Government > Executive branch > Note: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: This entry includes several subfields. Chief of state includes the name and title of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government. Cabinet includes the official name for this body of high-ranking advisers and the method for selection of members. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote for each candidate in the last election.
American Samoa Togiola TULAFONO became acting governor 26 March 2003 upon the death of Governor Tauese P. SUNIA
Austria government coalition - SPOe and OeVP
Azerbaijan several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards
Bangladesh the country has a caretaker government until a general election is held; Iajuddin AHMED remains as President and Minister of Defense, and all other Cabinet portfolios are held by Caretaker Advisers (CAs); the Chief CA, Fakhruddin AHMED, is roughly equivalent to a prime minister
Belgium government formation talks have been prolonged, but the current interim goverment consists of French and Flemish Christian Democrats or CD&V and CDh, Liberals or Open VLD and MR, and French Socialists or PS
Benin the four top-ranking contenders following the first-round presidential elections were: Mathieu KEREKOU (incumbent) 45.4%, Nicephore SOGLO (former president) 27.1%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI (National Assembly Speaker) 12.6%, and Bruno AMOUSSOU (Minister of State) 8.6%; the second-round balloting, originally scheduled for 18 March 2001, was postponed four days because both SOGLO and HOUNGBEDJI withdrew alleging electoral fraud; this left KEREKOU to run against his own Minister of State, AMOUSSOU, in what was termed a "friendly match"
Bosnia and Herzegovina President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Borjana KRISTO (since 21 February 2007); Vice Presidents Spomenka MICIC (since NA 2007) and Mirsad KEBO (since NA 2007); President of the Republika Srpska: Rajko KUSMANOVIC (since 28 December 2007)
Burkina Faso President COMPAORE faces an increasingly well-coordinated opposition; recent charges against a former member of his Presidential Guard in the 1998 assassination of a newspaper editor signify an attempt to defuse chronic areas of dissatisfaction
Croatia government coalition - SDP, HSLS, HSS, LP, HNS; a sixth party, the Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS), withdrew in June 2001
Cyprus Dervis EROGLU became "president" of the "TRNC" on 23 April 2010 after "presidential" elections on 18 April 2010; results - Dervis EROGLU 50.4%, Mehmet Ali TALAT 42.9%; Irsen KUCUK is "TRNC acting prime minister"
Czech Republic the Czech Republic's first president Vaclav HAVEL stepped down from office on 2 February 2003 having served exactly 10 years; parliament finally elected a successor on 28 February 2003 after two inconclusive elections in January 2003
Democratic Republic of the Congo Joseph KABILA succeeded his father, Laurent Desire KABILA, following the latter's assassination in January 2001; negotiations with rebel leaders led to the establishment of a transitional government in July 2003 with free elections held on 30 July 2006 and a run-off on 29 October 2006 confirming Joseph KABILA as president
European Union the European Council brings together heads of state and government and the president of the European Commission and meets at least four times a year; its aim is to provide the impetus for the major political issues relating to European integration and to issue general policy guidelines
Faroe Islands coalition of Social Democrats, Union Party, and People's Party
Finland government coalition - Kesk, KOK, VIHR, and SFP
Gabon President BONGO died on 8 June 2009 after serving as president for 32 years; in accordance with the constitution he was replaced on an interim basis by the president of the Senate, Rose Francine ROGOMBE on 10 June 2009; new elections where held on 30 August 2009 and the son of the former president, Ali Ben BONGO Ondimba, was elected president
Greenland government coalition - Siumut and Inuit Ataqatigiit
Haiti Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE resigned as president on 29 February 2004; ALEXANDRE, as Chief of the Supreme Court, constitutionally succeeded Aristide
Hong Kong the LegCo voted in June 2010 to expand the electoral committee to 1,200 seats for the next election
Hungary to be elected, the president must win two-thirds of legislative vote in the first two rounds or a simple majority in the third round
Iceland the presidential election of 28 June 2008 was not held because Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON had no challengers; he was sworn in on 1 August 2008
Indonesia the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) includes the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR) plus 195 indirectly selected members; it meets every five years to elect the president and vice president and to approve broad outlines of national policy and also has yearly meetings to consider constitutional and legislative changes; constitutional amendments adopted in 2001 and 2002 provide for the MPR to be restructured in 2004 and to consist entirely of popularly-elected members who will be in the DPR and the new House of Regional Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD); the MPR will no longer formulate national policy
Iran also considered part of the Executive branch of government are three oversight bodies: 1) Assembly of Experts (Majles-Khebregan), a popularly elected body charged with determining the succession of the Supreme Leader, reviewing his performance, and deposing him if deemed necessary; 2) Expediency Council or the Council for the Discernment of Expediency (Majma-e-Tashkise-Maslahat-e-Nezam) exerts supervisory authority over the executive, judicial, and legislative branches and resolves legislative issues on which the Majles and the Council of Guardians disagree and since 1989 has been used to advise national religious leaders on matters of national policy; in 2005 the Council's powers were expanded to act as a supervisory body for the government; 3) Council of Guardians of the Constitution or Council of Guardians or Guardians Council (Shora-ye Negaban-e Qanun-e Assassi) determines whether proposed legislation is both constitutional and faithful to Islamic law, vets candidates for suitability, and supervises national elections
Ireland government coalition - Fianna Fail, the Green Party, the Progressive Democrats, and independent members of Parliament
Israel government coalition - Kadima, Labor Party, GIL (Pensioners), and SHAS
Italy a four-party government coalition includes Forza Italia, National Alliance, Northern League, and Union of Christian Democrats and Center Democrats
