Head of state succession is the process by which nations transfer leadership of their highest office from one person to another. The succession of a head of state can be brought about through various means, the most common of which include:
- Death of the current Head of State
- A military Coup d'état against the present government
- A general election
- A Vote of No Confidence by the national legislature
- Hereditary succession or appointment by a pre-determined council
Head of state succession procedures[edit | edit source]
The following articles deal with the succession to the office of Head of state in various nations:
- United States presidential line of succession
- Peru presidential line of succession
- Succession to the British Throne
- The Papal conclave of Rome
Dramatic portrayals[edit | edit source]
- Fiction regarding United States presidential succession is a major area of dramatic portrayal
- The film Der Untergang details the last days of the Third Reich to include the succession procedure enacted by Nazi Germany after the death of Adolf Hitler
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country dealt with the succession of the Klingon Chancellor after an assassination against the reigning Klingon Head of State. Several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation dealt more in depth with the exact procedures of transferring the leadership of the Klingon High Council from one person to another.
- Although Battlestar Galactica (2003) is not set on Earth, the political structures of the 12 Colonies of Kobol closely resemble those of the United States. During the Cylon attack, Secretary of Education Laura Roslin receives a message from the Case Orange automated beacon, a special mechanism seeking communication with any surviving Colonial government officials. After verifying her identity, she learns that—other than herself—all members of President Richard Adar's government have apparently been killed or are missing. The Case Orange response assigns Roslin new instructions, and she (the 43rd in the line of succession) is duly sworn-in as President.
- King Ralph: The entire British Royal Family is killed in a freak accident, and controversially the next person in line to the throne is an American (John Goodman).
References[edit | edit source]
- Jeffrey, Mark (2008-09-02). "Sarah Palin: Laura Roslin?". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-jeffrey/sarah-palin-laura-roslin_b_123000.html. Retrieved on 2009-01-25. "The constitutional line of presidential succession ends up falling to the still-living Secretary of Education -- Laura Roslin -- who is then sworn in as President."
- Heffernan, Virginia (2006-10-26). "TELEVISION; In Galactica, It's Politics as Usual. Or Is It?". The New York Times: p. 1. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE0DE143FF935A15753C1A9609C8B63. Retrieved on 2009-01-25. "Initially the insurgents enjoyed the backing of the leader of the humans -- a onetime cabinet member named Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) who rose to the office of president when those ahead of her in the line of succession were wiped out -- but lately she has found their suicide tactics insupportable"