What are the Features of the Presidential form of Government?

1. President is the Real Head:

In the Presidential system, the President is the real head. He is the head of state as well as the head of government.

2. Separation of Powers:

There is separation of powers. The President is elected by people. Neither he nor his ministers are drawn from the legislature. They are not accountable to it. They are independent of the legislature. He has a fixed tenure. He cannot be easily ousted from office by the legislature. The only method of his ouster from office is impeachment which is a very difficult process.

On the other hand, the President also cannot dissolve the legislature. Further, the judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature. Thus, there is not only separation of powers, but also check and balance in the Presidential system.

3. Ministers are Accountable to the President:

The President appoints his ministers (or secretaries) who stay in office during his pleasure. They do not belong to the legislature. Nor are they responsible to it. They are appointed on the basis of their experience and expertise. They are 'President's men'. He can remove them from office if he is not happy with them.

Merits:

1. More Democratic:

Because of the twin principles of separation of powers and check and balance, there is no concentration of powers in the same man or in the same body. As a result, there is more of democracy in this system.

2. Stability and Continuity:

As both the President and the legislature enjoy fixed terms of office, there is political stability. There is continuity of policy. Further, the government can think of long-term policies.

3. People's President:

In the USA, the President is directly elected by people. He has thus reason to think that he enjoys more of people's confidence and support than the Prime Minister in the Parliamentary system.

4. More Efficient:

The President is free to choose his ministers. (Or secretaries as they are called in America.) The Senate, the Upper House of American Congress, may or may not ratify such appointments, but it cannot impose its choice on the President.

The President has thus the freedom to appoint very competent persons as his Ministers or Secretaries on the basis of their experience and expertise. They are accountable only to the President and not to the Congress. As a result, they have time to concentrate on their work and to do their duty efficiently.

5. Prompt and Bold Decisions:

The President, being all powerful, is in a position to take bold and prompt decisions. His ministers, being subordinate to him, cannot tie hands. They may advise him, but they have to implement his decisions.

6. Best suited to Deal with Emergencies:

This system is more effective in tackling emergencies as there is unity of control and concentration of executive powers in person (President). He can react quickly to any national crisis by taking prompt decisions. There is hardly any need for him to convince others on the spot that the decision he going to take is good for the nation.

7. More Suitable for Multi-Party System:

The multiparty system is prone to political instability. Political parties with different interests pull the political system in diff directions. In order to check this, there is the need of a strong executive and the President government is best suited to establish stability in a multiparty system.

8. Symbol of National Unity and Integrity:

The Presidential executive is of help in forging unity in the nation consisting of diverse regions, communities and cult As he is directly elected by people, they look upon him as the symbol of their unity.

Demerits:

1.Dictatorial:

The Presidential executive is likely to be authoritarian. As all executive powers are concentrated in the hands of the President and as he is not accountable to legislature, he may be tempted to abuse powers and behave in a dictatorial manner.

2.Conflict and Deadlock:

As the President and his ministers are not members of legislature, they find it difficult to persuade the members of the latter to accept' proposals. The legislature is inclined to find fault with the President, and vice versa. •conflict between the executive and the legislature leads to deadlock in the administration.

3.Absence of Accountability:

The executive is not accountable to the legislature. Nor is it accountable to people. The people of America directly elect their President, they cannot recall him even if they find him incompetent or dishonest or useless. President can be removed from office by the legislature through impeachment. impeachment is a very difficult process.

4.Rigidity:

The Presidential system is too rigid to adapt itself to sudden changes in circumstances. To manage a crisis, the ministers including the Prime Minister in Parliamentary system can be replaced. But, however great the need, the President in a Presidential system cannot be replaced during his tenure.

5.Weak Foreign Policy:

In the field of foreign policy, the President of the US has handicaps. He has no power to declare a war even when his country is attacked by enemy. This power belongs to the US Congress. Similarly, the treaty that he may conclude with another country is not valid if it is not ratified by the Senate.

There is thus some validity in the comment of Gamer that the Presidential system government is 'autocratic, irresponsible and dangerous'.