I was looking at the CIA World Factbook and I came across the government type of a parliamentary republic. This is obviously not the same thing as a constitutional republic. I was wondering about the differences between the two forms of government. Specifically, I was wondering if parliamentary republics have constitutions and if constitutional republics can have a parliament.

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    Every country has a constitution. Are you asking about constitutions which are codified in a single document? – Peter Taylor Nov 10 '19 at 8:07

The opposite of a parliamentary republic is a presidential republic.

  • In a parliamentary system, the people elect a legislature and the legislature elects a government.
  • In a presidential system, the people elect a government and a legislature.

Both may or may not have a written constitution. The United Kingdom is widely accepted as a democracy, yet they have no written constitution and people cling to the fiction that the Crown-in-Parliament is anything other than the parliament telling the Queen what to do.

The term constitutional republic is used for both parliamentary and presidential republics when the civil rights, separation of powers, rule of law, etc. are laid down in a constitution.

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    Israel is another example of a parliamentary democracy with no constitution. – Itamar Mushkin Nov 10 '19 at 7:21
  • The UK does have a written constitution, or at least, quite a lot of the constitution is written down (for example, the bit that says the Prime Minister cannot arbitrarily prorogue Parliament without a good reason was written down in September this year.) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 13 '19 at 15:44
  • @MartinBonnersupportsMonica: I'd have to disagree, but rather that is because I disagree on what a "constitution" is. I'd call that a rule, passed by the Parliament to govern itself(the US Houses of Congress both govern themselves individually in the same manner). My understanding is that there is only one restriction on Parliament, namely that Parliament cannot bind future Parliaments. So that rule could be overturned by Parliament with a simple majority vote. A constitution is above the government; A constitutional provision is one that a government cannot change (by themselves). – sharur Dec 4 '19 at 19:47

A single counterexample is enough to prove a negative.

Germany is a parliamentary republic (people elect the parliament which then elects the chancellor as head of government) and it has a constitution.

(Some people cling to the fiction that the German constitution be not a constitution because it is not called ‘constitution’ but Basic Law (Grundgesetz), but if you apply the duck test, it is a constitution.)

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    If you want an example where it is called "constitution", look a bit further south: Italy is a parliamentary republic with a constitution called "constitution". – Federico Nov 11 '19 at 12:35
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    @Federico I chose to answer based on what I know for sure before doing research into things I’m not 100 % sure about ;) – Jan Nov 11 '19 at 12:38

"Constitutional Republic" and "Parliamentary Republic" aren't mutually exclusive. A state can be both or neither.

Any republic where the system of government is described by a written constitution is a constitutional republic.

When the constitution says that the executive branch is legitimized by an elected parliament, then it is both a constitutional republic and a parliamentary republic.

When the constitution says that the head of the executive branch is legitimized by a separate election (like in the United States), then the country is both a constitutional republic and a presidential republic.

There are also a few states which do not have an official constitution. But if the state follows the principles of a democratic republic, then it is a democratic republic without being a constitutional republic. Like Isreal, for example.

There are also states with constitutions which are not republics at all. For example, North-Korea, an absolute dictatorship, has a constitution.

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  • A dictatorship and a republic are also not mutually exclusive. – Generalissimo May 27 at 13:48

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