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The Presdient of the Republic (Esperanto: Respublika Prezidanto) is the head of state of the Republic of Bijan.  He or she is elected by the Bijani House of Representatives, or in some cases the Electoral Assembly, to a six-year term. Term limits prohibit the same person from serving more than two consecutive terms. The current president is Hanna Roggeveen, who has been in the office since 2009.

Constitutional basis

The office of President of the Republic is established by Chapter 5 of the Constitution of Bijan, which includes Articles 77–85.  The constitution explicitly states that the President of the Republic is the head of state of Bijan.  Bijan's parliamentary system, however, means that the President's role in the workings of government is limited, and most of his or her official functions are carried out pursuant to the law or on the advice of the Chief Minister.  Very few of the President's powers are exercised solely at his or her own discretion.

Qualifications

The constitution lists only two qualifications to be presented as a candidate for the office of President:  one must be a Bijani citizen by birth and at least forty years of age.  However, as candidates are nominated by members of the House of Representatives, the actual pool of potential candidates is significantly narrower than those who simply meet the constitutional qualifications.

Duties and Functions

Duties related to international relations

As head of state of Bijan, the President of the Republic is the state's primary representative in the international arena.  He or she formally appoints and recalls Bijan's diplomatic representatives abroad, though the appointments are proposed by the Government, and accepts the credentials of representatives of foreign states accredited to Bijan.

Duties related to the House of Representatives

The President declares elections to the House of Representatives in January every four years, thereby beginning the quadrennial parliamentary campaign season that culminates with the election in March. After each general election, the President formally opens the first session of the House of Representatives, and may also ask the Speaker of the House to convene an extraordinary legislative session if circumstances warrant it.

In the event the Government of the Republic loses the confidence of the House of Representatives, or a newly-elected House cannot agree on a government within a constitutionally mandated time limit, or the House of Representatives fails to adopt a budget within 60 days of the new fiscal year, the President of the Republic can dissolve the House of Representatives and call new elections ahead of schedule. This has never taken place.

Duties related to the Government of the Republic

The primary duty of the President related to the Government is designating a candidate for the office of Chief Minister, who must then be approved by a majority of the House of Representatives. In practice, the President's first designated candidate for Chief Minister is always the parliamentary leader of the party with the greatest number of seats in the House of Representatives following an election. If that candidate is unable to form a government that gains the approval of the House, the President designates the parliamentary leader of the party with the next-greatest number of seats.

Once a candidate for Chief Minister has received authorization from the House of Representatives, the President formally appoints the Ministers of the Government to their offices.

Duties related to the Defense Forces

The President is the Supreme Commander of the Bijani Defense Forces

Other duties

Among the President's other functions, he or she may initiate amendments to the Constitution, and grant clemency to prisoners by freeing them or reducing their sentences.

Elections

The President of Bijan is elected by the Bijani House of Representatives, or in a certain case by the Electoral Assembly.  The election of the new president must take place between 60 and 10 days prior to the expiration of the term of the sitting presdient.

The election of the president begins in a session of the House, in which members are entitled to nominate candidates for the office.  A candidate must have the support of at least one-fifth of the House's membership, or 49 members.  Once the nominations period has concluded, a secret ballot is held, and the candidate who receives a two-thirds majority vote in favor (at least 164 votes) is delcared elected.  If no candidate receives a two-thirds majority, another round of nominations and a ballot is held again the next day.  If no candidate again receives two-thirds of the vote in favor, a third round is held later the same day between the two candidates who received the most votes in the second round.  If no candidate secures a two-thirds majority in the third round, the election is suspended, and the Speaker of the House must convene the Electoral Assembly within one month.

The Electoral Assembly consists of all 245 members of the House of Representatives and at least one representative from each of Bijan's municipal councils.  More populous municipalities can send multiple representatives, up to a limit of five.  Upon the convocation of the Electoral Assembly, the two candidates from the third round are automatically considered candidates in the fourth round.  An additional nominations period is held, during which more candidates can be nominated if they have the support of at least twenty-one members of the Electoral Assembly.  Once the nominations are closed, a secret ballot is held, and the candidate who receives a simple majority of the votes is declared elected.  If no candidate receives a majority, a fifth and final round is held between the top two candidates from the fourth round.

Vacancy and Succession

History

As of 2014, eight people have served as President of Bijan.

Portrait Name Took office Left office Party Birth and death
1 Nemu Neĉemu 1 July
1949
1 July
1955
Bijani National Party b. August 31, 1888
d. May 19, 1960 (aged 71)
1949 (Round II): Elected by the House of Representatives on June 14, 1949, with 110 of 150 votes (73.3%).
2 Avro Sandurvo 1 July
1955
1 July
1967
Bijani National Party b. January 15, 1902
d. December 24, 1986 (aged 84)
1955 (Round II): Elected by the House of Representatives on June 14, 1955, with 105 of 150 votes (70.0%).
1961 (Round III): Elected by the House of Representatives on June 13, 1961, with 111 of 150 votes (74.0%).
3 Menit Hanadani 1 July
1967
1 July
1973
Bijani National Party b. October 11, 1907
d. September 3, 1975 (aged 67)
1967 (Round III):  Elected by the House of Representatives of June 13, 1967, with 124 of 173 votes (71.7%).
4 Arĝin Mekavisolu 1 July
1973
1 July
1979
Social Democratic Party b. May 23, 1917
d. November 6, 2005 (aged 88)
1973: ??
5 Gerun Hasihasi 1 July
1979
1 July
1985
Liberal Democratic Party b. November 9, 1918
d. May 8, 1998 (aged 79)
1979: ??
6 Barko Neknek 1 July
1985
1 July
1997
Liberal Democratic Party b. April 16, 1928
d. July 6, 2011 (aged 83)
1985: ??
1991: ??
7 Joku Naviku Joku Naviku 1 July
1997
1 July
2009
Liberal Democratic Party b. December 12, 1948 (age 65)
1997: ??
2003: ??
8 Hana Forĝisto portrait Hanna Roggeveen 1 July
2009
Social Democratic Party b. August 6, 1953 (age 61)
2009: ??

Living presidents

There are currently two living presidents, Joku Naviku and Hanna Roggeveen. The greatest number of presidents alive at the same time has been four, during two periods: July 1, 1985 to December 24, 1986, and July 1, 1997 until May 8, 1998.

Presidents From To Notes
1 Neĉemu July 1, 1949 July 1, 1955 Inauguration of Nemu Neĉemu
2 Neĉemu
Sandurvo
July 1, 1955 May 19, 1960 Inauguration of Avro Sandurvo
1 Sandurvo May 19, 1960 July 1, 1967 Death of Nemu Neĉemu
2 Sandurvo
Hanadani
July 1, 1967 July 1, 1973 Inauguration of Menit Hanadani
3 Sandurvo
Hanadani
Mekavisolu
July 1, 1973 September 3, 1975 Inauguration of Arĝin Mekavisolu
2 Sandurvo
Mekavisolu
September 3, 1975 July 1, 1979 Death of Menit Hanadani
3 Sandurvo
Mekavisolu
Hasihasi
July 1, 1979 July 1, 1985 Inauguration of Gerun Hasihasi
4 Sandurvo
Mekavisolu
Hasihasi
Neknek
July 1, 1985 December 24, 1986 Inauguration of Gerun Hasihasi
3 Mekavisolu
Hasihasi
Neknek
December 24, 1986 July 1, 1997 Death of Avro Sandurvo
4 Mekavisolu
Hasihasi
Neknek
Naviku
July 1, 1997 May 8, 1998 Inauguration of Joku Naviku
3 Mekavisolu
Neknek
Naviku
May 8, 1998 November 6, 2005 Death of Gerun Hasihasi
2 Neknek
Naviku
November 6, 2005 July 1, 2009 Death of Arĝin Mekavisolu
3 Neknek
Naviku
Roggeveen
July 1, 2009 July 6, 2011 Inauguration of Hanna Roggeveen
2 Naviku
Roggeveen
July 6, 2011 Present Death of Barko Neknek

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