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The executive is the part of government that enforces law, and has responsibility for the governance of a state.
In political systems based on the principle of separation of powers, authority is distributed among several branches (executive, legislative, judicial)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a single group of people. In such a system, the executive does not pass laws (the role of the legislature) or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). Instead, the executive enforces the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judiciary. The executive can be the source of certain types of law, such as a decree or executive order. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of regulations.
In political systems that use fusion of powers, which typically includes parliamentary systems, only the executive is typically referred to as the government (with the legislature often referred to as "Parliament" or simply "the legislature") which typically is either a part of or requires the confidence of (requires the support/approval of) the legislature and is therefore fused to the legislative power instead of being independent. In systems where the legislature is sovereign, the powers of and the organization of the executive are completely dependent on what powers the legislature grants it and the actions of the executive may or may not be subject to judicial review, something which is also controlled by the legislature. The executive may also have legislative or judicial powers in systems that where the legislature is sovereign, which is often why the executive is instead referred to as the government since it often possesses non-executive powers.
In parliamentary systems, the executive is responsible to the elected legislature, i.e. must maintain the confidence of the legislature (or one part of it, if bicameral). In certain circumstances (varying by state), the legislature can express its lack of confidence in the executive, which causes either a change in governing party or group of parties or a general election. Parliamentary systems have a head of government (who leads the executive, often called ministers) normally distinct from the head of state (who continues through governmental and electoral changes). In the Westminster type of parliamentary system, the principle of separation of powers is not as entrenched as in some others. Members of the executive (ministers), are also members of the legislature, and hence play an important part in both the writing and enforcing of law.
In this context, the executive consists of a leader or leader of an office or multiple offices. Specifically, the top leadership roles of the executive branch may include:
In a presidential system, the leader of the executive is both the head of state and head of government.
In a parliamentary system, a cabinet minister responsible to the legislature is the head of government, while the head of state is usually a largely ceremonial monarch or president.
Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches. The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, where the executive and legislative branches overlap.
The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary government that incorporates a series of procedures for operating a legislature. This concept was first developed in England.
The Government of Colombia is a republic with separation of powers into executive, judicial and legislative branches. Its legislature has a congress, its judiciary has a supreme court, and its executive branch has a president.
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.
A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (president) leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in systems that use separation of powers. This head of government is in most cases also the head of state.
The government of Canada is the body responsible for the federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown is the corporation sole, assuming distinct roles: the executive, as the Crown-in-Council; the legislature, as the Crown-in-Parliament; and the courts, as the Crown-on-the-Bench. Three institutions—the Privy Council ; the Parliament of Canada; and the judiciary, respectively—exercise the powers of the Crown.
Separation of powers is a political doctrine originating in the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws, in which he argued for a constitutional government with three separate branches, each of which would have defined abilities to check the powers of the others. This philosophy heavily influenced the writing of the United States Constitution, according to which the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States government are kept distinct in order to prevent abuse of power. This United States form of separation of powers is associated with a system of checks and balances.
A state government is the government of a country subdivision in a federal form of government, which shares political power with the federal or national government. A state government may have some level of political autonomy, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government. This relationship may be defined by a constitution.
The Politics of Montenegro takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Montenegro is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Montenegro. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Montenegro a "hybrid regime" in 2019.
Fusion of powers is a feature of some parliamentary forms of government where different branches of government are intermingled, typically the executive and legislative branches. It is contrasted with the separation of powers found in presidential and semi-presidential forms of government where the legislative and executive powers are in origin separated by popular vote. Fusion of powers exists in many, if not a majority of, parliamentary democracies, and does so by design. However, in all modern democratic polities the judiciary does not possess legislative or executive powers.
The Constitution of Armenia was adopted by a nationwide Armenian referendum on July 5, 1995. This constitution established Armenia as a democratic, sovereign, social, and constitutional state. Yerevan is defined as the state's capital. Power is vested in its citizens, who exercise it directly through the election of government representatives. Decisions related to changes in constitutional status or to an alteration of borders are subject to a vote of the citizens of Armenia exercised in a referendum. There are 117 articles in the 1995 constitution. On November 27, 2005, a nationwide constitutional referendum was held and an amended constitution was adopted. The constitution was amended again in a national referendum on December 6, 2015 that changed the political structure from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic.
The government of the U.S. state of Kansas, established by the Kansas Constitution, is a republican democracy modeled after the Federal Government of the United States. The state government has three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Through a system of separation of powers, or "checks and balances," each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, and also some authority to regulate the other two branches, so that all three branches can limit and balance the others' authority.
The Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh is the Central Government of Bangladesh. The government was constituted by the Constitution of Bangladesh and consists of three branches. The Executive branch, represented by the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Bangladesh. The Legislature represented by the Jatiya Sangsad, and the Judiciary, represented by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a unitary state and the central government has the authority to govern over the entirety of the nation. The seat of the government is located in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
The Federal government of Mexico is the national government of the United Mexican States, the central government established by its constitution to share sovereignty over the republic with the governments of the 31 individual Mexican states, and to represent such governments before international bodies such as the United Nations. The Mexican federal government has three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial and functions per the Constitution of the United Mexican States, as enacted in 1917, and as amended. The executive power is exercised by the executive branch, which is headed by the president and his Cabinet, which, together, are independent of the legislature. Legislative power is vested upon the Congress of the Union, a bicameral legislature comprising the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Judicial power is exercised by the judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Council of the Federal Judiciary, and the collegiate, unitary, and district courts.
The politics of Denmark take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state in which the monarch of Denmark, Queen Margrethe II, is the head of state. Denmark is described as a nation state. Danish politics and governance are characterized by a common striving for broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole.
The Government of Japan is the central government of Japan. The Government of Japan consists of legislature, executive and judiciary branches and is based on popular sovereignty. The Government runs under the framework established by the Constitution of Japan, adopted in 1947. It is a unitary state, containing forty-seven administrative divisions, with the Emperor as its Head of State. His role is ceremonial and he has no powers related to Government. Instead, it is the Cabinet, comprising the Ministers of State and the Prime Minister, that directs and controls the Government and the civil service. The Cabinet has the executive power and is formed by the Prime Minister, who is the Head of Government. He is designated by the National Diet and appointed to office by the Emperor.
A cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the executive branch's top leaders. Members of a cabinet are usually called cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a cabinet varies: in some countries, it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision-making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.
The conception of the separation of powers has been applied to the United Kingdom and the nature of its executive, judicial and legislative functions. Historically, the apparent merger of the executive and the legislature, with a powerful Prime Minister drawn from the largest party in parliament and usually with a safe majority, led theorists to contend that the separation of powers is not applicable to the United Kingdom. However, in recent years it does seem to have been adopted as a necessary part of the UK constitution.
Separation of powers in Singapore is founded on the concept of constitutionalism, which is itself primarily based upon distrust of power and thus the desirability of limited government. To achieve this, the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore splits the power to govern the country between three branches of government – the legislature, which makes laws; the executive, which executes them; and the judiciary, which enforces them. Each branch, while wielding legitimate power and being protected from external influences, is subjected to a system of checks and balances by the other branches to prevent abuse of power. This Westminster constitutional model was inherited from the British during Singapore's colonial years.
A divided government is a type of government in presidential systems, when control of the executive branch and the legislative branch is split between two parties, respectively, and in semi-presidential systems, when the executive branch itself is split between two parties.