President of Heigard
President of Heigard

Incumbent
Johann Meukervan
since 20 January 2009
Residence Orléans Palace, Crèbourg
Term lenght 4 years, non-renewable
Inaugural holder Peter Merzilliger
Formation Constitution of Independence
30 November 1795

The President of Heigard (French: Président de Héigarde; Spanish: Presidente de Héigard) is the elected Head of State of Heigard.

Presidents from 1796 to 1861 were elected by the Electoral College (Parliament of Crèbourg) until a referendum in 1867, when Vincent St. George was removed from the office and reform the "Constitution of Independence", hence Albert Garland is traditionally refered as the first President of Heigard (oficially Peter Merzilliger).

The current President of the Republic is Johann Meukervan, from 20 January 2009.

Election

Since a 1867 referendum, the President of Heigard has been directly elected by universal suffrage for a single term; it was previously elected by an electoral college.

In order to be admitted as an official candidate, potential candidates must receive signed presentations (informally known as parrainages or apadrinamientos, for "godfathering") from more than 300 elected officials, mostly mayors. These officials must be from at least 18 départements, and no more than 10% of them should be from the same département or collectivity. Furthermore, one official may only present no more than one candidate.

Spending and financing of campaigns and political parties are highly regulated. There is a cap on spending, at approximately 5 million euros, and government public financing of 50% of spending if the candidate scores more than 5%. If the candidate receives less than 5% of the vote, the government funds €600,000 to the party (€150,000 paid in advance). Advertising on TV is forbidden but official time is given to candidates on public TV. An independent agency regulates election and party financing.

Heigardian presidential elections are conducted via run-off voting which ensures that the elected President always obtains a majority: if no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round of voting, the two highest-scoring candidates arrive at a run-off. After the president is elected, he goes through a solemn investiture ceremony called a passation des pouvoirs or toma de posesión ("handing over of powers").

Succession and incapacity

Upon the death of resignation of the President, the Vice President of the Republic will inmediately become President of the Republic. This ocurred for first time in 1829 when Eric Bourbon resigned, again in 1884 after Richard Troillard's death, in 1896 after Edgar Sauveterre's assassinaton and in 1903 after Jason Courtenay's resignation. The only exception was made in 1945 when Johann Wittelsbach called for election before resigning in his unofficial second term.

If the President cannot attend meetings, including meetings of the Council of Ministers, he can ask the Vice President to attend in his stead. This clause has been applied by presidents travelling abroad, ill, or undergoing surgery.

Pay and official residences

The salary of the President and other members of the Government is located in the range G of Pay Scale of the Heigardian Civil Service. This means that they enjoy a monthly salary over €20,000. Since 2007 the President of Heigard amounts a base salary of €17,000 plus a residence stipend of 3% and a function stipend of 25%, amounting a gross monthly salary of €21,760.

The official residence and office of the president is the Orléans Palace in Crèbourg. Other presidential residences include:

  • the Fort Boucéllard, an islet in northeastern Heigard, is the current official presidential vacationing residence;
  • the Château Rouge, located in the department of Wador-Gorraine, is normally open to visitors when not used for (rare) official meetings.

Former Presidents

See: List of Presidents of Heigard

As of November 2009, there are seven living former Presidents:

According to Heigardian law, Former Presidents have guaranteed lifetime pension defined according to the pay grade of the Councillors of State, a courtesy diplomatic passport, and, ac cording to the Constitution (Article XX), membership of the Constitutional Council.

They also get these facilities: a security detail, a car with a chauffeur, office or housing space, maintained by the State.

Facts

Age upon entering office

Time in Office

  • Longest served:
  1. Gerard Bossé: 12 years and 7 months(3 years, 4 months and 1 day as President and 9 years, 3 months and 8 days as Prime Minister from 1804-1814)
  2. Johann Wittelsbach: 6 years, 9 months and 12 days (served during whole World War II, from his inauguration in 1939 to his resignation in late 1945)
  3. Vincent St. George: 5 years, 1 month and 29 days (elected twice, but resigned in early 1867)
  4. Peter Merzilliger: 5 years (one full term; the only President serving a 5-year term)
  • Served less than one full term:
  1. Joseph Wendland (assassinated by a Heigardian nationalist in 1815)
  2. Hans Chutinaton (rotated the office with Rudolph Solis)
  3. Rudolph Solis (rotated the office with Hans Chutinaton)
  4. Eric Bourbon (resigned in 1829)
  5. Richard Troillard (died in office in 1884)
  6. Edgar Sauveterre (assassinated by a French anarchist in 1899)
  7. Jason Courtenay (inaugurated his Vice President in 1903)

Woman Presidents

  1. Adélaïde Lavoie (served 1981-1985)
  2. Joan Berlitz (served 1993-1997)
  3. Lorraine Hainaut (served 2005-2009)

See also

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