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Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Europe$
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Csaba Nikolenyi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675302

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675302.001.0001

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Dividing the Executive?

Dividing the Executive?

Party Coalitions and Indirect Presidential Elections

(p.117) Chapter 7 Dividing the Executive?
Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Europe

Csaba Nikolenyi

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the politics of presidential election in four states where the head of state is chosen by the legislature: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, and Latvia. In these states, political parties, rather than voters, are the key players in deciding the outcome of the presidential election game. The chapter argues that the rules of presidential selection in these four states shape the ability of the incumbent governing coalition to have its presidential candidate elected. In particular, it shows that the more congruent the presidential and prime ministerial selection processes are the greater the likelihood that the same coalition will capture both offices. If and when the presidential selection requires a special majority that is very different from what the selection of the prime minister required then the outcome of the two processes should reflect this difference.

Keywords:   indirect elections, presidency, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, divided executive

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