Posted in General Studies 2, Polity

Comparison of Indian and Japanese Constitution

updated on April 25th, 2019

  • Comparison of Indian and Japanese Constitution

  • The modern state of Japan came into existence with the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
  • The Meiji Constitution remained in force for 58 years (i.e., from 1889 to 1947). This Constitution was based on the ideals of autocracy, authoritarianism, and monarchy.
  • After the Second World War (1939–45), Japan was placed under Allied Occupation from 1945 to 1952.
  • The U.S. General Douglas MacArthur was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan. Under his direction, Japan adopted a new democratic constitution in 1946. This Constitution is based on the ideals of democracy and peace, as conceived by the Occupation Authorities.
  • The new and the present Constitution of Japan became operative in 1947. It came to be known both as the MacArthur constitution as well as the Showa Constitution. Showa is the title of the reign of Emperor Hirohito and means ‘Radiant Peace.’ At the time of adoption of the new Constitution, Hirohito was the Emperor and Shidehara was the Prime Minister of Japan.

The salient features of the present Constitution of Japan are as follows:

  • A Written Constitution Like the American Constitution, the Japanese Constitution is a written Constitution. It contains a Preamble and 103 Articles divided into 11 chapters. It is a unique blend of the American and the British system. The Preamble emphasizes the principle of the sovereignty of the people. The chapters of the Constitution are mentioned below in Table.

Japanese Constitution at a Glance

Chapter Number Chapter Title Articles Covered
I The Emperor 1 to 8
II Renunciation of War 9
III centres and Duties of the People 10 to 40
IV The Diet 41 to 64
V The Cabinet 65 to 75
VI Judiciary 76 to 82
VII Finance 83 to 91
VIII Local Self-government 92 to 95
IX Amendments 96
X Supreme Law 97 to 99
XI Supplementary Provisions 100 to 103
  • Rigid Constitution Like the American Constitution, the Japanese Constitution is a rigid one. It cannot be amended by the Diet (Japanese Parliament) in the same manner as the ordinary laws are made. It can be amended only by means of a special process provided by the Constitution for that purpose. Hence, in Japan, there exists a distinction between constitutional law and ordinary law.

The Japanese Constitution lays down the following procedure for its amendment:

(i) The amendment shall be initiated by the Diet. Such a proposal must be passed by a majority of two-thirds of its membership.
(ii) After that, it is submitted to the people for ratification at a special referendum or a specific election. It must be approved by the majority of the people.
(iii) Amendment when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people, as an integral part of the Constitution.

It must be mentioned here that the Japanese Constitution has not so far been amended even once. Thus, the Constitution reads today as it did in 1947.

  • Unitary Constitution Like the British Constitution, the Japanese constitution provides for a  unitary state. There is no division of powers between the Central and provincial governments. All powers are vested in the single supreme Central Government located in Tokyo. The provinces derive their authority from the Central Government. The Diet can expand or diminish the authority and jurisdiction of the provinces. Thus the provinces are subordinate units of government and enjoy only those powers which are delegated to them by the Supreme Central Government.
  • Parliamentary Government Japan has shown a preference for the British Parliamentary System rather than the American Presidential System of Government. The features of the Japanese Parliamentary system of government are as follows:

(i) The Emperor is the nominal executive while the Cabinet is the real executive. The cabinet consists of the Prime Minister as its head and twenty Ministers of State. The Emperor is the head of the state while the Prime Minister is head of the government.
(ii) The party which secures majority seats in the House of Representatives forms the government. The leader of the majority party or majority coalition invariably becomes the Prime Minister.
(iii) The Prime Minister is designated from among the members of the Diet by a resolution of the  Diet. The Emperor appoints the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet.
(iv) The Prime Minister appoints the Ministers of State. But, a majority of them should be chosen from among the members of the Diet.
(v) The Prime Minister can remove the Ministers of the state as he chooses.
(vi) The Cabinet, in the exercise of the executive power, is collectively responsible to the Diet. It must resign when the House of Representatives passes a no-confidence resolution.
(vii) The Emperor can dissolve the House of Representatives on the advice of the Prime Minister.

