Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Opposition Intransigence: The Presidency

  • John W. Schiemann
Part of the Political Evolution and Institutional Change book series (PEIC)


One of the most important institutional salvation strategies in the MSZMP arsenal was a directly elected president who would not only enjoy legislative and executive powers, but also boost the ruling party’s seat share in the parliamentary elections.The MSZMP’s withdrawal of its presidency plan from parliament for the roundtable talks did not reduce its desire for a directly elected president before parliamentary elections and the presidency became one of the most contentious debates in the roundtable talks. Section 3.1 examines the MSZMP’s initial institutional strategy concerning the presidency, reconstructing its drafts and later attempts to unilaterally impose a powerful presidency that would pre­serve its power. Section 3.2 reconstructs the positions of individual opposition parties as well as the position of the EKA during most of the NKA, when the opposition resisted discussing the institution at all. Section 3.3 turns to the negotiations over the powers of the office once the EKA agreed to establish some form of presidency. Section 3.4 turns to the rules governing the election of the president. Section 3.5 summarizes the distribution of the presidency’s individual rules between the regime and the opposition in the pact and compares it with the MSZMP’s original plans.


Prime Minister Presidential Election Central Committee Election Mode Opposition Parti 
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© John W. Schiemann 2005

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  • John W. Schiemann

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