Head of State

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Head of State


the individual who fulfills the functions of the highest executive authority in the state. In monarchical states (such as Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, and Iran) the head of state is a hereditary monarch: an emperor, king, prince, grand duke, padishah, and the like; in bourgeois republics he is an elected president. In a number of countries (the USA, some Latin American states) the head of state is simultaneously head of the government. The competence of the head of state and his term of office (in the case of an elected one) are determined by a constitution. Usually the head of state is invested with rather wide powers. He represents the state in international relations, receives foreign diplomats, and, as a rule, is commander in chief of the armed forces. He possesses the right of legislative initiative and, in a number of countries, the right to impose a veto on laws passed by parliament. The right to issue edicts and decrees is his, as well. Usually he is empowered to award orders and other high decorations and to grant pardons. In several countries (such as France and the Federal Republic of Germany) the head of state convenes parliament and has the right to dissolve it as a whole, or one of its chambers.

In actuality the role of the head of state is not the same in various capitalist countries. It is greatest in those countries where the head of state is simultaneously head of the government, that is, in the so-called presidential republics (for example, in the USA and some Latin American countries). In general this phenomenon reflects a tendency characteristic of contemporary imperialist states whereby the power of the executive authority is strengthened at the expense of the representative bodies. It is precisely to this end that the powers of a president are widened, so that in some countries he is being transformed into a personal dictator.

In the majority of socialist states there is no individual who acts as head of state. Rather his functions are executed by the collegial body of the highest representative institution (a presidium or state council). The term of office of this body is the same as that of the representative institution, and its members are chosen from the latter. In those socialist states which have an individual acting as head of state (for example, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia), he is responsible for his actions to the highest representative institution and jointly with it, or on its authorization, performs the functions of the head of state.


References in periodicals archive ?
Over a dozen heads of state are expected to attend OIC Summit said Dr Shaukat Hameed Khan Coordinator General COMSTECH on Monday.
On the coordination of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and Africa's preparation for cop 19/CMP 9 The Heads of States acknowledged the need to further refine and streamline the coordination mechanism for CAHOSCC.
v) On the establishment of an 'international constitutional court' The Heads of States requested the African Union Commission on International Law to examine the proposed establishment of an International Constitutional Court and make recommendations to the 22nd Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (January 2014) on the said proposal On the integration of the new Africa- Asia Strategic Partnership (NSP) into African Union structures and processes The Assembly requested the Commission to take the necessary steps towards the integration of the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership (NSP) into the African Union structures and processes.
If the heads of states adopt a common decision on this issue, TURKPA will take concrete steps to legalize them," Hasanov said.
Similar cables were sent to foreign heads of states by Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and by General H.
Summary: Nice (France) - HRH Prince Moulay Rachid took part, Monday in Nice, in a official dinner offered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in honour of heads of states and governments participating in the 25th France-Africa Summit.
Heads of States discussed topical issues of bilateral cooperation and noted high level of mutual confidence between two states.
Summary: Rabat - HM King Mohammed VI received several congratulatory messages from Heads of States of brotherly and friendly countries on Eid Al-Mawlid Acharif (the birthday of the prophet).
The Summit of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in Kyrgyzstan in 2013, said President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbaeva on June 16 at a Bishkek briefing on the outcomes of participation in the SCO summit in Astana.
Summary: Rabat - HM King Mohammed VI received several condolence messages from heads of States of brotherly and friendly countries following the collapse on Friday of the minaret of Bab Berdieyinne mosque in Meknes, which left 41 people dead.
Summary: Rabat - HM King Mohammed VI received several condolence messages sent by heads of states of brotherly and friendly countries following the collapse on Friday of the minaret of Bab Berdieyinne mosque in meknes, which killed 41 people.
Summary: Rabat - HM King Mohammed VI received congratulatory messages from several heads of States on the occasion of Eid Al Adha.

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