Constitutional crisis
A constitutional crisis is a situation that the legal system's constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 or other basic principles of operation appear unable to resolve; it often results in a breakdown in the orderly operation of government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

. Often, generally speaking, a constitutional crisis is a situation in which separate factions within a government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 disagree about the extent to which each of these factions hold sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

. Most commonly, constitutional crises involve some degree of conflict between different branches of government (e.g., executive, legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, and/or judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

), or between different levels of government in a federal system (e.g., state and federal governments).

A constitutional crisis may occur because one or more parties to the dispute willfully chooses to violate a provision of a constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 or an unwritten constitutional convention
Constitutional convention (political custom)
A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. In some states, notably those Commonwealth of Nations states that follow the Westminster system and whose political systems derive from British constitutional law, most...

, or it may occur when the disputants disagree over the interpretation of such a provision or convention. If the dispute arises because some aspect of the constitution is ambiguous or unclear, the ultimate resolution of the crisis often establishes a precedent for the future. For instance, the United States constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 is silent on the question of whether states are allowed to secede from the Union; however, after the secession of several states was forcibly prevented in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, it has become generally accepted that states cannot leave the Union.

A constitutional crisis is distinct from a rebellion
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

, which is defined as when factions outside of a government challenge that government's sovereignty, as in a coup or revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

 led by the military or civilian protesters.

A constitutional crisis can lead to government paralysis, collapse, or civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....



  • The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis saw the Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of Australia
    The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

     Gough Whitlam
    Gough Whitlam
    Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC , known as Gough Whitlam , served as the 21st Prime Minister of Australia. Whitlam led the Australian Labor Party to power at the 1972 election and retained government at the 1974 election, before being dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr at the climax of the...

     dismissed by the nation's Governor-General
    Governor-General of Australia
    The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

     Sir John Kerr, in response to a prolonged budget deadlock in Parliament. This occurred even though Whitlam's government had the confidence of the lower house, the House of Representatives
    Australian House of Representatives
    The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

    . In the Australian Constitution the Australian Senate
    A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class...

     has equal powers with the House of Representatives, except it may not refuse or initiate a suply bill. It can, however, defer consideration of a money bill, and that is what it did on this occasion.


  • The World War II conduct of Leopold III included violation of constitutional principles, including surrender to Germany against ministerial advice
    Advice (constitutional)
    Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

    . When he returned to Belgium in 1950, a general strike against him
    General strike against Leopold III of Belgium
    The Royal Question refers to the 1950 political conflict surrounding the question whether King Leopold III should return to Belgium after World War II. A referendum was organised, in which the majority voted in favour of his return...

     pushed him into abdication
    Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

  • In 1990, King Baudouin refused routine Royal Assent
    Royal Assent
    The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

     to the law on abortion in Belgium
    Abortion in Belgium
    Abortion in Belgium was fully legalized on April 4, 1990. Abortion is legal until the twelfth week of pregnancy, and it is required for women to have six days of counseling prior to the abortion and to check in with her doctor to monitor her health in the weeks after the procedure...

    . The issue was resolved by (constitutionally but controversially) having Badouin temporarily declared incapable of reigning, the Council of Ministers giving assent as provided for in the Belgian Constitution, and Badouin declared capable again.


  • In the King-Byng Affair
    King-Byng Affair
    The King–Byng Affair was a Canadian constitutional crisis that occurred in 1926, when the Governor General of Canada, the Lord Byng of Vimy, refused a request by his prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, to dissolve parliament and call a general election....

     of 1926, Governor General
    Governor General of Canada
    The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

     Viscount Byng of Vimy refused the request of Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of Canada
    The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

     William Lyon Mackenzie King
    William Lyon Mackenzie King
    William Lyon Mackenzie King, PC, OM, CMG was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921 to June 28, 1926; from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930; and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948...

     to dissolve Parliament
    Dissolution of parliament
    In parliamentary systems, a dissolution of parliament is the dispersal of a legislature at the call of an election.Usually there is a maximum length of a legislature, and a dissolution must happen before the maximum time...

