Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Country with Two Prime Ministers

Although many countries have a president and a prime minister, Bosnia-Herzegovina has three presidents at the same time. The Bosnian-Herzegovinan presidency consists of three members, one Bosnian, one Croat and one Serb, and they serve together for four years.

The presidents are all elected by direct popular vote, with the Bosnian and Croatian presidents elected from the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serbian president chosen from the Republika Srpska, the other political entity in Bosnia-Herzegonia.

These three presidents take turns serving as the chairman of the presidency in eight-month rotations, during which time the chairman serves the head of state. In addition to all the presidents, both Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska also have a vice president and a prime minister.

More about collective presidencies:

  • A few other countries are led collectively, including Switzerland, which has a seven-member federal council led by a president, and San Marino, which has two captains regent that serve together.
  • The Bosnian-Herzegovinan presidents are eligible for second terms, but if they serve a second term, they become ineligible to run for four years.
  • Several ancient governments were led by multiple heads of state as well, including the Roman Republic, which was led by two consuls.

San Marino is the oldest state in Europe, and the third smallest independent country in Europe, when compared to the Vatican and Monaco and, until the independence of Nauru (1968), the smallest republic in the world, after the Holy See and the Principality of Monaco, landlocked completely surrounded by Italy occupying 61 square kilometers or only 24 square miles in area.

San Marino, small republic situated on the slopes of Mount Titano, on the Adriatic side of north-central Italy, near Rimini. between the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions and surrounded on all sides by the Republic of Italy, which is home to 32,000 residents. The country claims to be the oldest state in Europe, having been founded in the fourth century.

San Marino's topography mainly consists of rugged mountains and its highest elevation is Monte Titano at 2,477 feet (755 m). The lowest point in San Marino is Torrente Ausa at 180 feet (55 m).

The population of San Marino is just over 32,000. San Marino's landscape is dominated by the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mount Titano, which peaks at 735 metres. The official language of San Marino is Italian and the majority of the population is ethnically Sammarinese, with smaller numbers of Italians also present.

Politics of San Marino takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Captains Regent are the heads of state and heads 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 Grand and General Council. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

San Marino was originally led by the Arengo, initially formed with the heads of each family. In the 13th century, power was given to the Great and General Council. In 1243, the first two Captains Regent were nominated by the Council and is still in use today.

The current government coalition, elected in November 2012, is a centrist grouping, known as San Marino Bene Comune (the "Pact for San Marino”). The coalition comprises representatives of the Christian Democratic Party, the Party of Socialists and Democrats, and the Popular Alliance. It won 51.1 per cent of the vote and obtained the largest single share of preferences from Sammarinese living abroad, with 49 per cent of votes.

Head of State functions are fulfilled by two Captains Regent, who are selected by the Council to serve concurrent six-month terms. The roles of the Captains Regent are largely ceremonial. Investiture of the new Captains Regent occurs on 1 April and 1 October every year. The Captains Regent for the 1 April 2013 to 30 September 2013 term are former Secretary of State, Antonella Mularoni, and Denis Amici.