Difference Between Parliamentary and Presidential Form of Government

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: November 20, 2023


Difference Between Parliamentary and Presidential Form of Government

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Every nation in the world has a unique constitution that guides the formulation of policies, the operation of governmental organizations and bodies, and the making of decisions. In more precise words, the entire political system that the nation has chosen is covered by the constitution.

Parliamentary Form of Government vs Presidential Form of Government

Parliamentary and presidential governments are the two types. In a parliamentary system, the political party that wins the most seats in the legislature forms the government and chooses one of its members to serve as the Prime Minister, who is in charge of it. On the other hand, in a presidential system of government, the president, who serves as the top executive, is chosen directly by the electors or by a popular vote.

Difference Between Parliamentary Form of Government vs Presidential Form of Government in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Parliamentary Form of Government Presidential Form of Government
DefinitionIn a parliamentary system, the judicial branch of the government is separate from the legislative and executive branches of government.The legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government are separate in a presidential administration.
ExecutiveDual executiveSingle executive
AccountabilityThe legislature holds the executive responsible.The legislature is not responsible to the executive.
Powers ConcentratedDivided
MinistersThe only people who can be appointed as ministers are lawmakers.Ministers are selected from outside the legislature.
Dissolution of lower houseThe lower house may be dissolved by the prime minister before the end of its mandate.The lower House cannot be dissolved by the president.
Tenure of ExecutiveNot fixedFixed

What is Parliamentary Form of Government?

A parliamentary form of government is a type of democratic system in which the executive branch of the government is accountable to the legislature or parliament. This system is based on the principle of collective responsibility, where the prime minister and other members of the cabinet are responsible to the parliament and can be removed through a no-confidence vote, removed from their position.

Additionally, the parliamentary system offers more latitude for forming governments. But in a parliamentary system, the prime minister is chosen by the legislature and is subject to a vote of no confidence at any time. This enables more frequent changes in the administration and better public opinion responsiveness.

The legislative system does have certain difficulties, though. This system is frequently criticized for its potential to cause instability and frequent changes in government. This occasionally leads to weakened and incompetent governments that are unable to carry out their duties.

The potential for executive supremacy is another difficulty for the parliamentary system. The role of the opposition may be limited and the system's checks and balances may be compromised in specific situations where the prime minister and the ruling party have too much sway.

The parliamentary system is still among the most popular forms of administration in the world despite these difficulties. The most significant element of parliamentary government is the notion of coordination and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches. A parliamentary government is a democratic administration in which the political party with the most seats in the legislature or Parliament during the federal election becomes the government.

A democratic system of governance known as the parliamentary system uses the Parliament to carry out both legislative and executive functions. The two members of the executive are the prime minister, who serves as the actual executive in this case, and the president, who simply serves as the nominal executive.

According to this system, the political party that wins the most seats in the Parliament during the federal elections establishes the government. The Prime Minister is chosen by the President and is chosen by the party as its leader. Following his appointment, the Prime Minister forms the Cabinet, whose members must not be members of the Parliament. The legislative body, i.e. Parliament, is responsible to the executive body, i.e. the Cabinet. This approach is widely used in nations like Canada, Japan, and India.

Features of the Parliamentary System

  • The legislative and the executive have a good working relationship in this case. The Parliament is the legislative, and the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers make up the executive. The fact that the prime minister and ministers are chosen from among the lawmakers suggests that the legislative branch produces the executive branch.
  • In charge of the legislative is the executive. The legislature holds the executive accountable. There is a collective duty, meaning that the Council as a whole is accountable for each minister's actions.
  • Two-tier executive: The real executive and the nominal executive are the two executives. The head of government, the Prime Minister, rather than the head of state (the president or monarch), is the actual executive.
  • Procedure secrecy: This type of government requires that cabinet meetings be private and not intended for public disclosure.
  • The leadership of the Prime Minister: The Prime Minister is in charge of this system of government. The heads of the parties that win a majority in the lower chamber are frequently chosen to serve as prime ministers.
  • Bicameral legislatures are used in the majority of parliamentary democracies.
  • Without a set term, Having a majority in the lower house determines how long the government will be in power. In the event that a motion of no confidence in the government is unsuccessful, the council of ministers must resign.

What is Presidential Form of Government?

Presidential form of government is a system of government in which the president is the head of the state as well as the head of the government. The president is elected directly by the people or by the electoral college, and serves for a fixed term of office. The powers and duties of the president are usually outlined in a written constitution.

The Indian Parliament, established after 1947, is a manifestation of the Indian people's trust in democratic principles. People's participation in decision-making and consent-based government are examples of this. Because it is the people's representative, the Parliament under our system wields enormous authority.