     and call new elections after King had, months before, refused to resign. Instead, Byng dismissed King and appointed Arthur Meighen
    Arthur Meighen
    Arthur Meighen, PC, QC was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served two terms as the ninth Prime Minister of Canada: from July 10, 1920 to December 29, 1921; and from June 29 to September 25, 1926. He was the first Prime Minister born after Confederation, and the only one to represent a riding...

     as Prime Minister, after which Meighen found himself unable to retain confidence, triggering his own resignation and an election. Reaction to the affair was reflected in the Balfour Declaration of 1926, the resulting separation of Dominion Governors-General from the British government, and the Statute of Westminster 1931
    Statute of Westminster 1931
    The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

     that made each realm of the Crown independent.
  • The 1982 patriation
    Patriation is a non-legal term used in Canada to describe a process of constitutional change also known as "homecoming" of the constitution. Up until 1982, Canada was governed by a constitution that was a British law and could be changed only by an Act of the British Parliament...

     of the British North America Act was contentious, as there were conflicting opinions from the federal government, provincial governments, and Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of Canada
    The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts, and its decisions...

     over what exactly the procedure was whereby Canada could request a constitutional amendment
    Constitutional amendment
    A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

     from the United Kingdom. The Quebec Veto Reference
    Quebec Veto Reference
    Quebec Veto Reference [1982] 2 S.C.R. 793 is a Supreme Court of Canada opinion on whether there is a constitutional convention giving the province of Quebec a veto over Amendments to the Constitution of Canada...

     found that Québec
    Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

     did not have a veto on the patriation, leading to the current situation where the National Assembly of Québec
    National Assembly of Quebec
    The National Assembly of Quebec is the legislative body of the Province of Quebec. The Lieutenant Governor and the National Assembly compose the Parliament of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other British-style parliamentary systems.The National Assembly was formerly the...

     refuses to ratify the Constitution Act in its current form, even though it is still bound by it.
  • The 2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute
    2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute
    The 2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute was a political dispute during the 40th Canadian Parliament. It was triggered by the expressed intention of the opposition parties to defeat the Conservative minority government on a motion of non-confidence six weeks after the federal election on...

     has been described by some writers as a constitutional crisis.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • President Joseph Kasavubu and Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba
    Patrice Lumumba
    Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960. Only ten weeks later, Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup during the Congo Crisis...

     attempted to dismiss each other in September 1960. General Mobutu Sese Seko
    Mobutu Sese Seko
    Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga , commonly known as Mobutu or Mobutu Sese Seko , born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, was the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1965 to 1997...

     deposed both in a coup later that month, then restored Kasavubu as president.


  • The Easter Crisis of 1920
    Easter Crisis of 1920
    The Easter Crisis of 1920 was a constitutional crisis and a significant event in the development of constitutional monarchy in Denmark. It began with the dismissal of the elected government by the reigning monarch, King Christian X, a reserve power which was granted to him by the Danish constitution...

    , when King Christian X
    Christian X of Denmark
    Christian X was King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and the only King of Iceland between 1918 and 1944....

     of Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

     dismissed the country's cabinet


For events after 1707, see below.
  • The 1215 Barons' revolt against the rule of King John
    John of England
    John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

    , which led to the Magna Carta
    Magna Carta
    Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

    . Immediately, John repudiated Magna Carta, leading to the First Barons' War
    First Barons' War
    The First Barons' War was a civil war in the Kingdom of England, between a group of rebellious barons—led by Robert Fitzwalter and supported by a French army under the future Louis VIII of France—and King John of England...

