The aim of this paper is to analyse the necessary conditions for the design of an integrated and viable democratic federal state. The ñrst requisite concems the character of the party system. A federal party system affords local and state leaders the potential opportunity to ascend to national-level office. Accordingly, national parties with strong regional bases are ideal. The second requisite is a constitutionally weak chief executive who would be unable to govem directly without taking into account regional leaders. The president would have to employ his party's integrating potential, through the use of what is generally called "leadership".