Presidency of Yisrael
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|President of Yisrael
נשיא מדינת ישראל
Coat of Arms of Yisrael
|His Royal Majesty's Government of Yisrael|
|Status||Head of Government|
|Term length||Four years, renewable (once)|
|Constituting instrument||1920 Constitution|
|Precursor||Chancellor of Yisrael|
Prime Minister of Yisrael
|Formation||March 3, 1952|
During the reign of King Yaakov II (1975-2020), the monarch's self-imposed absence from executive affairs arguably transformed the presidency additionally into status of being a quasi-co-head of state of Yisrael, sharing a number of executive duties with the King. However, with the Hezekian Reaction, those head of state functions have been returned to the monarchy's purview. Additionally, from 1952 until 2020, the President was the effective commander-in-chief of the Royal Yisraeli Defense Forces by virtue of being bestowed as the Supreme Commander by the King under the 1952 Acts. However, under the reign of Hezekiah III of Yisrael (2020 - present), the 1952 Acts were declared null and void and the full "C-in-C" powers retained by the monarch, ending the President's Supreme Commander status.
The power of the president includes overseeing the proper operation and administration of government and the nation's law and regulations, the appointment of government officials, including diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and signing treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Royal Yisraeli Knesset. The president may grant pardons or commutations. The president holds final power over foreign affairs in his office's institutional role as chief diplomat, and given Yisrael's competitive 2.5 party politics, oversees and guides the direction of public policy in both domestic and foreign affairs. The President and his family is protected by the Presidential Guard, an independent royal agency that is legally firmly under his control.
The president is indirectly elected by the winner of the electoral college for a term of four years. The first president was Asher Berkowitz (1952-1960), who served two terms. In total, there have been sixteen presidents. One president was killed in office (Boaz Benayoun). Two other presidents resigned before the end of their full term (Adom Greenbaum and Naor Hillel). The current President is Yitzchok Katz, who has served since February 3rd, 2020.
Powers and duties
The primary responsibility of the president is to uphold and safeguard the Royal Constitution. As a derivative to that, the officeholder must oversee the administration of government, ensuring that duly-passed laws are executed and implemented, and that public officers and subordinate agencies are in full compliance with constitutional and legal parameters.
The Kingdom of Yisrael is a presidential system, which grants enormous political and legal power to the holder of the office. The president appoints his Cabinet of government ministers, as well as a litany of senior staff and agency officials, diplomatic and regulatory officers, as well as nominating judges to the courts.
The President also has the power to issue presidential decrees that, as long as they do not run afoul of any constitutional or legal limits, are in full effect during the course of his term. As per the Royal Reform Acts, the president must address the Knesset once a year to give a "state of the kingdom" speech.
The president retains a powerful veto option that he may exercise on any bill passed by the Knesset at his discretion, though he may be overruled on a royal counter-veto by the King. The monarch, however, rarely uses this power in the post-1951 era.
The foreign relations of Yisrael are a chief responsibility of the president. Institutionally, the President is the nation's "chief diplomat." He is not, however, considered the "national representative," a role assigned to the King.
Formerly, he served as the effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces on a daily basis due to the then-obligatory bestowing of the title of 'Supreme Commander' by the King, who was the nominal commander-in-chief. However, since January 2020, the President has not been designated as the Supreme Commander, ending his role in this function.
The Constitution outlines 3 principal qualifications to serve as President. To serve as President, one must:
- be a citizen of Yisrael;
- be at least 36 years old;
- and be a resident continuously for the last 12 years.
Election of the president is regulated by the Royal Yisraeli Election Commission.
The President of Yisrael is indirectly elected by an electoral college. The President must be the duly-selected nominee of a recognized Yisraeli political party. The President must be the plurality majority winner of 97 Electoral Votes, or, in the event that there is no winner of at least 97 EVs, the winner is selected by a majority in the Knesset. After a day of verification of the vote count, the winner takes office the first Monday after next, usually 5-8 days after Election Day.
Succession and disability
List of presidents
Living former presidents
As of 2020, there are TBD living former presidents: