Head of state
The head of state is at the top of the state hierarchy of offices . It represents the state internally and externally, is generally the fully authorized representative of its country within the meaning of international law and formally confirms the appointment to state offices and the execution of laws . The selection and function of the head of state as well as the structure of his office are central features of the form of government .
Head of State is an unofficial term that is used in particular for brevity in the phrase head of state and party head (of a communist or real socialist state, see also President of the Council of State ) and in the phrase heads of state and government (of the European Union ) and generally refers to those Heads of state who perform not only representative but also executive tasks and thus have politically relevant authority, for example the French or US president.
In the Commonwealth Realms (with the exception of Great Britain) the king is resident outside the country, as he is also king of the United Kingdom in personal union . Therefore, the king of z. B. Australia , Canada or Jamaica represented in the exercise of his functions as head of state of these states by a governor-general who is appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the respective government.
In a republic , the head of state is usually called the president or sometimes the state president . Examples are the President of the United States , the Federal President of Germany (formerly Reich President ) or Austria and the French President ( President of the Republic ).
The functions of head of state and head of government can be combined in one office. The USA as the presidential system of government or South Africa are examples of this. Most autocracies also have only one office for both functions.
The official designation of the head of state in the Vichy regime was Chef d'Etat , in Franquism Jefe de Estado (German: ' Head of State'). In the early days of the Second Polish Republic , the name was Naczelnik Państwa (ditto) from 1918 to 1922 .
The member states of a (state) state can also have heads of state. For example, in the United States, governors are considered the heads of state of a US state . As partially sovereign member states, they have their own political and legal system, whereby the position of the governor equals that of the president at the federal level. The prime ministers of the German states are also heads of state, even if there is less power than the US system and a greater dependence on the legislature due to the constitutional architecture .
The respective powers can vary widely in the various political systems .
Collective heads of state
A few modern states do not formally have an individual head of state, but only collective state organs that are entrusted with official business:
- The Switzerland does not have a uniquely determined state. The Swiss Parliament elects a member of the Federal Council as Federal President every year . However, this is only primus inter pares (first among equals) - he is only treated as head of state at the international level. The role of head of state to take de facto among themselves the Federal Assembly , the National Council , the Federal President, the entire Federal Council as well as the franchisor state people and the cantons as sovereign true.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina has an ethnic and parity state presidency with a rotating chairmanship .
- Even Libya has after the 2011 Revolution , a Bureau, National Transitional named as head of state, whose chairman Representative is the sovereign.
- In San Marino, two Capitani Reggenti ('ruling captains'), elected for six months, are heads of state with equal rights.
- In Andorra, the French President and the Spanish Bishop of Seu d'Urgell act as co-princes of Andorra as collective heads of state when they represent the interests of the country externally. They also have a right of veto on international agreements and in the legislation .
A collective (i.e. by a constitutional body consisting of several persons ) exercised the office of head of state historically also existed in some real socialist countries of the former Eastern Bloc , for example in the GDR ( State Council of the GDR ), the Soviet Union ( Presidium of the Supreme Soviet ) and in the VR Poland ( Council of State ). Even Yugoslavia had after the death of Josip Broz Tito's such a collective head of state, the Presidium of the SFRY with regular moderate chaired change. The chairman was seen as primus inter pares and therefore de facto as head of state.
During the two-part division of the Polish government in exile , which was not recognized internationally with a few exceptions, between 1954 and 1970, the Council of Three represented one of the competing exiled heads of state as a collective body.
States without a formal head of state
- Switzerland: There is no formal head of state in Switzerland. De facto, this task is taken over by the Federal Council under the leadership of the Federal President ( see section “ Collective Heads of State ”).
- According to the constitution of Japan , the tennō (emperor) is only the symbol of the state and the unity of the people , but not de jure head of state. He can only exercise his few political powers together with the government. The sovereign power rests solely with the people.
Deceased persons as heads of state
Remuneration of incumbent heads of state (based on salary)
- Lee Hsien Loong ( Singapore ) with around 1.5 million Swiss francs per year
- Scott Morrison ( Australia ) with around 520,000 Swiss francs per year
- Alain Berset ( Switzerland ) with around 450,000 Swiss francs per year
- Government system
- List of heads of state by term of office
- List of female heads of state and government
- In principle, subject to the rights of the people and the cantons , the Federal Assembly is the supreme power in the Swiss state ( Art. 148, Paragraph 1 of the Swiss Federal Constitution ), and the President of the National Council is therefore popularly known as the “highest Swiss”. The Federal President performs the tasks of a head of state (e.g. at receptions for foreign heads of state) as primus inter pares , who, according to the protocol-based hierarchy, exercises the highest office in Switzerland, but is not de jure head of state. The entire Federal Council as a collective also appears de facto as head of state due to its position.
- Repubblica di San Marino: Institutions. Repubblica di San Marinos, 2007, archived from the original on July 14, 2011 ; Retrieved July 1, 2009 .
- The Andorran Institutions. (No longer available online.) Andorran Embassy, March 31, 2008, archived from the original on May 1, 2008 ; Retrieved July 1, 2009 .
- Constanze Fienhold, in: Wolfgang Gieler (Hrsg.): Handbook of foreigners and immigration policy. From Afghanistan to Cyprus. Lit Verlag, Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6444-8 , p. 35 .
- Устав Социјалистичке Федеративне Републике Југославије (1974) (Serbian) PREDSEDNIŠTVO SOCIJALISTIČKE FEDERATIVNE REPUBLIKE Jugoslavije ( Wikisource )
- David Torcasso: Do you earn more than a head of state? In: Handelszeitung , October 22, 2018, accessed on October 22, 2018.