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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
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||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2010)|
Cohabitation in government occurs in semi-presidential systems, such as France's system, when the President is from a different political party than the majority of the members of parliament. It occurs because such a system forces the president to name a premier (prime minister) that will be acceptable to the majority party within parliament. Thus, cohabitation occurs because of the duality of the executive: an independently elected President and a prime minister who must be acceptable both to this president and to the legislature.
Cohabitation was a product of the French Fifth Republic, albeit an unintended one. This constitution brought together a potent presidential position with manifold executive powers and a prime minister, responsible before Parliament. The president's task was primarily to end deadlock and act decisively to avoid the stagnation prevalent under the French Fourth Republic; the prime minister, similarly, was to "direct the work of government", providing a strong leadership to the legislative branch and to help overcome partisan squabbles.
Since 1962, French presidents have been elected by popular vote, replacing the electoral college, which was only used once. This change was intended to give Fifth Republic presidents more power than they might have had under the original constitution, while still seen as the symbol and embodiment of the nation, the president also was given a popular mandate. Of course, the majority party of the National Assembly retained power as well, but since the popularly-elected president appointed the prime minister, the former was seen as having the upper hand in any conflict between executive and legislature. Furthermore, the imbalance is further illustrated by the fact that the President of the Fifth Republic can dissolve the Assembly at any time (but not more than once in a year), whereas the legislature has no powers of removal against the president.
The sole caveat to this position of presidential pre-eminence was the fact that the president's selection to the premiership required approval by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament: because the Assembly can dismiss the government by a vote of no confidence, it follows that the prime minister must be supported by the Assembly. This was not a problem whilst the legislative majority was aligned with the president, and indeed, de Gaulle, who was responsible for inspiring much of the Constitution, never envisioned that such a conflict could exist; to him the French public would never permit such a situation. But because the president was elected to seven-year terms, and the Assembly to five-year terms, it was almost inevitable that such a situation would someday arise. Political scientists[who?] regarded it as a flaw in the constitution that had the potential to bring down the Fifth Republic.
The first "near miss" with cohabitation occurred with the election of Socialist President François Mitterrand in 1981. A coalition of the right controlled the Assembly at the time. Almost immediately, Mitterrand exercised his authority to call Assembly elections, and the electorate returned an Assembly with an absolute majority of Socialists, ending the presumed crisis. However, when Assembly elections were held, as required, five years later, the Socialists lost their majority to the right, precipitating the first experiment in cohabitation.
There have been only three periods of cohabitation, but each is notable for illustrating the oscillation of powers between the President and Prime Minister.
In 2000, with the support of President Chirac, the term of the President of the Fifth Republic was shortened from seven years to five years, a change accepted by a referendum. Because of this, cohabitation will almost certainly be much more rare. Unless French voters exercise "ticket splitting", cohabitation should not occur unless a President feels compelled to call for Assembly elections mid-term, a prospect which cannot be ruled out. It can also occur if the President dies during his term.
The constitution of Finland as written after independence, was similar to the French system. It included explicit provisions that the President focuses on national security and international relations. The arrangement was originally a compromise between monarchists and parliamentarists: after the failure to institute a monarchy, a strong presidency was adopted. The new constitution of 2000 reduced the power of the President by transferring the power to choose a Prime Minister to the parliament. Cohabitation has occurred frequently, as Finland has multiple powerful parties and does not have such a deep split between the left and right, and as the terms of a parliament are shorter (four years) than the presidential terms (six years). Theoretically, the President should remain strictly nonpartisan, and Presidents have usually formally renounced party membership while in office.
Sri Lankan politics for several years witnessed a bitter struggle between the president and the prime minister, belonging to different parties and elected separately, over the negotiations with the LTTE to resolve the longstanding civil war.
A cohabitation in a semi-presidential system also existed in Ukraine between 2006 and 2010. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko had to appoint Viktor Yanukovych, his rival from the 2004 presidential election, as Prime Minister in August 2006.
The Palestinian National Authority, a quasi-governmental organization responsible for administering the Palestinian territories, has operated within the framework of a semi-presidential republic since the creation of the office of Prime Minister in the spring of 2003. While the President has the power to appoint anyone Prime Minister, there was an unspoken agreement upon the establishment of the office that the Prime Minister would be appointed from the majority party in the Legislative Council. This arrangement led to a period of cohabitation after the 2006 legislative election, in which Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh Prime Minister after Hamas' victory in the elections. The cohabitation did not last long, however, as funds were withheld from the Palestinian Authority and hostilities between Fatah and Hamas broke out in December 2006, leading to the appointment of a caretaker government led by Salam Fayyad on June 14, 2007.
Cohabitation does not occur within standard presidential systems. While a number of presidential democracies, such as the United States, have seen power shared between a president and legislature of different political parties, this situation (known as "divided government") is distinct from cohabitation. In a situation of divided government, the executive is directed by a president of one party while the legislature is controlled by another party; in cohabitation, by contrast, executive power is divided between a president of one party and a cabinet of government ministers of another party. Cohabitation thus only occurs in systems that have both parliamentary government (i.e. ministers accountable to parliament) and a directly-elected executive president, i.e. semi-presidential systems.
The theory of cohabitation is not limited to France, but there are not many countries where the constitutional structure exists in which it could occur. However, many of the new democracies of eastern Europe have adopted institutions quite similar to France, and cohabitation may become more common. Still, if those countries elect their executives and legislature at the same time, as France is now starting to do, then cohabitation will be less likely.