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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Designing an executive for South Africa: a constitutional engineering perspective
Author:Venter, Albert
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
executive power
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589349608705030
Abstract:The permanent constitutional text for a democratic South Africa has been negotiated by elected representatives of seven political parties in the Constitutional Assembly in Cape Town. One of the most important questions that needs to be dealt with in a constitution is that of the form and powers of the executive or cabinet. This paper addresses the question of whether South Africa's final constitution should prescribe an inclusive or grand coalition government. The author argues that it would be neither productive nor desirable to decree a grand coalition cabinet in the constitution of a deeply divided society. A constitution should provide stability for a society as well as the necessary flexibility for constitutional conventions to develop which will facilitate the search for political order. Most successful consensus democracies do not have explicit constitutional rules that require a coalition cabinet. The author also addresses the question of whether the practice of an executive president (as is laid down in the transitional Constitution) should be maintained. Other issues dealt with are parliamentay coalitions, cabinet composition, and the right of veto. Bibliogr., notes, ref.,sum.