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President of Baltia
Republikpräsident fon Baltia
Flag of the President of Baltia
Christine Kallenbach2
Incumbent
Christine Kallenbach

since 14 October 2016
StyleHis/Her Excellency
ResidenceKaiserwald Palace
AppointerPopular vote
Term lengthSix years
renewable once, consecutively
Inaugural holderAnton Schmidt
Formation9 April 1919
Salary138.000€/year
Websiterepublikpraesident.bl

The President of Baltia (Baltish: Republikpräsident fon Baltia, literally translated as President of the Republic of Baltia) is the head of state of the Republic of Baltia.

Baltia is a parliamentary republic in which the President is a ceremonial figurehead but leads the Council of State, is the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces and exercises some functions determined by the Constitution. The President is obliged to suspend their membership in any political party for the term in office. Upon assuming office, the authority and duties of the President in all other elected or appointed offices terminate automatically.

The President is elected, since the Constitutional change in 1948, by universal adult suffrage for a term of six years. They can be reelected any number of times but not more than twice consecutively and must be a native-born Baltish citizen. The 13th and current President of Baltia is Christine Kallenbach, the second woman ever to hold the position.

History

After Baltia's independence the matter of whether Baltia should be a republic or a constitutional monarchy was much debated (see Wilhelm Karl of Urach) and the outcome was a parliamentary republic with a weak presidency and few powers. The authors of the Constitution, with memories of the Russian emperors' abuses of power, tried to avoid concentrating too much power in one person's hands by all means possible.

According to the original Constitution, the President of Baltia is elected by an electoral college comprising the two chambers of the Reichtag of Baltia —the Landtag and the Senate— meeting in joint session. A two-thirds vote was required to elect on any of the first three rounds of balloting; after that, only a simple majority was required.

From 1936, the President Karl Ullmann greatly increased his powers and duties by suppressing some articles of the Constitution, changing the country's system to a de facto presidential republic based on the cult to his person.

When Baltia re-established itself as an independent nation on 5 May 1945, the party leaders forming the unity government decided not to frame a new constitution, reverting instead to that of 1920 in its whole, afraid that lengthy discussion might provoke the Red Army could invade Baltia again. In December 1945, Reinhold Meisser was elected new President of Baltia by the Parliament, being the last time that this type of election is used. In the following months, the government and the other political parties began to work on a deep reform of the Constitution, which among other changes, would determine the direct popular vote to elect the President. The approval of the constitutional referendum in 1948 changed definitely the system of election of the President of the Republic. Starting with the 1951 reelection of Reinhold Meisser, all presidents have in fact been elected by the Baltish people.

Election

The President of Baltia is elected directly by the people to serve for six years and is limited to two consecutive terms of office. Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the President is elected by an absolute majority. If no candidate succeeds in passing this threshold, the second round of voting is held with the participation of the two candidates with the largest and second largest number of votes respectively. If there is only one candidate standing in a presidential election then the electorate is granted the opportunity to either accept or reject him or her in a referendum.

In order to be registered as a candidate in the presidential election, one must be a Baltish citizen, be at least 35 years old on the day of the first round of the election and collect at least 20,000 signatures of registered voters.

Inauguration

In assuming office the President must subscribe to a formal declaration, made publicly and in the presence of members of the Landtag, judges of the Supreme Court, members of the Council of State and other "public personages". The inauguration of the President takes place in the Blue Hall in Riga Castle. The affirmation is specified in the Constitution:

  • In Baltish: "Ich X.X., de ich fon baltisch Folk zu Republikpräsident fon Baltia gewählt worden bin, gelobe hiermit, de ich in de Ausübung mein Amt als Republikpräsident de Ferfassung unt de Gesetze fon de Republik aufrichtig unt ehrlich beachten unt nach besser Können de Wohl fon de baltisch Folk Mehr werden."
  • In English: "I, X.X., whom the people of Baltia have elected President of the Republic of Baltia, affirm that in the execution of my office as President I shall sincerely and faithfully observe the Constitution and laws of the Republic and to the best of my ability promote the welfare of the Baltish people."

Powers and role

The presidential functions and powers are directly defined in the Constitution. The President's most prominent duties include:

  • Commander-in-Chief of the Baltish Defence Forces and Chairman of the Council of State.
  • Appoints the Prime Minister and Ministers.
  • Declares regular legislative elections and under certain circumstances may dissolving the Landtag and call to extraordinary legislative elections.
  • Signs and promulgates or vetoes the promulgation of laws.
  • Convenes extraordinary sessions of the Landtag.
  • Appoints the Chairman of the Supreme Court, the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Baltia, the Auditor General, the Chancellor of Justice and the Chief of Defence of the Defence Forces.
  • Appoints ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions abroad.
  • Represents Baltia at home and abroad.
  • Exercises the power to pardon individual offenders on behalf of the country.
  • Confers state decorations, military and diplomatic ranks.

Amenities

Kaiserwald Palace

Kaiserwald Palace in Riga.