An analysis of the above points makes it clear that Japan (though adopted the British Parliamentary pattern) differed from Britain in the following four respects:

(i) In Britain, the Prime Minister is chosen as well as appointed by the King/Queen, while in Japan, the Prime Minister is chosen by the Diet but appointed by the Emperor.
(ii) In Britain, the Ministers are appointed by the King/Queen, while in Japan, the Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister.
(iii) In Britain, the Prime Minister cannot remove the Ministers, while in Japan, the Prime Minister can remove the Ministers at his will.
(iv) In Britain, all the Ministers must be members of the Parliament, while in Japan, only a majority of the Ministers must be members of the Diet.

  • Constitutional Monarchy Japan is a monarchical state. It is described as a limited hereditary monarchy. The constitution, though it preserves the institution of the Emperor, it deprives him of all powers, privileges, and prerogatives he formerly exercised and enjoyed. It makes the following
    provisions with regard to the institution of the Emperor:

(i) The Emperor is the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people. He derives his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power. Thus, the sovereignty of the Emperor is abolished.
(ii) The Imperial Throne is dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the law passed by the Diet.
(iii) The advice and approval of the Cabinet are required for all acts of the Emperor.
(iv) The Emperor performs only those acts which are enumerated in the constitution and he has no powers related to government.
(v) The Emperor can neither give nor receive imperial property without the authorization of the Diet.

Thus, the Constitution has made the Emperor merely a constitutional head. His authority is strictly limited to ceremonial functions of a constitutional monarch. Like his British counterpart, he only reigns and does not rule.

  • The supremacy of Constitution and Judicial Review The Japanese Constitution establishes the principle of supremacy of Constitution. The Constitution is regarded as the supreme (highest or fundamental) law of the land. The laws, ordinances, imperial rescript and official acts must conform to this supreme law. If these are against the provisions of the Constitution, they can be declared by the Supreme Court as ultra-vires and hence, null and void.

Thus, the American principle of judicial review is adopted in Japan. But there is a difference. The American Supreme Court does not derive its power of judicial review from the Constitution, whereas the Japanese Supreme Court derives its power of judicial review directly from the Constitution. Article 81 of the Japanese Constitution specifically says that the Supreme Court is the court of last resort with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation, or official Act.

  • Fundamental Rights The Japanese Constitution provides for rights on the model of the Bill of Rights in the USA. It guarantees a large number of civil, political and economic rights to the people of Japan and declares them as ‘eternal and inviolate’. The judiciary headed by the Supreme Court acts as the protector of these rights through its power of judicial review.

The rights provided by the Japanese Constitution are more elaborate and definite than the American Bill of Rights. Out of a total of 103 Articles in the Constitution, 31 Articles (i.e., 10 to 40) are devoted to the rights and duties of the people. The rights provided for in the Constitution are:

(i) Right to equality.
(ii) Right to freedom.
(iii) Right to freedom of religion.
(iv) Right to private property.
(v) Economic rights.
(vi) Right to education.
(vii) Cultural rights.
(viii) Right to constitutional remedies.

  • Renunciation of War The Japanese Constitution renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. It prohibits Japan from maintaining land, sea, and air forces, as well as another war potential. It also does not recognize the right of belligerency of the state.

Japan is the only modern state which has constitutionally renounced war forever. It is the most peculiar as well as the most controversial feature of the Japanese Constitution. This provision was got inserted into the Constitution by General MacArthur to see that Japan would never again be allowed to act as a military nation as it did during the period of 1931 to 1945 and to abolish forever the power of Japan as a rival to the US in the far east. However, it does not mean that Japan cannot use arms and other forces for its security and defence. Like any other modern state, Japan has its defence capabilities but the term used is ‘self-defence forces’ to look constitutionally correct. They are justified on the ground that every state has an inherent right to defend itself against foreign aggression.

  • Bicameralism The Japanese Diet is bicameral, that is, it consists of two houses namely the House of Councillors (upper house) and the House of Representatives (lower house). The House of Councillors consists of 252 members elected for a term of six years. Out of the total 252 members, 152 are elected on a geographical basis (local constituencies) and the remaining 100 are elected by the nation at large (national constituency). The House of Representatives consists of 512 members elected for a term of four years. The House of Representatives has more powers than the House of Councillors, especially in financial matters.

Constitutionally, the Diet is the highest organ of state power and is the sole law-making organ of the state.

