The politics of Bijan take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Bijan is head of state and the Chief Minister of Bijan is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Government of Bijan. Legislative power is vested in both the government and a unicameral parliament called the House of Representatives. The judiciary, led by the Supreme Court of Bijan, is independent of both the executive and the legislature.
The Bijani declaration of independence was issued in 1946. Prior to that, Bijan was a Dutch colony. A parliamentary republic was formed by a constituent assembly and the Constitution of Bijan went into effect on January 1, 1949. As a young republic, Bijan pursued economic stabilization and further political openness, while emphasizing a non-aligned outlook and promoting a national Bijani heritage. Despite some tensions, relations between Bijan's many ethnic groups have been mostly harmonious.
Since gaining independence, Bijan has instituted a mostly stable, multi-party, democratic political system, characterized by regular elections, a mostly independent press and a steadily improving human rights record. The Constitution of Bijan established the country as a parliamentary democracy and a republic. Its government follows the principles of separation of powers, with separate institutions exercising executive, legislative and judicial authority.
Bijani politics were initially dominated by the Bijani National Party (BNP), a nationalist organization formed in the 1930s which had become a full-fledged political movement by the end of World War II. The BNP was the dominant political party in Bijan for its first decade as an independent nation, and governed the country from 1949 to 1973, though the last nine years of its government was in coalition with smaller parties.
By the 1970s, the solid support for the BNP had declined, and several parties competed for power. The Social Democratic Party (SDP), in existence since 1947, won 62 of the 173 seats in the 1973 general election, and formed a coalition government with the New Bijan Party (NBP) and the Alliance of Dutch Voters (ANV). This left wing government was ousted in the 1977 election, when the centre-right Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) established an alliance with the BNP and formed their own coalition government. Through the 1980s, the LDP continued to grow while the BNP struggled to maintain its influence.
Talks of an LDP–BNP merger began as early as 1979, though neither party fully supported the idea. By 1985, as the alliance began its third term in government, the BNP had become pro-merger, but the LDP was still split on the issue. Incumbent Chief Minister of Bijan Kiŝik Ornam supported the merger, but was overthrown by members of his own party in 1988 and replaced with Ĉeso Dukan, who opposed it. Under Dukan as Chief Minister, the LDP formed a coalition with the Country Party (KP) and the Christian Democatic Party (KDP), but excluded the BNP. Dukan served less than a year as Chief Minister before he himself was replaced by anti-erger LDP leader Markom Hikoro.
Head of state
The President of the Republic is elected by the House of Representatives for a six-year term. If the House fails to elect a President with a two-thirds majority after three rounds of balloting, then an Electoral Assembly, consisting of the members of the House and delegates representing the local government agencies, elects the president.
The Government of Bijan is the country's executive. It is established by Chapter 6 of the constitution. The primary duty of the Government is to implement the legislative acts and resolutions passed by the House of Representatives, and the edicts issued by the President. It is led by the Chief Minister, who supervises the work of the individual ministers. In edition to its work in carrying out the law, the Government directs the work of government institutions and agencies, drafts legislation and submits it to the House of Representatives and organizes relations with foreign states.
The formation of a new Government is triggered by the resignation of the previous government. The Government is required to resign upon the first sitting of the House of Representatives following a general election, but the necessity to form a new Government may occur at any time. The President has the power to nominate anyone he or she chooses, though convention dictates that the President nominate the leader of the party or coalition that has a majority in the House of Representatives.
Once nominated, a candidate for Chief Minister has fourteen days to present a proposal for a new Government to the House of Representatives for approval. Once the House approves the proposal, the members of the new Government must present themselves to the President within seven days to be formally appointed to their offices.
There is no legal or constitutional requirement that the Chief Minister or other minister be a member of the House of Representatives, though this is overwhelmingly the case. Unlike in a Westminster-style parliamentary system, however, one cannot serve simultaneously as a member of the House of Representatives and a minister in the Government. If a sitting representative is appointed to the Government, his or her duties as a representative are suspended for the duration of service in the Government, and a substitute representative is seated in the House in his or her place.
To date, there have been 22 Governments, under the leadership of 10 Chief Ministers. The incumbent Government is supported by the Social Democratic Party, Together for Bijan and the Bijani Greens, and is led by Chief Minister Jakovo Ostaras.
The Bijani House of Representatives is the supreme lawmaking body in Bijan. It
Political parties and elections
Political pressure groups and leaders
Bijan has a multi-party system, in which it is unlikely that a single party can win enough seats in the House of Representatives to form a government on its own.