Executive branch: chief of state: President Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017; inaugurated 22 March 2017)
head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention consisting of all members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and an equivalent number of delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held February 2022); chancellor appointed by the president following indirect election - by the Federal Parliament - for a 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 17 December 2013 (next to be held following the general election, 24 September 2017)
election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (The Left) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany AfD) 42, Alexander HOLD (BVB/FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 462 for, 150 against, 49 abstentions
Definition: This entry includes five subentries: chief of state; head of government; cabinet; elections/appointments; election results. Chief of state includes the name, title, and beginning date in office of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. Head of government includes the name, title of the top executive designated to manage the executive branch of the government, and the beginning date in office. Cabinet includes the official name of the executive branchâ€™s high-ranking body and the method of member selection. Elections/appointments includes the process for accession to office, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes each candidate's political affiliation, percent of direct popular vote or indirect legislative/parliamentary percent vote or vote count in the last election.
The executive branches in approximately 80% of the world's countries have separate chiefs of state and heads of government; for the remainder, the chief of state is also the head of government, such as in Argentina, Kenya, the Philippines, the US, and Venezuela. Chiefs of state in just over 100 countries are directly elected, most by majority popular vote; those in another 55 are indirectly elected by their national legislatures, parliaments, or electoral colleges. Another 29 countries have a monarch as the chief of state. In dependencies, territories, and collectivities of sovereign countries - except those of the US - representatives are appointed to serve as chiefs of state.
Heads of government in the majority of countries are appointed either by the president or the monarch or selected by the majority party in the legislative body. Excluding countries where the chief of state is also head of government, in only a few countries is the head of government directly elected through popular vote.
Most of the world's countries have cabinets, the majority of which are appointed by the chief of state or prime minister, many in consultation with each other or with the legislature. Cabinets in only about a dozen countries are elected solely by their legislative bodies.
Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on January 20, 2018See Also