplomatic precedence
List of longest reigning current monarchs
List of state leaders by year
Records of heads of state
^ On the occasion of a royal marriage in 1760, the premier of
Portugal, the Marquis of Pombal, tried to maintain that the host, the
King of Portugal, should as a crowned head have the sovereign right to
determine the precedence of how ambassadors (apart from the papal
nuncio and the imperial ambassador) would rank, based on the date of
their credentials. The pragmatic suggestions of Pombal was not
successful, and as the pretensions among the great powers were so
deep-rooted, it would take the
Napoleonic Wars for the great powers to
have a fresh look at the issue.
^ a b Foakes, Joanne (2014). The Position of Heads of State and Senior
Officials in International Law. Oxford International Law Library.
Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 110–11.
^ Schmidt, Steffen; Shelley, Mack; Bardes, Barbara (2008). "Beyond Our
Borders: Do We Need a
President and a King?". American Government and
Politics Today, 2009–2010 Edition (14th ed.). Cengage Learning.
p. 470. ISBN 0-495-50228-6.
^ Kubicek, Paul (2015). European Politics. Routledge.
pp. 154–56, 163. ISBN 978-1-317-34853-5.
^ Nicolaidis and Weatherill (ed.) (2003). "Whose Europe? National
Models and the
Constitution of the European Union" (PDF). CS1
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^ Gouvea, C. P. (2013). "The Managerial Constitution: The Convergence
of Constitutional and Corporate Governance Models".
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^ Belavusau, U. (2013). Freedom of speech: importing European and US
constitutional models in transitional democracies. Routledge.
^ Klug, Heinz. "Postcolonial Collages: Distributions of Power and
Constitutional Models, With
Special Reference to South Africa".
^ "Belgian King, Unable to Sign Abortion Law, Takes Day Off". The New
York Times. 5 April 1990.
^ Art. 93. "Should the
King find himself unable to reign, the
ministers, having observed this inability, immediately summon the
Chambers. Regency and guardianship are to be provided by the united
Constitution of Belgium, Coordinated text of 14
February 1994 (last updated 8 May 2007)"Archived copy". Archived from
the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
^ a b c d e f HEADS OF STATE, HEADS OF GOVERNMENT, MINISTERS FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Protocol and Liaison Service, United Nations
(2016-04-08). Retrieved on 2016-04-15.
^ a b c The
Constitution of Japan, Office of the Prime Minister.
Retrieved on 2012-11-02.
Japan Archived 2012-10-22 at the Wayback Machine. in The World
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^ a b c d The Instrument of Government,
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^ Duties of the Monarch, Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved on
^ a b c d
Constitution of Ireland, Office of the Attorney General
(December 2013). Retrieved 2014-08-03.
^ Lifetime portrait (1796), known as the "Lansdowne portrait",
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Liechtenstein (LR 101)
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Constitution of the
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Botswana Archived 2013-01-23 at the Wayback
Machine., Embassy of the
Botswana in Washington DC.
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^ a b THE CONSTITUTION OF NAURU, Parliament of Nauru. Retrieved on
^ "The Crown in Canada" (PDF). Department of Canadian Heritage.
Retrieved August 31, 2014.
^ The Queen's role in Canada, Royal Household. Retrieved on
^ Olympic Charter: in force as of 2 August 2016, International Olympic
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^ SPANISH CONSTITUTION, Senate of Spain. Retrieved on 2012-11-02.
^ a b
Constitution Act 1986, New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office.
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^ a b
Constitution of the Italian Republic, Senate of the Republic.
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Constitution of Iraq Archived 2016-11-28 at the Wayback Machine..
^ a b CONSTITUTION OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC: SEVENTH REVISION
(2005), Portuguese Constitutional Court. Retrieved on 2012-11-02.
^ a b THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA Archived 2012-03-10 at
the Wayback Machine., Constitutional Court of Korea. Retrieved on
Constitution of the
Republic of Lithuania, Seimas. Retrieved on
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Constitution of the Russian Federation, Government of
the Russian Federation. Retrieved on 2012-11-02.
^ CONSTITUTION OF THE ARGENTINE NATION Archived 2011-06-04 at the
Wayback Machine., Argentine Senate. Retrieved on 2012-11-16.
^ a b My Constitutional Act with explanations, 9th edition Archived
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^ The Constitution, Publications Department, Hellenic Parliament
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Constitution of India, Part V, Ministry of Law and Justice.
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^ a b c d e f
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^ a b c d e f
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^ a b THE BELGIAN CONSTITUTION, Legal Department, Belgian House of
Representatives (August 2012). Retrieved on 2012-11-11.
^ Roberts: pp. 71-79.
^ a b c d
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^ Roberts: pp. 61-68.
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^ TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION (92/C 191/01) aka Maastricht Treaty,
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^ a b c Basic Law for the Federal
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