  • The Break with Rome, in which King Henry VIII
    Henry VIII of England
    Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

     repudiated papal authority and created himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, leading to the English Reformation
    English Reformation
    The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

  • King Charles I
    Charles I of England
    Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

    's insistence on the Divine Right of Kings
    Divine Right of Kings
    The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

    , manifest in his Personal Rule
    Personal Rule
    The Personal Rule was the period from 1629 to 1640, when King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland ruled without recourse to Parliament...

     from 1629 to 1640, and leading directly to the Wars of the Three Kingdoms
    Wars of the Three Kingdoms
    The Wars of the Three Kingdoms formed an intertwined series of conflicts that took place in England, Ireland, and Scotland between 1639 and 1651 after these three countries had come under the "Personal Rule" of the same monarch...

  • The Glorious Revolution
    Glorious Revolution
    The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

     of 1688-89: The flight of King James II/VII
    James II of England
    James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

     from the country left no king in his place to rule England or Scotland or to summon a Parliament
    A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

    . When King William and Queen Mary
    William and Mary
    The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the coregency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of King William III & II and Queen Mary II...

     jointly replaced him there was therefore no legally recognised Parliament to legitimise their irregular succession to the throne. This led to the Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689
    Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689
    The Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689 was an Act of the Parliament of England, passed in 1689. It was designed to confirm the succession to the throne of King William III and Queen Mary II of England and to confirm the validity of the laws passed by the Convention Parliament which had been...



  • In the Fiji constitutional crisis of 1977
    Fiji constitutional crisis of 1977
    Fiji's parliamentary election of March 1977 precipitated a constitutional crisis, which was the first major challenge to the country's democratic institutions since independence in 1970....

    , the winning party in a general election failed to name a government due to internal conflicts. The Governor-General
    Governor-General of Fiji
    Fiji became a British Crown Colony in 1874, and an independent dominion in the Commonwealth in 1970. Queen Elizabeth II remained the Head of State, holding the title of Queen of Fiji until 1987, when she formally abdicated following two military coups...

     intervened, appointing a prime minister from the opposition party.


  • In 2010, the Berlin court upheld the City of Berlin's decision to not recognize the marriage of two homosexuals persons, which is in opposition to the 2009 decision of the Federal Constitutional Court's decision that demanded full marriage equality for gay persons.


  • The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis
    2009 Honduran constitutional crisis
    The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis was a political dispute over plans to rewrite the Constitution of Honduras, which culminated in a coup d'état against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya by the Honduran military...

     saw President Manuel Zelaya
    Manuel Zelaya
    José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is a politician who was President of Honduras from January 27, 2006 until June 28, 2009. The eldest son of a wealthy businessman, he inherited his father's nickname "Mel," and, before entering politics, was involved in his family's logging and timber businesses.Elected...

     attempting to hold a non-binding referendum which Congress
    National Congress of Honduras
    The National Congress is the legislative branch of the government of Honduras.The Honduran Congress is a unicameral legislature. The current President of the National Congress of Honduras is Juan Orlando Hernández. Its members are 128 deputies, who are elected on a proportional representation...

     and the Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of Honduras
    The Supreme Court of Honduras is the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court of Honduras. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in Honduras.- Structure, power, and duties :...

     deemed unconstitutional. The military, following orders from the Supreme Court, arrested President Zelaya.


  • Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's 1953 dismissal of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and Mossadegh's subsequent refusal to quit the office


  • The 1983 Malaysian constitutional crisis saw Prime Minister Mahathir
    Mahathir bin Mohamad
    Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad . is a Malaysian politician who was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister. His political career spanned almost 40 years.Born and raised in Alor Setar, Kedah, Mahathir...

     pushing forward an amendment of Article 66 of the Federal Constitution, which set the time limit of the Agong
    Yang di-Pertuan Agong
    The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957 when the Federation of Malaya gained independence....

     to veto a law within 30 days. The proposals generated a great deal of controversy between the government and the monarchy, of which the former had to launch a public campaign to pressure the monarchy to assent to the amendments.
  • The 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis
    1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis
    The 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis was a series of events that began with United Malays National Organisation general election in 1987 and ended with the suspension and the eventual removal of the Lord President of the Supreme Court, Tun Salleh Abas, from his seat...