Japan following the resignation of Prime Minister Yoshiro MORI, Junichiro KOIZUMI was elected as the new president of the majority Liberal Democratic Party and soon thereafter designated by the Diet to become the next prime minister
Kazakhstan constutitutional amendments of January 2011 moved election date from 2012 to April 2011 but kept five-year term; subsequent election to take place December 2016
Liberia a UN-brokered cease-fire among warring factions and the Liberian Government resulted in the August 2003 resignation of former president, Charles TAYLOR; a jointly agreed upon replacement, Chairman Gyude BRYANT, assumed office as head of the National Transitional Government on 14 October 2003; free elections were held 11 October 2005, with a runoff election between the two leading candidates on 8 November 2005
Luxembourg government coalition - CSV and LSAP
Malaysia position of paramount ruler is primarily ceremonial; in practice, selection is based on principle of rotation among rulers of states
Moldova Vladimir Filat resigned on 27 December 2010, but was reappointed on 31 December 2010
Nauru Ludwig SCOTTY was removed from the presidency in a no-confidence vote 8 August 2003; Rene HARRIS became president
Nepal King BIRENDRA Bir Bikram Shah Dev died in a bloody shooting at the royal palace on 1 June 2001 that also claimed the lives of most of the royal family; King BIRENDRA's son, Crown Price DIPENDRA, is believed to have been responsible for the shootings before fatally wounding himself; immediately following the shootings and while still clinging to life, DIPENDRA was crowned king; he died three days later and was succeeded by his uncle
Netherlands there is also a Council of State composed of the monarch, heir apparent, and councilors that provides consultations to the cabinet on legislative and administrative policy
Netherlands Antilles government coalition - PAR, PNP, DP-St. M, UPB, WIPM Saba, DP-St. E
New Zealand the government of Prime Minister Helen CLARK was defeated in the general election held on 8 November 2008; Prime Minister-elect John KEY, leader of the National Party, is in the process of forming a new coalition government and hopes to take office before the end of November
Pakistan following an October 1999 military coup, General Pervez MUSHARRAF suspended Pakistan's constitution and assumed the additional title of Chief Executive; in May 2000, Pakistan's Supreme Court validated the 1999 coup and granted MUSHARRAF executive and legislative authority for three years following the coup; in June 2001, MUSHARRAF named himself president, replacing Mohammad Rafiq TARAR; an April 2002 referendum extended MUSHARRAF's presidency by five years; on 6 October 2007, MUSHARRAF was reelected President of Pakistan, although the Supreme Court was reviewing a challenge to his eligibility to serve another term; MUSHARRAF declared emergency rule from 3 November to 15 December, during which time he replaced several Supreme Court Justices; the reconstituted court upheld his presidency on 22 November 2007
Panama government coalition - CD (Democratic Change), Panamenista, MOLIRENA (Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement), and UP (Patriotic Union Party)
Peru Prime Minister Jose Antonio CHANG Escobedo (since 14 September 2010) does not exercise executive power; this power rests with the president
Portugal there is also a Council of State that acts as a consultative body to the president
Puerto Rico residents of Puerto Rico do not vote for US president and vice president
Qatar in April 2007, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has limited consultative powers aimed at improving the provision of municipal services; the first election for the CMC was held in March 1999
Russia there is also a Presidential Administration (PA) that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president
San Marino the popularly elected parliament (Grand and General Council) selects two of its members to serve as the Captains Regent (co-chiefs of state) for a six-month period; they preside over meetings of the Grand and General Council and its cabinet (Congress of State), which has 10 other members, all are selected by the Grand and General Council; assisting the captains regent are 10 secretaries of state; the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs has assumed some prime ministerial roles
Singapore uses S R NATHAN but his full name and the one used in formal communications is Sellapan RAMANATHAN
Slovakia government coalition - SDKU, SMK, KDH, ANO
South Africa ANC-IFP is the governing coalition
Spain there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government, but its recommendations are non-binding
Sudan -
Syria Hafiz al-ASAD died on 10 June 2000; on 20 June, the Ba'th Party nominated Bashar al-ASAD for president and presented his name to the People's Council on 25 June; he was approved by a popular referendum on 10 July
Tanzania Zanzibar elects a president who is head of government for matters internal to Zanzibar; Ali Mohamed SHEIN elected to that office on 31 October 2010, sworn in 3 November 2010
Thailand there is also a Privy Council advising the king
Tonga there is also a Privy Council that advises the monarch
Turkey in October 2007 Turkish voters approved a referendum package of constitutional amendments including a provision for direct presidential elections
Turkmenistan NIYAZOV's term in office was extended indefinitely on 28 December 1999 during a session of the People's Council (Halk Maslahaty); in November 2005, the People's Council voted down NIYAZOV's suggestion to hold presidential elections in 2009
Turks and Caicos Islands following an investigation into allegations of widespread corruption and misconduct within the Turks and Caicos Government, the UK foreign minister directed the governor to bring into effect on 14 August 2009 an Order in Council suspending Ministerial government and the House of Assembly, and imposing direct rule for a period of up to two years
Ukraine there is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a Presidential Administration helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president
United Arab Emirates there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the seven emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets four times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power
Venezuela in 1999, a National Constituent Assembly drafted a new constitution that increased the presidential term to six years; an election was subsequently held on 30 July 2000 under the terms of this constitution
Wallis and Futuna there are 3 traditional kings with limited powers


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