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Comparison of Indian and French Constitution

updated on April 25th, 2019

  • Comparison of Indian and French Constitution

  • The French Revolution (1789–1799) had a significant impact on the growth of the French constitutional system. Since the revolution, France has changed its constitution on an average after every 12 years. It adopted three monarchic, two dictatorial, three imperial and four republican constitutions.
  • please read
    French Revolution
  • The present French Constitution, which established the Fifth Republic, came into force in 1958. It was prepared under the instructions of General de Gaulle. It was designed to give France a strong and stable government.

The salient features of the Constitution of the Fifth French Republic are:

  • Written Constitution like Indian Constitution  Like the American Constitution, the French Constitution is a written Constitution. It contains a Preamble and 92 Articles divided into 15 chapters. It declares ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ as the motto of the Fifth Republic. Article 2 of the Constitution states that “France is a republic, indivisible, secular, democratic and social.”

Article 1 deals with the adoption of the Constitution by the Republic and the Overseas Territories to set up a community. It is placed under the Preamble itself. The chapters of the Constitution are mentioned in Table.

French Constitution at a Glance

Chapter Number Chapter Title Articles Covered
I Sovereignty 2 to 4
II The President of the Republic 5 to 19
III The Government 20 to 23
IV Parliament 24 to 33
V Relations between Parliament and Government 34 to 51
VI Treaties and International Agreements 52 to 55
VII The Constitutional Council 56 to 63
VIII The Judicial Authority 64 to 66
IX The High Court of Justice 67 to 68
X The Economic and Social Council 69 to 71
XI Territorial Entities 72 to 76
XII The Community 77 to 87
XIII Agreements of Association 88
XIV Revision 89
XV Temporary Dispositions 90 to 92
  • Rigid Constitution Unlike the British Constitution, the French Constitution is rigid in nature. It contains a special procedure for amendment. It can be amended by the Parliament by 60 per cent majority vote in both the Houses. Alternatively, the President can call a national referendum on the constitutional amendment. However, the republican form of government in France is not subject to amendment. Thus there is no place for the monarchy in France. Indian Constitution is rigid as well as the flexible constitution.
  • Unitary Constitution France is a unitary state. There is no division of powers between the central and local or provincial governments. All powers are vested in the single supreme Central Government located at Paris. The local governments are created and abolished by the Central Government only for administrative convenience. In fact, France is more unitary than in Britain. We have a federal constitution.
  • Quasi-Presidential and Quasi-Parliamentary The French Constitution provides neither presidential nor parliamentary government. Rather, it combines the elements of both. On one hand, it provides for a powerful President who is directly elected by the people for a five-year term, on the other, there is a nominated council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister which is responsible to the Parliament. However, the ministers shall not be the members of the Parliament.
  • Bicameralism The French Parliament comprises the National Assembly (the lower house) and the Senate (upper house). The National Assembly has 577 members who are directly elected for a five-year term. The Senate has 321 members who are indirectly elected for a nine-year term. The National Assembly is more dominant and powerful than the Senate.
  • Rationalized Parliament The Constitution of France established a rationalized parliament, that is, a Parliament with restricted and limited powers. The powers of the French Parliament are restricted vis-a-vis the political executive. It can make laws only on those items which are defined in the Constitution. On all other matters, the government is empowered to legislate by executive decree. The Parliament can also delegate law-making power to the executive branch. These limitations on parliamentary authority were imposed to provide for a strong executive.
  • The Constitutional Council of France has a Constitutional Council. It consists of nine members who are appointed for a term of nine years. It functions as a judicial watchdog and ensures that the executive decrees and parliamentary laws conform to the provisions of the Constitution. However, it is only an advisory body and its opinion is not binding. A non-binding judicial review does not make a sense. 
  • Recognition of Political Parties The Constitution of France gives recognition to political parties and their role. It is for the first time in France that a Republican Constitution not only mentions parties but also acknowledges them as a normal part of political life. Article 4 of the Constitution states that the “parties must respect the principles of national sovereignty and democracy.”

French President

  • Mode of Election Originally, the Constitution provided for an indirect election of the President. He was to be elected by an electoral college consisting of three types of members—(i) national representatives (members of two Houses of Parliament); (ii) representatives of the local authorities;  and (iii) representatives of the overseas territories. But, in 1962, the Constitution was amended through a referendum.
  • The President is now directly elected by universal suffrage. In order to win the election, a candidate has to obtain an absolute majority of the votes cast. In case no candidate obtains the requisite majority in the first ballot, then a second ballot is held. Only the two candidates who have received the highest number of votes in the first ballot may stand in the second ballot. This makes sure that the President is the choice of the majority. 
  • Tenure and Removal The President is elected for a term of five years. He is eligible for reelection, as many times as he may like. Moreover, the Constitution has not prescribed any qualifications (including the minimum age limit) for the presidential office.

