Back to overview

Executive Types: Graphic Illustration

Executive Types

Download high resolution map

Executive Types Legend
Download image

Executive Type: Explanation

Presidential: Head of state/government ('president') is popularly elected* for fixed term. Ministers can be dismissed by president. If assembly can dismiss any executive, it's only by supermajority. Popularly elected equals direct election (including two-round, plurality, or presidential elections fused with parliamentary elections), or election by electoral college directly elected for that purpose alone.

Semi-presidential (premier-presidential): Head of state ('president') is popularly elected. President has some part in appointing the head of government ('prime minister') but the prime minister, and the cabinet, is formally only removable by a majority in an assembly.

Semi-presidential (president-parliamentary): Head of state ('president') is popularly elected. Head of government ('prime minister') is appointed by president and removable by both president and a majority in an assembly. This includes countries that lack a prime minister (and may be described as quasi-semi-presidential), if the ministers appointed by the president are individually removable by the assembly (Uruguay, Colombia, Maldives, Afghanistan, Iran).

Parliamentary: Head of state is not directly elected. Executive, headed by prime minister, formed in and removable by majority of an assembly. Includes countries with directly elected president, if the president has no role in forming government and has almost no other significant power

Monarchy: Hereditary or elective monarch holds executive power and appoints the government. If there is an assembly, it can only remove ministers by supermajority (or, even if it does have the power to remove ministers by majority vote, it has not yet asserted this power or established its primary role in forming the government, which would have made it parliamentary).

Assembly-independent: Head of state/government or government elected by assembly through majority (or ex officio electoral college of elected officials) for fixed term. If assembly can dismiss government, it's only by supermajority. In some cases, head of state/government election by representative assembly requires supermajority. If this is not achieved, remaining candidates go to final round of election by an electoral college composed of other officials.


Document type

International IDEA

Creative Commons License