12. Lebanese Executive Branch
This chapter provides a detailed account of the functions and roles of the president and prime minister. The Council of Ministers is also examined in terms of its power, process of formation, portfolios, general organization, constitutional terms, contemporary role, political makeup, and types of policy issues under its jurisdictions, required quorums, relations to legislative and judicial branches, and the current political and sectarian makeup of the Council. Local government is also discussed, particularly its role at the municipal level, powers, and its various administrative formations.
Presidential versus Parliamentary Systems
Democracies are generally divided into presidential and parliamentary systems. In a presidential system, the head of state is the president, who is directly elected by the entire population of the country. It is typically the case that significant power is vested in the office of the president, who can claim direct and sole national allegiance as reflected in the ballot box. Members of Parliament, on the other hand, are elected by geographically limited constituencies. In Egypt, for example, the president is the only public servant elected by the entire population. As ←199 | 200→a representative of the entire national will, he summons in his office very significant powers that often overwhelm other branches of government. In the United States, the president heads the cabinet and appoints all its members. Because of his very dominant role and constitutional powers, the US president becomes the head of the party and leads a very active role in directing the Congressional...
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