If the presidency falls vacant, the functions of the president (except submitting a bill to a referendum and dissolution of the National Assembly) are performed temporarily by the president of the Senate and if he is also not in a position, the functions are performed by the government.

The President can be removed from the office before the expiry of his normal tenure of five years through impeachment for high treason. The impeachment resolution should be passed by both the Houses of Parliament by an absolute majority. After this indictment by the Parliament, the president is tried by the High Court of Justice.

  • Powers and Functions The president is the pivot of the Constitution and occupies a dominant position in the system of government. He is the real head of the state, the leader of the nation and the symbol of national unity. His powers and functions are as follows:
  1. He appoints the prime minister and accepts his resignation.
  2. He appoints and dismisses the other members of the government (Council of Ministers) on the advice of the prime minister.
  3. He presides over the meetings of Council of Ministers. This provides him with a direct opportunity to influence, guide, direct and control the policies of the government.
  4. He makes appointments to civil and military posts of the state.
  5. He is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the country.
  6. He negotiates and ratifies treaties; and sends and receives diplomats.
  7. He is kept informed of all the negotiations leading to the conclusion of an international agreement not subject to ratification.
  8. He presides over the higher councils and committees of national defence.
  9. He presides over and represents the French community.
  10. He appoints the president and three members of the Constitutional Council.
  11. He promulgates the laws within 15 days following their final adoption by the Parliament and transmission to the government. However, before the end of this period, he can ask the Parliament to reconsider a law. This reconsideration cannot be refused by the Parliament.
  12. He can send messages to the Parliament and summon its special sessions.
  13. He can submit to a referendum any government bill on the proposal of the government during the parliamentary sessions or on the joint proposal of the two Houses of the Parliament. If the bill is approved in the referendum, the President should promulgate it within 15 days.
  14. He signs the ordinances and decrees that have been considered by the Council of Ministers.
  15. He has the right to pardon.
  16. He presides over the Higher Council of the judiciary. He also appoints nine members to it.
  17. He is the protector of the independence of the judicial authority.
  18. He is vested with special powers to deal with emergencies. During this period, he can take the required measures after consulting the Prime Minister, the presidents of the two Assemblies (Houses) of the Parliament and the Constitutional Council.
  19. He can dissolve the National Assembly, after consulting the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the two Assemblies (Houses of the Parliament). The Constitution, however, imposes two limitations: (i) He cannot dissolve the National Assembly more than once in twelve months; and (ii) the National Assembly cannot be dissolved during an emergency. Notably, the president is not required to follow the advice of the prime minister and the presidents of the two Assemblies. Further, the president can refuse a dissolution when asked by the Prime Minister.
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Comparison of Indian and American Constitution

updated on April 25th, 2019

Comparison of Indian and American Constitution

  • The American Constitution is the Constitution of the United States of America which was formed in 1787 following the American Revolution (1775–83). The Constitution was adopted in 1787 at the Philadelphia Convention and came into force in 1789. The salient features of the American Constitution are explained below.
  • Written Constitution The American Constitution is usually cited as a classic example of a written Constitution. In fact, it is the oldest among the existing written Constitutions of the world. It is contained in a document of some 12 pages and consists of a Preamble, 7 Articles, and 27 Amendments. However, the actual working constitutional system includes, apart from the ‘Constitutional Document,’ the following.

(i) The statutes of the Congress (i.e. the legislature of the USA) which determine the organization and functions of a number of government agencies.
(ii) The orders issued by the President on some occasions for giving practical shape to the statutes made by Congress.
(iii) The judicial decisions interpreting the Constitution through a system of judicial review. For example, the Supreme Court has increased the scope of federal jurisdiction through the doctrine of ‘implied powers.’
(iv) The political conventions which have grown gradually around the Constitution. For example, the Cabinet of the President is totally a product of convention.

Thus, the American Constitution or constitutional system, as it exists today, is a product of the 1787 constitutional document and subsequent amendments, the congressional statutes, executive orders, judicial interpretations, and the political conventions.

