The paper discusses merits and drawbacks of various systems with a directly elected president, including premier-presidential system (semi-presidentialism) that was introduced in Serbia in 1990. It argues that this system is more conducive to democratic consolidation than parliamentarism in those post-communist states fractured by deep political divisions. Serbia did not enjoy advantages of premier-presidentialism, in contrast to France, Finland, Portugal or Poland, because this system operated under authoritarian rule in the 1990s and then under democratising, but nonetheless hybrid regime after the fall of Milošević (Milosevic) in October 2000, that is, under conditions that strengthened the executive and prevented the rise of powerful checks on its power, such as strong legislature, judiciary and various agencies of horizontal accountability. Therefore, efforts of pro-democracy activists should not be directed to the introduction of parliamentary system, but to the removal of institutional legacy of the old regime which prevents Serbia from attaining minimal democratic standards and from consolidating its institutions - Nebojsa Vladisavljevic
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