In a presidential form of government, the president has significant executive powers, including the power to appoint and dismiss cabinet ministers and other officials, veto legislation, and grant pardons. The president is also in charge of the nation's defense and overall foreign policy.

The congress or parliament, the name for the legislative branch of the government, is distinct from the executive branch. The congress is in charge of passing legislation, approving budgets, and supervising the executive branch.

The president only plays a little part in the legislative process in some presidential systems, such the one in the United States. The congress has the power to accept or reject the president's proposed legislation. Legislation may also be vetoed by the president, but with a two-thirds majority vote, Congress may override the veto.

The president participates more actively in the legislative process in other presidential systems, such as Mexico. The president has the authority to veto legislation as well as introduce it. With a two-thirds majority vote, the congress can overturn the veto, though.

A presidential system of government has the benefit of ensuring a distinct division of powers between the executive and legislative departments. This can safeguard a system of checks and balances and prevent the abuse of power.

According to Article 60, the president's principal duty is to preserve, safeguard, and defend the Indian constitution and law. On the advice of the Chief Justice of India, the president appoints the Chief Justice of India and other judges. A judge may be dismissed by the President with a two-thirds vote of the two Houses of parliament.

The set time in office enjoyed by a president under the presidential system ensures government stability and policy consistency. Inefficiencies and efficiency, when an action falls within the realm of a president's authority, a presidential system can respond to new problems faster than a parliamentary one. When taking action, a prime minister must maintain the backing of the legislature, whereas a president is generally less constrained.

In a presidential system, the executive is separate from the legislature and is led by the head of the government. In this country, the head of government and the head of state are the same person. Another important trait is that the executive is not accountable to the legislative.

The president is directly answerable to the people because they elect him or her, which is another benefit. Greater democratic legitimacy and representation may result from this.

A presidential system of administration has the drawback of increasing political instability and deadlock. If the president and the congress are from different political parties, it can be difficult to pass legislation and make decisions. Government might become paralyzed as a result, which would erode public confidence in the political process.

Another disadvantage is that the president can become too powerful, especially if there are weak institutional checks on the executive branch. This can lead to abuses of power and violations of human rights.

When a nation uses the presidential form of government, it means that the President is the only person in charge of the state and government. The members of the electoral college occasionally participate in the direct election of the president for a predetermined period.

A tiny Cabinet is assembled by the President and serves as the President's choice for the Secretary. The Congress (Parliament) does not hold the President or the Secretaries responsible for their actions. They do not, in fact, attend the sessions either. Countries like the United States of America, Russia, Brazil, and Sri Lanka have this type of governance.

Features of the Presidential System

  • Legislative acts are subject to the executive's (President's) veto.
  • Due to the President's fixed term in office, a vote of no confidence in the legislature cannot be used to remove him.
  • The President generally has the power to commute or vacate criminal sentences.
  • Direct popular vote or an electoral college are both used to choose the president.

Main Difference Between Parliamentary Form of Government and Presidential Form of Government in Points

Regarding the distinctions between the parliamentary and presidential forms of administration, the following details are crucial:

  • In a parliamentary system of government, the legislative and executive branches coexist peacefully, while the judicial branch operates independently. In contrast, the three government organs function independently of one another under the presidential form of government.
  • The executive branch of a parliamentary system of government consists of the Head of State (the President) and the Head of the Government (the Prime Minister). The President, on the other hand, serves as the head of state under the Presidential form of government.
  • The Council of Ministers, the executive branch under a parliamentary system of government, is answerable to the Parliament for its deeds. In contrast, there is no such accountability under the presidential form of government, meaning that the executive branch is not answerable to the Parliament for its deeds.
  • In a presidential system, the powers are divided, whereas, in a parliamentary system, the authorities are combined.
  • In a parliamentary system, only members of Parliament may be appointed as ministers to the executive branch. Contrary to the presidential form, secretaries may be chosen from outside the legislative branch.
  • The lower house of parliament may be dissolved before the end of its term in a parliamentary system of government by the prime minister. In contrast, under a presidential system of government, the President cannot dissolve the lower chamber.
  • In a parliamentary system of government, the Council of Ministers may be removed from office if a no-confidence resolution is approved by the Parliament. In contrast to this, the executive branch of government in a presidential system has a defined term.


The cabinet members are also members of the executive and legislative branches of government. with contrast, with a presidential form of government, only members of the executive branch are allowed to serve in the cabinet.

In the Parliamentary System, the Prime Minister is in charge of the real power, with the President serving only as the ceremonial leader. The President, on the other hand, holds absolute power under the Presidential System.


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"Difference Between Parliamentary and Presidential Form of Government." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-parliamentary-and-presidential-form-of-government>.

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