  • Rigid Constitution Unlike the British Constitution, the American Constitution is a rigid one. It cannot be amended by Congress in the same manner as the ordinary laws are made. It can be amended by Congress only by means of a special process provided by the Constitution for that purpose. Therefore, in the USA, there exists a distinction between constitutional law and ordinary law.

The American Constitution, the most rigid constitution in the world, lays down the following two methods for its amendment.

(i) An amendment can be proposed by two-thirds votes of both the Houses of the Congress. It should be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths (38 out of 50) of the states within a seven-year time span.

(ii) Alternatively, an amendment can be proposed by a constitutional convention called by the Congress on the petition of two-thirds (34 out of 50) of the state legislatures. It should be ratified by the convention in three-fourths (38 out of 50) of state legislatures.

Hence, the procedure prescribed by the American Constitution for its amendment is very difficult, complicated and slow. Its rigid character is evident from the fact that it has been amended only 27 times since its promulgation in 1789.

  • Federal Constitution USA is a federal state. In fact, the USA is the first and the oldest federal state in the modern world. It is a federal republic comprising 50 states (originally 13 states) and the District of Columbia. The Constitution provides for the division of powers between the federal (central) government and the state governments. It confers limited and specified powers on the Centre and vests the residuary powers (which are not enumerated in the Constitution) in the states. Each state has its own Constitution, an elected legislature, governor and Supreme Court. Here the states are powerful, In India Center is powerful.
  • Presidential Government Unlike the British Constitution, the American Constitution provides for the presidential form of government. The features of the American presidential system of government are as follows.

(i) The American President is both, the head of state and the head of government. As the head of state, he occupies a ceremonial position. As the head of government, he leads the executive organ of government. The President of the USA is the chief real executive.
(ii) The President is elected by an electoral college for a fixed tenure of four years. He cannot be removed by the Congress except by impeachment for a grave unconstitutional act.
(iii) The President governs with the help of the Cabinet or a smaller body called ‘Kitchen’ Cabinet. It is only an advisory body and consists of non-elected departmental secretaries. They are selected and appointed by him and are responsible only to him. They can also be removed by him at any time.
(iv) The President and his secretaries are not responsible to the Congress for their acts. They neither possess membership in the Congress nor attend its sessions.
(v) The President cannot dissolve the House of Representatives—the lower House of the Congress.

  • Separation of Powers The doctrine of separation of powers is the basis of the American constitutional system. The legislative, executive and judicial powers of the government are separated and vested in the three independent organs of the government. The first three articles of the Constitution clearly manifest this feature of the Constitution. Article I says that all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress. Article II states that the executive powers shall be vested in the President. Article III provides that the judicial powers shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
  • Checks and Balances The system of checks and balances in the American Constitution is an outcome of the adoption of the principle of separation of powers. It enables each organ of the government to exercise partial control on others so that no organ becomes autocratic and irresponsible. This means that no organ of government has unrestricted powers even in its own sphere.

Some aspects of the working of the system of checks and balances in the American Constitutional system are:

(i) The President can veto the bills passed by Congress. He enjoys two kinds of vetos—Pocket veto and Qualified veto.
(ii) The Senate confirms the higher appointments made and international treaties concluded by the President.
(iii) Congress determines the organization and appellate jurisdiction of the judiciary.
(iv) The President appoints the judges with the consent of the Senate.
(v) The Supreme Court can declare the congressional laws and Presidential orders as ultra vires.

  • The supremacy of Constitution and Judicial Review The American Constitution embodies the principle of ‘hierarchy of laws.’ The written Constitution is regarded as the highest (supreme or fundamental) law of the land. The statutes of the Congress and state legislatures must conform to this supreme law. If these statutes are against the provisions of the Constitution, they can be declared by the Supreme Court as ultra vires and hence, null and void. The Supreme Court thus acts as the custodian of the Constitution through its power of judicial review.
  • Bill of Rights The American Constitution is the first Constitution in the world to carry the Bill of Rights. It guarantees a large number of rights to the people. It says that no person is to be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law. These rights impose restrictions on the authority of the government. The Supreme Court acts as the protector of these rights through its power of judicial review. This Bill of Rights was added to the original Constitution in 1791 through the first ten amendments.
  • Bicameralism The American Federal Legislature called the Congress is bicameral, that is, it consists of two Houses namely the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is the upper House while the House of Representatives is the lower House. The Senate consists of 100 members, two being elected from each state to serve for a fixed six-year term. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members elected from single-member constituencies to serve for a fixed two-year term. The Senate is the more powerful chamber of the Congress. In fact, the American Senate is the most powerful second chamber (upper House) in the world.

