Requirements for office of President

By Lars Næsbye Christensen

Home Forums 06. Article IV – Organization of the Executive Branch Requirements for office of President

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    Is there any particular reason one has to have been a resident for all of 15 years to be eligible as president? The US requires 14 years, Russia 10. Surely 12 years along with citizenship should suffice?

    An interesting aspect of the Turkish constitution which ties into our discussion on qualifications for office is that the President must have completed ‘higher education’. There are pros and cons to say about such a requirement – one could rightfully say it is elitist, but as long as it does not have to be a specific field like political science or a specific university or a particular grade it would assure me quite a bit of the candidate’s exposure to analytical tools.

    I suggest requiring (at time of appointment)
    * Age of 35 or older
    * Citizenship of a member state
    * Residence for 12 years
    * Completion of higher education – which I would interpret to be a passed bachelor’s degree in any field at any university

    AvatarJakub Jermar

    The requirement to have a university degree would have prevented Václav Havel from becoming president had the same requirements been applied in the Czech Republic. I would not require that.

    AvatarChrister Lundquist

    I concur with Jakub. We must not overdo the competence/suitability requirements to such an extent that only “academic superhumans” can hold high office.


    Sure. As I mentioned it could be too elitist and I agree to retract the suggestion of a required ‘higher education’.

    The 12 years of residence I stand by should be enough.

    I’m trying to figure out how we can qualify an executive head in objective terms and I sought inspiration in various existing constitutions around the world. Some require military service, some require religious faith – I am opposed to both these requirements.

    Let’s continue to explore the possibilities.

    AvatarChrister Lundquist

    Lars, now we’re on the same page. And I certainly agree that anything that has to do with faith other than an individual citizen right should be kept 1000 miles away from Europe’s Constitution. It is of great importance to me that we keep the Federation absolutely secular. (Not that I have seen any proposals to the contrary, just underlining my standpoint.)


    I just noticed a detail – the draft constitution requires the candidate to have had residency of ‘one of the States of the Federation’.

    While the Court of Justice would have to decide on the specifics, it appears to me that it could require that the candidate has been in the same state for twelve years. Surely we consider it acceptable for someone who has lived 5 years in the Netherlands, 4 years in Portugal, and 3 years in Finland to be enough of a European resident to be tried as presidential candidate?

    I suggest we alter it from ‘one of the States of the Federation’ to ‘of the Federation’ because with the creation of the Federation all the citizens of the member states become citizens of the federation – and we already require citizenship.

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