This article examines the effect of a divided executive on
democratisation in mixed systems where presidents are directly elected and prime ministers are responsible to the legislature. A divided executive is where the president and prime minister are not from the same party. The importance of a divided executive is hypothesised to vary according to the relative powers of the president and prime minister. In mixed systems where either the president or the prime minister is the dominant actor, then a divided executive will not affect democratisation. However, where both the president and prime minister have significant independent
powers, then a divided executive should have a negative impact on democratisation because of the potential for destabilising intraexecutive conflict. Using an ordinal logit model, the results show that mixed systems with a dual executive do not perform significantly worse than mixed systems where there is one dominant actor. This suggests that the standard wisdom about the impact of a divided executive in a mixed system is misplaced.