American President

  • Mode of Election The American Constitution provides for an indirect election of the President. However, the growth of political parties and political conventions has converted it into a direct election.

Constitutionally, the President is elected by an electoral college constituted for the purpose. The members of this college (called Presidential Electors) are elected directly by the people of all the states. The number of presidential electors in each state is equal to the number of its members in the  Congress (both in the House of Representatives and the Senate). It means that the electoral college consists of as many members as is the total strength of the two Houses of Congress. Additionally, three votes have been given to the District of Columbia, a federal enclave and not a state. Thus, the total strength of the electoral college is 538 (435 is the strength of the House of Representatives, 100 is the strength of the Senate and 3 members of the District of Columbia). A candidate in order to win the presidential election needs 270 votes, that is, 269 (half of the total votes of 538) plus 1.

It must be stressed here that the members of the electoral college are not the members of the Congress. The college is a special body which is formed only for electing the President and it gets dissolved after this.

If no candidate secures the requisite majority, the House of Representatives elects the President from among the three candidates securing the highest votes in the electoral college. There have been three such occasions (1800, 1824 and 1876).

  • Qualifications, Term, and Removal According to the Constitution, a candidate for the presidency must have the following three qualifications:

(i) He must be a natural born citizen of the USA. A naturalized citizen is not eligible.
(ii) He must have attained the age of 35 years.
(iii) He must have been a resident of the USA for 14 years (not necessarily consecutive).

The President holds the office for a fixed tenure of 4 years. He is eligible for re-election but only once. The 22nd Amendment Act of 1951 has fixed the maximum total term for any President at 10 years. In other words, it bars any person from being elected as President more than twice. The presidential term of 4 years begins on 20 January.

The President may be removed from the office before the expiry of his normal tenure of 4 years through impeachment for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours. The House of Representatives initiates the impeachment proceedings by a majority vote. The case is then tried by the Senate. During this trial period, the Senate acts as a judicial tribunal and is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (and not the Vice-president). If the Senate also passes the impeachment resolution by a two-thirds majority, the President stands impeached. So far, no American president has ever been removed by impeachment. But, there have been three impeachment attempts—Andrew Johnson (1868), Richard Nixon (1974) and Bill Clinton (1998).

  • Powers and Functions The American presidency is one of the strongest democratic offices in the world. Lord Bryce regards it as “the greatest office in the world”. Munro observed that “the American President exercises the largest amount of authority ever wielded by any man in a democracy”. Ogg regards him as “the greatest ruler of the world”. Harold Laski remarked: “the President of the United States is both more and less than a King, he is also both more and less than a Prime Minister”.

The President derives his powers and functions from four sources: Constitution, Acts of Congress, judicial interpretations and political conventions. These are mentioned below:

  1. He has to enforce the Constitution, federal laws and treaties, and judicial decisions throughout the country.
  2. He is the supreme commander of the armed forces of the US.
  3. He appoints the Supreme Court judges, ambassadors, heads of executive departments, diplomatic officials, consuls, and other top officials.
  4. He formulates foreign policy and conducts foreign affairs of the US.
  5. He can grant pardon and reprieve for offences against federal laws (except in cases of impeachment).
  6. When a Bill approved by both the Houses of the Congress is sent to him for his assent, he has three options before him:
    (i) He may give his assent to the Bill and the Bill then becomes an Act.
    (ii) He may reject the Bill and return it to the Congress within 10 days. But, if the same bill is re-passed by the Congress by a two-thirds majority, then the Bill becomes a law and the president has to sign it. This is known as ‘Qualified Veto’.
    (iii) He may reserve the Bill with him. Then, the Bill becomes a law after the expiry of ten days without his assent. But, if the Congress ends the session before ten days, then the Bill automatically dies. This is known as ‘Pocket Veto’ and it is absolute.
  7. He can send messages to the Congress proposing some legislative measures; either orally delivered to the House or sent in the form of a document.
  8. He can call special sessions of the Congress for consideration of urgent matters.
  9. He prepares the national budget and submits it to Congress for approval.
  10. He is empowered to make rules and regulations in the form of executive orders. This is known as delegated legislation.
  11. He is empowered to adjourn the Congress when there is a disagreement between two Houses on the date of adjournment.
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