     was a series of events that began with the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) general election in 1987 and ended with the suspension and the eventual removal of Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia Tun Salleh Abas
    Salleh Abas
    Tun Haji Mohamed Salleh bin Abas is a former Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia. He was dismissed from his post during the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis...

     from his seat.
  • The 1993 amendments to the Constitution of Malaysia
    1993 amendments to the Constitution of Malaysia
    The 1993 amendments to the Constitution of Malaysia was passed by the Malaysian parliament with the aim of removing legal immunity of the royalty. The changes, which saw the amendments of Articles 32, 38, 42, 63, 72 and 181 in the Constitution of Malaysia, was implemented in March 1993...

     (by some interpretations a constitutional crisis) involved the limitation of monarchs' power in Malaysia. Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
    Mahathir bin Mohamad
    Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad . is a Malaysian politician who was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister. His political career spanned almost 40 years.Born and raised in Alor Setar, Kedah, Mahathir...

     successfully amended the constitution to make the monarchies more accountable to their actions.
  • The 2009 Perak constitutional crisis
    2009 Perak constitutional crisis
    The 2009 Perak constitutional crisis was a political dispute in Malaysia regarding the legitimacy of the Perak state government formed in February 2009. It began when three Pakatan Rakyat state legislators defected, causing a collapse of the state government...

     occurred in the Malaysian state of Perak
    Perak , one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.Perak means silver in Malay...

     when party defections
    Party switching
    Party-switching is any change in political party affiliation of a partisan public figure, usually one currently holding elected office.In many countries, party-switching takes the form of politicians refusing to support their political parties in coalition governments...

     caused the state ruling coalition, Pakatan Rakyat
    Pakatan Rakyat
    Pakatan Rakyat or PR is an informal Malaysian political coalition. It currently controls four state governments while in opposition to the ruling Barisan Nasional at the federal level....

    , to lose its majority in the state assembly
    Dewan Undangan Negeri
    A state legislative assembly is the legislature of each of the 13 Malaysian states. Members of a state legislative assembly comprises elected representatives from single-member constituencies during state elections through the first-past-the-post system....

    . The Sultan of Perak
    Sultan of Perak
    Sultan of Perak is one of the oldest hereditary seats among the Malay states.When the Sultanate of Malacca empire fell to Portugal in 1511, Sultan Mahmud Syah I retreated to Kampar, Sumatra and died there in 1528. He left behind two princes named Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II and Sultan Muzaffar...

     refused to dissolve the state assembly when requested and dismissed the Menteri Besar
    Menteri Besar
    The Menteri Besar is the chief executive of the state government for states in Malaysia with hereditary rulers. For states without a monarch, the title Chief Minister is used...

     (Chief Minister) while the Menteri Besar
    Menteri Besar
    The Menteri Besar is the chief executive of the state government for states in Malaysia with hereditary rulers. For states without a monarch, the title Chief Minister is used...

     technically still had the confidence of the assembly.


  • The 1981 election, when, due to a quirk in that country's Single Transferrable Vote system, the party winning more than half the votes won fewer than half the seats


  • The Loktantra Andolan movement of 2006, which rejected King Gyanendra's year-long direct rule and stripped him of political authority

New Zealand

  • The New Zealand constitutional crisis of 1984 was caused by Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealand's head of government consequent on being the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand...

     Sir Robert Muldoon
    Robert Muldoon
    Sir Robert David "Rob" Muldoon, GCMG, CH served as the 31st Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984, as leader of the governing National Party. Muldoon had been a prominent member of the National party and MP for the Tamaki electorate for some years prior to becoming leader of the party...

    's refusal to devalue the dollar
    New Zealand dollar
    The New Zealand dollar is the currency of New Zealand. It also circulates in the Cook Islands , Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands. It is divided into 100 cents....

     as per the instructions of the Prime Minister-elect, David Lange
    David Lange
    David Russell Lange, ONZ, CH , served as the 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989. He headed New Zealand's fourth Labour Government, one of the most reforming administrations in his country's history, but one which did not always conform to traditional expectations of a...

