The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy. The system allows for the election of a president and a prime minister who must work together to lead the country. Executive power is vested in the government, which generally abides by prescribed laws outlined in the 11 Basic Laws.
The Israeli President
The Israeli President is the head of the country of Israel. The members of the Knesset elect the President of Israel for a single seven-year term. This differs from the popular election of the President through general elections held throughout the country. The Knesset is a unicameral legislature of Israel, meaning it is a single house or assembly that legislates and votes together. The Knesset is considered sovereign and has complete control over the Israeli government but cooperates in decisions made by courts and local governments.
Since 2000, an Israeli president can only be elected for one term. Any person who is an Israeli citizen can run for President and can only be selected if the Knesset deems that person fit to hold this prestigious office. The President is the head of the state, and his powers are usually ceremonial. He has the task of representing the country at foreign meetings and is considered a symbol of the nation.
The Israeli Prime Minister
The Israeli Prime Minister is the head of government and the chief executive of the State of Israel. The procedure for electing a prime minister usually follows an election in which the President nominates a member for the post of prime minister. The Knesset selects the preferred candidate after consulting party leaders, who now all give their opinions on the matter. The President then nominates a particular candidate, and the nominee has only 28 days to form a viable coalition. Once he has formed a comprehensive coalition, he must present a government program and convince the Knesset. The Knesset will eventually express confidence in the nominated candidate and appoint him prime minister. An elected prime minister should be the leader of the largest party in a governing body. This is a new system for electing a prime minister, as between 1996 and 2001, the prime minister was elected directly and independently of the Knesset.
Under basic Israeli laws, the Israeli prime minister is de jure and de facto. He has all executive power in the government and is the sole head of government in Israel. As head of government, the prime minister is responsible for running the nation and keeps a watchful eye on how government officials conduct their portfolios.
Israeli President vs. Prime Minister
The Israeli President and the Israeli prime minister are influential political figures in Israel. However, they differ regarding their election to office and their role in serving the country. The President is elected by the Knesset, the parliament, while the prime minister is appointed by the President from the Knesset . The President has a higher rank than the prime minister, who is the head of state, but usually performs only ceremonial duties. The prime minister is the head of government and has all executive powers. As head of government, he leads the country and manages the Cabinet of Ministers, ensuring that the ministers perform their duties well.