President of Libereco

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President of Libereco
Presidente de Libereco
Prezidanto de Libereco
Presidential Standard of Libereco.png
Presidential standard
Incumbent
Leon Simpson

since November 24, 2012
Residence 1 Libereco Avenue, Albertine
Nominator Members of the Landsgemeinde
Appointer Chairman of the Landsgemeinde
Term length 2 years
Inaugural holder Leon Simpson
Succession Chancellor (becomes president ad interim)

The President of Libereco is the head of state and head of government in Libereco. The president leads the executive branch of government and presides over the Union Council.

The president's powers and duties are outlined in Title II of the constitution, which charges him with the execution of the law and the protection of the constitution, as well as representing Libereco abroad and in foreign affairs. The president is further empowered to commute of remit punishment imposed by the High Chancellery, and he may convene and dismiss both houses of the Union Assembly in extraordinary circumstances. The position of President has existed in two forms in the history of Libereco. The President of Libereco was previously the executive head of Libereco as a State in the Confederation of Amager, but transitioned to its current form after Amager collapsed.

The president is elected by the members of the Landsgemeinde (Libereco's open-air alternative legislature) by means of a secret ballot. The current president is Leon Simpson, who was elected under the previous constitution, he will presumably serve until November 24 2014 unless he is incapacitated (to the satisfaction of the High Chancellery), dies, resigns or is impeached by either the Union Assembly or the Landsgemeinde.

Origin and history

The office of president has existed in three forms, the original being created by Libereco's first constitution as part of Amager. The role in its original form held significant power and represented Libereco to the federal government. The role was later transformed to that of a presiding officer, though the president still represented Libereco in the federal government and enjoyed significant power, despite little more than a ceremonial role written into the constitution of the time.

The final major reform to the position came with the dissolution of Amager and Libereco's subsequent independence, which saw the introduction of a more powerful executive branch of government, with its main purpose being to preside over the government and preserve the constitution.

Powers and duties

Legislative role

The president's legislative functions and powers are defined by Title III.III: Legislation, specifically Articles 73-77. Upon receiving a bill, the president has three options.

1. Sign and promulgate the bill, making it an act the day after such a promulgation.
2. Decline to sign the bill and send it to the Landsgemeinde for a vote.
  • If the Landsgemeinde approves the bill in question, the bill reverts to its previous state whereby the president has the same 3 options. He could technically send the bill to the Landsgemeinde again, but as of yet this has never happened.
3. Decline to sign the bill and send it to the High Chancellery for a consultation as to whether a bill is in anyway repugnant to the provisions of the constitution.
  • If the High Chancellery rules a bill or any of its provisions are unconstitutional, the bill is invalid to the extent of such a repugnancy.

This system gives the president an unofficial veto power, whereby he could technically continue to repeatedly send a bill to the same institution. This has been criticised as a "constitutional loophole", but as of yet no attempt has been made to close the loophole.

Executive role

Selection process

Eligibility

To be eligible for the office of president, a candidate must meet various criteria, and must not be placed under incapacity by the constitution from holding the office of president. A president must:

  • be at least thirteen years of age.
  • be a citizen of Libereco.

Furthermore, a person who meets the requirements established aforesaid may be disqualified if:

  • they are a member of the Chamber of Senators.
  • they are a member of the High Chancellery.

Nomination

An eligible person may run under the nomination of a legal political party (currently the only registered party is the Labour party) or as an independent, providing they obtain the signatures of two holders of public office, which can be members of either chamber of the Union Assembly, the Chairman of the Landsgemeinde, members of the Union Council and regional officials. Alternatively, a former or outgoing president may run for election on their own nomination, and do not need to obtain two signatures.

A date is usually set by the Electoral Commission about 80 days before the expiration of a president's term as the deadline for candidates to obtain the two signatures and submit their candidature, in the case that the office of president becomes vacant, the deadline for submitting candidature is usually around seven days after the office becomes vacant, or later depending on the nature of the vacancy.

Election and oath

An election for the office only takes place when there is more than one eligible candidate. An election is mandated to be held on the 60th day before the expiration of a term, except where the election is to fill a vacant presidency. In such a case, the dating of the election is to the discretion of the Electoral Commission, providing the election is held within 60 days after the office became vacant

On the designated day of the election, the members of the Landsgemeinde convene to vote between the eligible candidates. If there are more than two candidates, 60 percent of the total vote is needed for a majority. If this is not obtained by any candidate, all but the two candidates who have achieved the most votes are eliminated and a second round of voting takes place. In a second round of voting only a basic majority is needed to win, as opposed to the 60 percent needed in the first round. The system differs slightly when there is only two candidates, in which case only one round of voting is conducted where a basic majority is needed for victory.

After a single candidate has been elected, that candidate takes office on the day after the previous term expires. Or, in the case of an election to fill a vacant presidency, as soon as possible after the election. The conditions in which an inauguration can take place are outlined by Article 26 of the constitution. The winning candidate must publicly prescribe the following oath in the presence of members of both houses of the Union Assembly and the Chancellor.

In the presence of the members of the Union Assembly, the Chancellor and before the people, I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Libereco and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Libereco.

Vacancy

There are four possible circumstances that could cause the presidency to become vacant; death, resignation, permanent incapacity or disqualification.

An incumbent president can be removed from office by the Union Assembly through a resolution that must pass with the approval of two thirds of the members of both houses of the Union Assembly. Alternatively, if an incumbent president becomes a member of the Chamber of Senators of the High Chancellery, whose members are forbidden to be simultaneously hold the office of president, he would be deemed to have vacated the presidency.

The constitution does mention the resignation of the presidency, but does not specify under what conditions this can take place. It is presumed that for a president to resign, he would have to present a signed letter to the Chancellor, as the highest judicial official within Libereco.

Libereco does not have a vice-president, and so the duties and functions bestowed upon the president are exercised by the Chancellor, (who is exempt from the provision that a member of the High Chancellery may not hold the office of president when the presidency becomes vacant) who becomes the president ad interim until an election can be held. In the event that the Chancellor is not able to perform the president's duties, the functions fall upon the Union Council to exercise them collectively.

As of yet, none of these events have occurred and the presidency has never become vacant.