    . The cabinet rebelled against Muldoon, who relented. The upshot was the passage of the Constitution Act, which patriated the constitution from the United Kingdom.


  • Supreme Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah
    Sajjad Ali Shah
    Syed Sajjad Ali Shah was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.-Early education and law:He was born on February 17, 1933 at Karachi, schooled at Sindh Madressa-tul-Islam and did his Matriculation in 1951. He later joined D.J. Science College, Karachi and after passing 1st Year Science...

     clashed repeatedly with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
    Nawaz Sharif
    Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is a Pakistani conservative politician and steel magnate who served as 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993, and from February 1997 to October 12, 1999...

     in late 1997, accusing him of undermining the court's independence. After Ali Shah suspended a constitutional amendment that prevented dismissal of the prime minister, Sharif ordered President Farooq Leghari
    Farooq Leghari
    Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was the eighth President of Pakistan from November 14, 1993 until December 2, 1997...

     to appoint a new chief justice. When Leghari refused, Sharif considered impeaching him, but backed down after a warning from the armed forces. Faced with a choice of accepting Sharif's demands or dismissing him, Leghari resigned. Ali Shah resigned shortly afterward, establishing Sharif's dominance.


  • Peruvian Constitutional Crisis of 1992
    Peruvian Constitutional Crisis of 1992
    The 1992 Peruvian constitutional crisis, also known as the Autogolpe of 1992 was a constitutional crisis that occurred in Peru in 1992, after President Alberto Fujimori dissolved the Congress of Peru and assumed full legislative powers.-Background:...

    : President Alberto Fujimori
    Alberto Fujimori
    Alberto Fujimori Fujimori served as President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori has been credited with the creation of Fujimorism, uprooting terrorism in Peru and restoring its macroeconomic stability, though his methods have drawn charges of...

    , with the support of the armed forces, dissolved the Congress after it rejected his proposal for stronger action against Shining Path
    Shining Path
    Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla terrorist organization in Peru. The group never refers to itself as "Shining Path", and as several other Peruvian groups, prefers to be called the "Communist Party of Peru" or "PCP-SL" in short...

     and MRTA
    MRTA stands for:* Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement of Peru * Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand...

    . Then, he called for elections for a Democratic Constitutional Congress
    Democratic Constitutional Congress
    The Democratic Constituent Congress was a Constituent Assembly created in Peru after the dissolution of Congress by President Alberto Fujimori in 1992...

     to write the 1993 Peruvian Constitution. Until the new constitution was written, he ruled by decree.


  • The crossing of the Rubicon
    The Rubicon is a shallow river in northeastern Italy, about 80 kilometres long, running from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea through the southern Emilia-Romagna region, between the towns of Rimini and Cesena. The Latin word rubico comes from the adjective "rubeus", meaning "red"...

     by Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar
    Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

     in 49 BC with his legions. This action, which had no precedent, precipitated a crisis only fully resolved in 31 BC, when Octavian
    Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

     defeated all his enemies to become the sole master of the Roman world.


  • The constitutional crisis of 1993
    Russian constitutional crisis of 1993
    The constitutional crisis of 1993 was a political stand-off between the Russian president and the Russian parliament that was resolved by using military force. The relations between the president and the parliament had been deteriorating for a while...

    : a conflict between Russian President Boris Yeltsin
    Boris Yeltsin
    Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

     and the Russian parliament led by Ruslan Khasbulatov
    Ruslan Khasbulatov
    Ruslan Imranovich Khasbulatov is a Russian economist and politician of Chechen descent who played a central role in the events leading to the 1993 constitutional crisis in the Russian Federation.-Early life:...

    , which resulted in a military siege of the parliament building and street fighting, claiming 187 lives. Aleksandr Rutskoy assumed the powers of the Acting President of Russia for a few days.


