People's President of the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia

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People's President of the Democratic People's Republic
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Incumbent
Kai Roosevelt

since January 6, 2010
Term length6 months maximum
Inaugural holderRobert Lethler
FormationNovember 9, 2008
SuccessionElection

The People's President of the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia, commonly known simply as the President of the Democratic People's Republic, is the Head of State of the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia and - at least in practice - the most senior and most powerful figure in the Central People's Government. Although the precise role of the President is only vaguely defined in the National Constitution of the DPRE, the post is widely recognised as being the most important in the hierarchy of the State, even Erusian political theory dictates that the Premier is the more powerful of the two. Generally, the President and the Premier work cooperatively as equals on most issues, with the President supervising the executive branch of government and the Premier the legislative.

Until recently, the office of People's President was a purely ceremonial one that had no actual power, either constitutionally or legally. Executive power was exercised by the Supreme People's Commissioner of Erusia, who was also simultaneously President. This changed on March 29th 2010, when the National People's Assembly voted to abolish the post of the Commissioner and formally transfer all of its functions and powers to the Presidency, whilst simultaneously restoring direct elections for the office which had not been held since December 2008. Thus, the third and current President Kai Roosevelt is the first holder of the office to exercise it's authority independently of the post of Supreme People's Commissioner.

Powers and duties

Though the National Constitution only offers a vague explanation of the President's powers, the Presidency has grown - largely through convention - to become the most powerful institution of power in the State outside of the legislative branch. As the chairman of the National People's Executive Committee, the President has full and inviolable control over the executive branch of government, freely appointing government ministers without scrutiny from any other office or organ of the State. In addition to having the power to appoint government ministers, they can dissolve or create entire Executive Commissions, giving them considerable power to shape the direction of the nation by changing the key focus areas of government policy. Furthermore, the President can make absolutely any change to government policy he or she wishes (though in the case of all Presidents to date their policy-making power has been greatly hindered by the Erusian National Communist Party and the primacy of it's Central Committee), and has the power to implement National Ordinances (limited presidential decrees).

The People's President is also the highest representative of the Democratic People's Republic, having the final say on all foreign affairs without scrutiny by any other body, although any bilateral agreement between the DPRE and another nation requires legislative backing. Despite this, both Kenneth Maisano and Kai Roosevelt preferred to work through their mutual Foreign Minister Robert Lethler, though Lethler has been seen to exercise little authority of his own on foreign policy since standing down as General Secretary of the Communist Party. The President also performs a number of important ceremonial functions, including the formal signing of constitutional amendments and the inauguration of Executive Administrators.

Ultimately, the office of the President remains subordinate to the National People's Assembly and the elected representatives of the Erusian People. It is the responsibility of the Assembly to check the work of the executive and call the President to account, and all three Presidents to date have regularly appeared before the Assembly and it's Standing Committee to be scrutinised by Assembly Members, though they are under no legal obligation to do so. In many ways, the political system of the DPRE prevents the President from governing in a truly Presidential manner. The Assembly has the ultimate power to impeach and recall the President from office, though such action would like precipitate a dissolution of the Assembly and the calling of a General Election.

Election

The method of electing the People's President has changed drastically over time. The first President of the Democratic People's Republic, Robert Lethler, served his first term provisionally after having been nominated to the post by the ruling Communist Party - he was subsequently elected by universal suffrage after just over a month in office. However, from January 2009 to March 2010, the President was elected by the National People's Assembly rather than the general electorate. Lethler was re-elected to the post twice unaminously by the Assembly, and Kenneth Maisano elected once unaminously, with the Communists visibly controlling the nomination process. Kai Roosevelt was the first President to not be unaminously elected and the last President to be elected by the Assembly at all.

Since the passing of the Presidential Reform Act 2010 in March of the year, the People's President has once again been elected directly by universal suffrage. Any legal adult is permitted to stand for election to the Presidency, either independently or as a party-political candidate. Although the office is now elected independently of all other institutions, the President's term is tied directly to that of the National People's Assembly, meaning she or he can serve a six month term at most. When the Premier dissolves the Assembly to call a General Election, or when an election is automatically held due to the end of an Assembly's sitting, the President must also face the public vote. Under the provisions of the Presidential Reform Act, the President is elected using an insant runoff Single Transferable Voting system, identical to that used to elect Assembly Members. Voters rank candidates for the Presidency in order of preference on a single ballot, with the electoral system ultimately producing a single victor by transfering votes to subsequent preferences as the poorest-performing candidates are eliminated. In the event that only two candidates stand for election, a simple run-off using the one person one vote principle is held.

List of Presidents

Term No. Order No. Name Political Party Term start Term end
1 1 Robert Lethler Erusian National Communist Party November 10, 2008
Serving provisionally
December 18, 2008
End of provisional government
2 December 18, 2008 January 19, 2009
3 January 19, 2009 May 15, 2009
4 May 15, 2009 July 6, 2009
5 2 Kenneth Maisano Erusian National Communist Party July 6, 2009 January 6, 2010
6 3 Kai Roosevelt Erusian National Communist Party January 6, 2010 Incumbent
End of term: April 26, 2010