To prepare for Indian Polity for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about the basics of the Parliamentary System. It gives an idea of all the topics important for IAS Exam and the polity syllabus (GS-II). Parliamentary System and related topics are extremely important for the UPSC Exam. This is an essential portion of the polity. As IAS aspirants, you should be thorough with the Parliamentary System. This article will provide you with relevant details about the Semi-Presidential System.




Context– Political crisis in Sri Lanka

  • A semi-presidential system is republican system of governance that combines elements of presidential democracy with parliamentary democracy.
  • Typically, the head of state is the president, directly elected by the people, whereas the head of government is the PM nominated by the president but who can be dismissed by the legislature.
  • France, a well-known example of semi presidential democracy, the president
  • leads foreign policy and the prime minister leads domestic policy.
  • Semi-presidential systems in which the president and the PM are from differing political parties called “cohabitation”.
  • E.g. of semi-presidential system – Sri-Lanka, France, Egypt.


Merits Demerits
Protects the president from criticism and unpopular policies can be blamed on the PM. Confusion about accountability between President and PM
Parliament is able to remove an unpopular PM and maintain stability from the president’s fixed term. Semi-presidential systems add another layer of complexity for voters to ensure accountability.
Additional checks and balances mechanism. Confusion and inefficiency in legislative process and executive actions.