Upcoming Elections in January and Expert Coding

Jan. 8, 2018 Weekly Graphs

The new year is still fresh, but both democracy and the V-Dem Institute are already busy again! Presidential elections will be held in the Czech Republic on January 12-13 and in Finland and Cyprus on January 28. Apart from that, last week V-Dem’s over 1,800 country experts started coding data on last year’s state of democracy. So stay tuned for new data!

As all of January’s elections happen to be presidential, this week’s graph looks at what is at stake for voters. Do they only elect mere figureheads, or real power holders? V-Dem’s Head of state (HOS) veto power in practice indicator captures if a head of state has the capacity to veto bills that have already been adopted by the parliament. On a four point scale, zero indicates that no such capacity exists, whereas four represents the most powerful type of veto that cannot be overridden at all.

The graph shows that the strongest veto power is vested in the Czech president. However, he still can be overridden by an absolute majority. On the contrary, when Finland substituted its semi-presidential for a parliamentary system in 2000, this came along with a substantial weakening of the president’s powers. Finally, the Cypriot president can exercise absolute veto powers, but only in some policy areas. However, since Cyprus has a presidential system of government, its leader possesses a broad range of other competences.

If you want to learn more about executive powers in different countries, use our online analysis tools at v-dem.net.

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