This covers the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, which became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 after 1707. For constitutional crises since then, see United Kingdom below.
  • The succession crisis resulting from the death of Queen Margaret in 1290. Edward I of England
    Edward I of England
    Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

    , whose son Edward
    Edward II of England
    Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

     was to marry Margaret, was asked to arbitrate, and chose John Balliol, who swore an oath of fealty to Edward, turning Scotland into an English vassal in 1292. Soon, Balliol and the Scottish nobility revolted, leading to the Wars of Scottish Independence
    Wars of Scottish Independence
    The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries....



  • In March, 2006, 60 seats of the assembly of Thailand could not be elected, and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
    Thaksin Shinawatra
    Thaksin Shinawatra is a Thai businessman and politician, who was Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006, when he was overthrown in a military coup....

     refused to resign. The Judicial system did not lead up to Supreme Court as the top arbitrator, so there were inconsistent rulings in the Civil, Criminal, Administrative and Constitutional Courts.

United Kingdom

  • The rejection of the 1909 People's Budget
    People's Budget
    The 1909 People's Budget was a product of then British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's Liberal government, introducing many unprecedented taxes on the wealthy and radical social welfare programmes to Britain's political life...

     by the House of Lords
    House of Lords
    The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

    . This caused a two-year impasse, leading to the Parliament Act 1911
    Parliament Act 1911
    The Parliament Act 1911 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is constitutionally important and partly governs the relationship between the House of Commons and the House of Lords which make up the Houses of Parliament. This Act must be construed as one with the Parliament Act 1949...

  • The 1936 Edward VIII abdication crisis
    Edward VIII abdication crisis
    In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire was caused by King-Emperor Edward VIII's proposal to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite....

    , when King Edward VIII
    Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
    Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

     proposed to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson
    Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor
    Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, previously Wallis Simpson, was an American socialite whose third husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom and the Dominions, abdicated his throne to marry her.Wallis's father died shortly after her birth, and she and her...

     against the advice of his ministers.

United States

  • The Nullification Crisis
    Nullification Crisis
    The Nullification Crisis was a sectional crisis during the presidency of Andrew Jackson created by South Carolina's 1832 Ordinance of Nullification. This ordinance declared by the power of the State that the federal Tariff of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within...

     of 1832, in which South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

     declared that it would not permit collection of a federal tariff.
  • The death of William Henry Harrison
    William Henry Harrison
    William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

    , the ninth president of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

    , in 1841: no President had ever before died in office, and the Constitution did not specify whether the incumbent Vice President
    Vice President of the United States
    The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

     John Tyler
    John Tyler
    John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States . A native of Virginia, Tyler served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President . He was the first to succeed to the office of President following the death of a predecessor...

     became President or Acting President
    Acting President of the United States
    Acting President of the United States is a reference to a person who is legitimately exercising the Presidential powers even though that person does not hold the office of the President of the United States in his own right....

  • The secession
    Secession in the United States
    Secession in the United States can refer to secession of a state from the United States, secession of part of a state from that state to form a new state, or secession of an area from a city or county....

     of seven Southern
    Southern United States
    The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

    , which the federal government did not recognize, leading to the American Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

  • 1876 presidential election
    United States presidential election, 1876
    The United States presidential election of 1876 was one of the most disputed and controversial presidential elections in American history. Samuel J. Tilden of New York outpolled Ohio's Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, and had 184 electoral votes to Hayes's 165, with 20 votes uncounted...

    : Republicans
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

     and Democrats
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

     disputed voting results in three states. The Electoral Commission
    Electoral Commission (United States)
    The Electoral Commission was a temporary body created by Congress to resolve the disputed United States presidential election of 1876. It consisted of 15 members. The election was contested by the Democratic ticket, Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks, and the Republican ticket, Rutherford B....

    , created by Congress
    United States Congress
    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

    , voted along party lines in favor of Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes
    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

    , who damped Southern fury by withdrawing federal troops from the South.
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