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A parliamentary republic or parliamentary constitutional republic is a type of republic which operates under a parliamentary system of government (a system with no clear-cut separation between the executive and legislative branches, but with a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state).
The Power of Parliament
In contrast to republics operating under either the presidential system or the semi-presidential system, the head of state usually does not have broad executive powers as an executive president would, because many of those powers have been granted to a head of government (usually called a prime minister).
However, the head of government and head of state may form one office in a parliamentary republic (such as South Africa, Botswana and Nauru), but the president is still selected in much the same way as the prime minister is in most Westminster systems. This usually means that they are the leader of the largest party or coalition of parties in parliament.
In some instances, the President may legally have executive powers granted to them to undertake the day-to-day running of government (as in Finland) but by convention they either do not use these powers or they use them only to give effect to the advice of the parliament and/or head of government. Some parliamentary republics could therefore be seen as following the semi-presidential system but operating under a parliamentary system.
Parliamentary republics around the world, shown in Orange (Parliamentary republics with a non-executive President) and Green (Parliamentary republics with an executive President linked to Parliament). Constitutional monarchies are shown in red.
Typically, parliamentary republics are states that were previously constitutional monarchies, with the position of head of state hitherto a monarch (and, in the case of some Republics in the Commonwealth of Nations, formerly represented by a Governor General) being replaced by an elected non-executive president (as is the case in the Republic of Ireland, Malta, Trinidad and Tobago, India and Vanuatu). Mongolia is also a Parliamentary Republic.
List of current Parliamentary republics
List of former Parliamentary republics