Government of Marienbourg

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The Duke's Government

Governo do Duque
Polity typeDirect democratic confederate elective constitutional monarchy
ConstitutionConstitution of Marienbourg
Formation2023; 1 year ago (2023)
Legislative branch
NameDucal Diet
Meeting placePalais de Faux
Presiding officerJonathan Scherer, Lord President
Executive branch
Head of State
CurrentlyArthur van der Bruyn
Head of Government
CurrentlyGustave Lynch
NameCouncil of Ministers
HeadquartersPalais de Mensonge
Judicial branch
Supreme Ducal Court

The Government of Marienbourg, officially called His Serene Highness The Duke's Government (Portuguese: Governo de Sua Alteza Sereníssima o Duque), and shortened as The Duke's Government, is the structure responsible for the entire administration of the Duchy of Marienbourg. The present construct was established by the Treaty of Conditional Concession of Sovereignty and Foundation of the Duchy Symbol of the National Union in late 2022 and formalized by the Political Instrument of the Bases of the Duchy (constitution) in early 2023. The Marienbourgish crown acts as the centerpiece of the administrative structure, symbol of the confederation of the municipalities that make up the country and as a guarantor of popular sovereignty, the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Marienbourgish government.

Marienbourg is a confederation of two technically sovereign municipalities that is governed within the framework of a representative parliamentary system with elements of direct democracy under a semi-elective constitutional monarchy. The Monarch is the head of state while the Minister-President is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers on behalf of and by the consent of the Monarch, legislative power is vested upon the unicameral Ducal Diet, and judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Ducal Court.

Additionally, the Council of Ministers is a commitee, or a cabinet, that sets the government's policies and priorities for the country and is chaired by the Minister-President. The Sovereign formally appoints the members of Council of Ministers on the advice of the Minister-President who, by convention, is selected from the Diet. During its term, the government must retain the confidence of the Diet. Laws are formed by the passage of bills through Diet, which are either sponsored by the government or individual members of the Diet. Once a bill has been approved, royal assent is required to make the bill become law. The laws are then the responsibility of the government to oversee and enforce. Constitutionally, the Council of State is the body that advises the Sovereign or their representative on the exercise of their share of the executive power. This task is performed by politicians appointed by the Minister-President and aristocrats appointed by the Sovereign; the Minister-President is always a member and chair of the Council of State.

Government structure

The Crown

The Duke of Marienbourg, often referred to as Sovereign or Monarch, is the head of state of Marienbourg. Though he takes little direct part in government, the Crown remains the fount in which ultimate executive power over government lies. These powers are known as ducal prerogative; among them, the Monarch is entitled to veto any legislation at his discretion, to disolve the Diet, to commute criminal sentences, to withdraw passports and revoke citizeships and to dismiss the Minister-President and call for elections. The powers are delegated from the Monarch personally, in the name of the Crown, and can be handed to various ministers, or other officers of the Crown, and can purposely bypass the consent of the Diet.

According to the Constitution of Marienbourg, the Duke of Marienbourg has the following powers:

Domestic powers

  • The power to dismiss and appoint the Minister-President
  • The power to dismiss and appoint other ministers
  • The power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Diet
  • The power to grant or refuse Ducal Assent to bills (making them valid and law)
  • The power to commission officers in the Armed Forces
  • The power to command the Armed Forces
  • The power to appoint members to the Council of State
  • The power to appoint a third members of the Diet (Ammended by the Parliament Expansion Act, to appoint a fifth members of the Diet)
  • The power to appoint the triumvirs of the Supreme Ducal Court
  • The power to issue and withdraw passports
  • The power to grant prerogative of mercy
  • The power to grant honours and titles
  • The power to create corporations via Ducal charter

Foreign powers

  • The power to ratify and make treaties
  • The power to declare war and peace
  • The power to deploy the Armed Forces overseas
  • The power to recognise states
  • The power to credit and receive diplomats


Executive power is exercised in Marienbourg by the Sovereign through the Duke's Government, a collegiality of ministers headed by the Minister-President who is the head of government of Marienbourg as well as the most senior minister. The Monarch appoints the Minister-President most likely to be able to form a Government with the support of the Diet, the country's unicameral parliament. In practice, this means that the leader of the political party with an absolute majority of seats in the Diet is chosen to be the Minister-President. If no party has an absolute majority, the leader of the largest party is given the first opportunity to form a coalition or a minority government. The Minister-President then selects the other Ministers which make up the Council of Ministers and act as political heads of the various State Ministries. The Minister-President is responsible for preside over the Council of Ministers, select its members and formulate government policy.

As in some other parliamentary systems of government, the executive, often referred to as "the government", is drawn from [but not exclusivelly] and is answerable to parliament - a successful vote of no confidence will force the government either to resign or to seek a parliamentary dissolution and a general election. In practice, members of parliament of all major parties are strictly controlled by whips who try to ensure they vote according to party policy. If the government has a large majority, then they are very unlikely to lose enough votes to be unable to pass legislation.

Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers is an institutional collegiate formed a priori by four ministries; they are the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Social Affairs and Treasury. During their tenure, the Minister-President can dismember the responsibilities of the four base ministries and create other ministries, which are automatically dissolved and/or reintegrated into the base ministries when the government changes. The Minister-President appoints the members of the Council of Ministers freely from among the members of his party or governing coalition and can freely dismiss them. The Council of Ministers meets weekly to discuss government policy, and when they meet together with the triumvirs of the Supreme Ducal Court, they form what in Marienbourg it is called a cabinet - as the triumvirs act together as a fifth ministry, the ministry of justice.

Council of State

The Council of State is a formal body of advisors to the Sovereign. The Council of State formally advises the Sovereign on the exercise of the Ducal Prerogative, and as a body corporate it issues executive instruments which, among other powers, enact Acts of Parliament and Ducal Decrees. The Council also holds the delegated authority to regulate certain public institutions. The members of the Council of State are appointed by the Sovereign at his discretion. Nevertheless, in order to maintain institutional reliability and to empower the monarchy, Council of State members are generally members of the national aristocracy. The Minister-President of the time is always, during his tenure, a member of the Council, and the triumvirs of the Supreme Ducal Court must elect from among themselves a member to represent the arm of justice in the Council. Members of the Council are called Councillors of State and are headed in the body by a Lord President of the Council of State, who is appointed by the Sovereign.


The Ducal Diet is the unicameral supreme legislative body of Marienbourg (i.e., there is parliamentary sovereignty), and government is drawn from and answerable to it. The country is divided into two municipalities and each municipality is its own parliamentary constituency and, with equal populations, each constituency currently elects 4 parliamentarians to serve 6-month terms and the Sovereign appoints 2 more parliamentarians, 1 per each constituency, to serve 1-year terms. The Minister-President is selected from the party that has the most seats in the Diet, but does not necessarily need to be a member of the Diet - this arrangement was made in order to allow for greater popular political participation, despite theoretically compromising democracy with a unelected head of government (although it is clear to the population that this is a possibility).

The monarch normally asks a person commissioned to form a government simply whether it can survive in the Diet, something which majority governments are expected to be able to do. In exceptional circumstances the monarch asks someone to 'form a government' with a parliamentary minority which in the event of no party having a majority requires the formation of a coalition government or 'confidence and supply' arrangement. A government is not formed by a vote of the Diet, it is a commission from the Monarch. The Diet House of Commons gets its first chance to indicate confidence in the new government when it votes on the Speech from the Throne (the legislative programme proposed by the new government).


The Supreme Ducal Court (SDC) is the constitutional, supreme and only court of Marienbourg for both civil and criminal cases. The SDC is composed of three judges called the triumvirs who are appointed for life by the Sovereign, who is constitutionally charged with rendering justice for all his subjects, and is thus traditionally deemed the fount of justice, but is not empowered to do so directly. The Supreme Ducal Court applies a hybrid system between the civil law and the customary law and employs the inquisitorial system where the judges are actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as compared to an adversarial system where the role of the judge is primarily that of an impartial referee between the prosecutor or plaintiff and the defendant. The SDC is tasked with judicial review, and it may declare legislation unconstitutional, thus rendering them ineffective.

Administrative divisions

Marienbourg is a confederate state, that is, it is the spontaneous union of semi-sovereign parts with autonomy to break up into sovereign states. The national territory is divided into two municipalities: Blauberga, in which the capital of Marienbourg resides, and Orangenbäume, the nations's countryside. Each municipality is entirely autonomous and runs itself free of interference from the national government. Municipalities are organized as executive-led devolved administrations headed by a Prefect elected for six-month terms. The municipalities may enact organic laws relating to topics explicitly reserved for them by constitution, such as education, local officers, municipal government, charitable institutions, and "matters of a merely local or private nature", while any matter not under the exclusive authority of the municipal legislative and executive power holders is within the scope of the Ducal Diet.

Electoral system

Marienbourg's constitution establishes minutely described electoral methods in order to give the population ample chance of political participation. The electoral system adopted in the country is multiple non-transferable vote, also known as block voting, in which voters elect several representatives at once, with each voter having more than one vote. Block voting uses multi-member electoral constituencies, which contains all voters, which is used to provide at-large representation. Block Voting is complemented with the panachage system that provides for in several open-list variants of the party-list proportional representation system. In this way, it gives voters more than one vote in the same ballot and allows them to distribute their votes between or among individual candidates from different party lists.

The multiple winners are usually elected simultaneously in one round of voting and the vote is non-transferable. Rarely there is runoff (two-round) election where candidates who do not receive an absolute majority must compete in a second round. In these cases, it is more accurately called "majority-at-large voting".