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“Semi-Presidential System For A Federal Government in A United Cyprus” is Discussed at EMU

“Semi-Presidential System For A Federal Government in A United Cyprus” is Discussed at EMU
Published Date: Sunday, 12 January 2020
The Eastern Mediterranean University Cyprus Policy Centre (EMU-CPC) and the EMU Business and Economics Faculty, Department of Political Science and International Relations collaborated to organize a panel titled “Semi-Presidential System for a Federal Government in a United Cyprus" on Wednesday, the 6th of November 2019. The speakers of the panel were Universitas Foundation President Dr. Nikos Peristianis and EMU Business and Economics Faculty, Department of Political Science and International Relations academic staff member Prof. Dr. Yücel Vural. In his opening speech, panel moderator EMU Business and Economics Faculty, Department of Political Science and International Relations Chair and CPC Director Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen presented the speakers and drew attention to the fact that Cyprus is the only European Union member to use a Presidential system.


Presidential and Semi-Presidential Systems

Prof. Dr. Vural and Dr. Peristianis started their presentations by explaining the latest model discussed on the negotiation table according to information they have acquired. They emphasized that executive power is divided amongst the President, Vice President and Council of Ministers in the federal system currently being discussed. The President and Vice President are chosen by a public cross vote and there is a rotating presidency. The professors also touched upon certain principles that have been agreed upon or are still being discussed such as the 'minimum single positive vote'.

Prof. Dr. Vural and Dr. Peristianis also spoke about the disadvantages of the presidential system model that is currently being discussed such as the centralization of executive power, political diversity not being represented in the executive organ, political parties being excluded from the executive organ in a multiparty system, the possibility of the 'minimum single positive vote' decision making method leading to polarization, ambiguity and uncertainty regarding accountability and the likelihood of disputes between the President, Vice President and Council of Ministers.

Prof. Dr. Vural and Dr. Peristianis went on to describe their recommendation of a semipresidential system which is a combination of the presidential and parliamentary systems. Highlighting the primary characteristics of such a system Prof. Dr. Vural and Dr. Peristianis stated that the President and VicePresident will be in charge of security and external affairs whilst the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers will be in charge of other federal executive affairs.

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