60 Reps Seek Change From Presidential To Parliamentary System

No fewer than 60 members of the Federal House of Representatives are seeking amendments to the 1999 Constitution to transition from the presidential to parliamentary system of government.

The lawmakers were led by the member representing Lagos State under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Wale Raji.

The lawmakers identified the need for reducing the cost of government, and robust policy debates among others as some of the reasons for demanding a return to the parliamentary system.

In a parliamentary system, the head of state and head of government are usually two separate positions, with the head of state serving as a ceremonial figurehead with little if any power, while all of the real political power is vested in the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, which features a president who is usually both the head of state and the head of government and, most importantly, does not derive their legitimacy from the legislature.

Critics have however highlighted the following as disadvantages of the parliamentary system of government.

Incomplete separation of power.
Legislative flip-flopping.
Political fragmentation.
Democratic unaccountability.

The presidential form has executive and legislative branches that are separate but equal, whereas the parliamentary form has an executive branch that is a part of the legislative branch.

What makes a parliamentary government different from the United States?

A parliamentary government is different from the U.S. government because a parliamentary legislature picks its executive (the prime minister) and can remove the executive more easily using votes of no confidence. By contrast, the United States elects its executive (the president) directly every four years.