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Resumen: Forms of government are commonly defined as types of constitutions in a substantive sense, i.e. as systems of rules on the central organization of the state, their respective powers and mutual relations. European Constitutional jurisprudence distinguishes between various forms of government according to the way in which the separation of powers is conceived. In the past, scholars mainly used a distinction between presidential and parliamentary systems, but they have later introduced a third category, that of semi-presidential systems. This distinction is criticized on several grounds, especially that all governments in one category do not function in the same way, e.g. a presidential system may very well turn parliamentary. This is the reason why one should define forms of government not as Constitutional organizations, but merely as modes of operation. If we accept such a definition, there are few direct relations between electoral systems and forms of government, but mostly indirect relations with a third element involved: party systems. Electoral systems have an influence on party systems, which in turn have an influence on forms of government. One may doubt the validity of Duverger’s laws on the effect of «first past the post» on the emergence of a two party system, but the phrase «electoral system» can be understood in a broader sense to include all the rules on the election such as inter alia district apportionment or financing of electoral campaigns. In that sense, electoral systems have an indirect influence on the mode of operation of government. Conversely forms of government have an influence on party systems, either because a majority favoured by a form of government will change the electoral system by law or because some elements of the organization, such as the existence of a second house of Parliament or a Constitutional court, have an effect on the party system.
Palabras clave: Forms of Government. Electoral Systems. Party System. Constitution. Democracy.