Office and residences

The official residence and office of the President of Baltia is Kaiserwald Palace in Northern District of Riga. Kaiserwald Palace (formerly Katharinental Palace) is a Petrine Baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great. After the death of Peter the Great, the palace received little attention from the Russian royal family. It was sporadically visited, by the empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great. Between 1812 and 1917, the palace was the residence of the Governor-General of Baltia. After the declaration of independence in 1918, the palace became state property and since 1922 is the residence of the President.

The Office of the President (Präsidialamt) is situated in the Kaiserwald Palace. It organizes the President's work, supports the President in the performance of his duties as Head of State and coordinates his working relationships to the Baltish government and other administrations. Its top official, is the Head of the Office of the President (Chef fon de Präsidialamt).

In addition to the Kaiserwald Palace, the President also has at his disposal Tyszkiewicz Palace in Polangen (as summer official residence) and Allatzkiwi Castle in Kallasten Municipality (mainly used as country official residence), near the city of Dorpat and Lake Peipus.

Salary

Since 2011, the salary of the President is 11,500€ per month or 138,000€ per year.

Incapacity and succession

The President of Baltia does not have a vice president. If the President is temporarily prevented from performing his or her duties, the President of the Landtag becomes acting president until the president’s incapacity ceases. If the President dies or if the Landtag declares that the President is permanently unable to carry out his or her duties, again the President of the Landtag becomes acting president and a new president is elected as soon as possible.

Impeachment

If the Chancellor of Justice or the Council of State by majority deem that the President of the Republic is guilty of high treason or a crime against humanity, the matter shall be communicated to the Landtag. If the Landtag, by two-thirds of the votes cast, decides that charges are to be brought, the prosecutor-general prosecutes the President in the Supreme Court of Baltia and the President abstains from office for the duration of the proceedings. However, this process has never been taken in Baltia.

List of Presidents (1919-present)

N. Name Took office Left office Political Party Elected
1 Anton Schmidt
Anton Schmidt
(1874-1944)
9 April 1919 29 April 1921 BB 1919
TBD
2 Alexander Stuckmann
Alexander Stuckmann
(1885-1969)
29 April 1921 29 April 1927 BSDAP 1921
TBD
(1) Anton Schmidt
Anton Schmidt
(1874-1944)
29 April 1927 29 April 1933 BB 1927
TBD
3 Konstantin Pasche
Konstantin Pasche
(1874-1956)
29 April 1933 24 December 1935 BB 1933
TBD
Flag of the President of Baltia
Rudolf Petzold
(1896-1951)
24 December 1935 12 January 1936 BNU
As President of the Senate, served as Acting President, following Pasche's resignation.
4 Karl Ulmann
Karl Ullmann
(1877-1942)
12 January 1936 15 June 1940 BNU 1936
TBD
Anton Metzger
Anton Metzger
(1887-1955)
15 June 1940 17 June 1940 BNU
Acting President.
Karl Ehmann
Karl Ehmann
(1888-1942)
17 June 1940 21 July 1940 Independent
Acting President.
No Baltish presidency (21 July 1940 – 7 November 1941)
5 Peter Kling
Peter O. Kling
(1891-1969)
7 November 1941 22 October 1945 Independent
TBD
Wilhelm Silberbauer
Wilhelm Silberbauer
(1888-1973)
22 October 1945 15 December 1945 SP
As President of the Senate, served as Acting President, following Kling's resignation.
6 Reinhold Maisel
Reinhold Meisser
(1889-1971)
15 December 1945 15 December 1957 SP 1945, 1951
TBD
7 Karl Schmidt
Karl Schmidt
(1896-1979)
15 December 1957 15 December 1969 SP 1957, 1963
TBD
8 Jürgen Kindler
Jürgen Kindler
(1904-1988)
15 December 1969 15 December 1981 BFP 1969, 1975
TBD
9 Gerhard Mucke
Gerhard Mucke
(1900-1990)
15 December 1981 2 August 1986 SP 1981
TBD
Henrik Schnell
Henrik Schnell
(1933-)
2 August 1986 14 October 1986 SP
As President of the Landtag, served as Acting President, following Mucke's resignation.
10 Leonard Meier
Leonard Meier
(1929-2006)
14 October 1986 14 October 1992 BFP 1986
TBD
11 Veronika Finke-Freiberger
Veronika Finke
(1937-)
14 October 1992 14 October 2004 Independent 1992, 1998
TBD
12 Thomas Henrik Imhoff
Thomas H. Imhoff
(1953-)
14 October 2004 14 October 2016 ZP 2004, 2010
TBD
13 Christine Kallenbach2
Christine Kallenbach
(1969-)
14 October 2016 Incumbent Independent 2016
TBD

Pre-Republican Heads of State

N. Name Took office Left office Political Party Elected
Johannes Baumgarten]
Johannes Baumgarten
(1929-2006)
25 March 1918 2 December 1918 Independent
Regent.
Anton Schmidt
Anton Schmidt
(1874-1944)
2 December 1918 9 April 1919 BB
Regent.

Living former Presidents

NameTermDate of birthAge
Veronika Finke 1992-2004 1 December 1937 79
Thomas Henrik Imhoff 2004-2016 26 December 1953 63

See also

Spouse of the President of Baltia
Republic Day (Baltia)

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