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A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filin ...
and the leader of the ministers in the
executive Executive ( exe., exec., execu.) may refer to: Role or title * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief executive officer (CEO), one of the highest-ranking corporate officers (executives) or administrators ** Executive di ...
branch of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government i ...
, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is not the head of state, but rather the head of government, serving under either a monarch in a democratic constitutional monarchy or under a president in a republican form of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government i ...
. In parliamentary systems fashioned after the Westminster system, the prime minister is the presiding and actual head of government and head/owner of the executive power. In such systems, the head of state or their official representative (e.g., monarch, president, governor-general) usually holds a largely ceremonial position, although often with reserve powers. Under some presidential systems, such as
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed ...
and Peru, the prime minister is the leader or most senior member of the cabinet, not the head of government. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime minister is the presiding member and chairman of the cabinet. In a minority of systems, notably in semi-presidential systems, a prime minister is the official appointed to manage the civil service and execute the directives of the head of state. Today, the prime minister is often, but not always, a member of the legislature or its lower house, and is expected with other ministers to ensure the passage of bills through the
legislature A legislature is an assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. They are often contrasted with the executive and judicial powers of government. Laws enacted by legislatures are usually known ...
. In some monarchies the monarch may also exercise executive powers (known as the royal prerogative) without the approval of parliament. As well as being head of government, being prime minister may require holding other roles or posts—the prime minister of the United Kingdom, for example, is also First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. In some cases, prime ministers may choose to hold additional ministerial posts (e.g. when the portfolio is critical to that government's mandate): during the Second World War, Winston Churchill was also Minister of Defence (although there was then no Ministry of Defence). Another example is the Thirty-fourth government of Israel , when Benjamin Netanyahu at one point served as the prime minister and minister of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation, Economy, Defense and Interior.


Etymology

The term "prime minister" is attested in 17th Century sources referring to Cardinal Richelieu, after he was named ''premier ministre'' to head the French royal council in 1624. The title was used alongside the '' principal ministre d'État'' ("chief minister of the state") more as a job description. After 1661, Louis XIV and his descendants refused to allow one of their ministers to be more important than the others, so the term was no longer in use. In the 18th century in the United Kingdom, members of parliament disparagingly used the title in reference to Sir Robert Walpole (whose official title was First Lord of the Treasury). During the whole of the 18th Century, Britain was involved in a prolonged conflict with France, periodically bursting into all-out war, and Britons took outspoken pride in their "Liberty" as contrasted to the "Tyranny" of French Absolute Monarchy; therefore, being implicitly compared with Richelieu was no compliment to Walpole. Over time, however, the title became honorific and remains so in the 21st century.


History


Origins

The monarchs of England and the United Kingdom had ministers in whom they placed special trust and who were regarded as the head of the government. Examples were Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII;
William Cecil, Lord Burghley William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (13 September 15204 August 1598) was an English statesman, the chief adviser of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State (1550–1553 and 1558–1572) and Lord High Treasurer from ...
under Elizabeth I; Clarendon under Charles II and Godolphin under Queen Anne. These ministers held a variety of formal posts, but were commonly known as "the minister", the "chief minister", the "first minister" and finally the "prime minister". The power of these ministers depended entirely on the personal favour of the monarch. Although managing the parliament was among the necessary skills of holding high office, they did not depend on a parliamentary majority for their power. Although there was a
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filin ...
, it was appointed entirely by the monarch, and the monarch usually presided over its meetings. When the monarch grew tired of a first minister, he or she could be dismissed, or worse: Cromwell was executed and Clarendon driven into exile when they lost favour. Kings sometimes divided power equally between two or more ministers to prevent one minister from becoming too powerful. Late in Anne's reign, for example, the Tory ministers Harley and Viscount Bolingbroke shared power.


Development

In the mid 17th century, after the English Civil War (1642–1651), Parliament strengthened its position relative to the monarch then gained more power through the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and passage of the Bill of Rights in 1689. The monarch could no longer establish any law or impose any tax without its permission and thus the House of Commons became a part of the government. It is at this point that a modern style of prime minister begins to emerge. A tipping point in the evolution of the prime ministership came with the death of Anne in 1714 and the accession of George I to the throne. George spoke no English, spent much of his time at his home in Hanover, and had neither knowledge of, nor interest in, the details of English government. In these circumstances it was inevitable that the king's first minister would become the ''de facto'' head of the government. From 1721, this was the Whig politician Robert Walpole, who held office for twenty-one years. Walpole chaired cabinet meetings, appointed all the other ministers, dispensed the royal patronage and packed the House of Commons with his supporters. Under Walpole, the doctrine of cabinet solidarity developed. Walpole required that no minister other than himself have private dealings with the king, and also that when the cabinet had agreed on a policy, all ministers must defend it in public, or resign. As a later prime minister, Lord Melbourne, said, "It matters not what we say, gentlemen, so long as we all say the same thing." Walpole always denied that he was "prime minister", and throughout the 18th century parliamentarians and legal scholars continued to deny that any such position was known to the Constitution. George II and George III made strenuous efforts to reclaim the personal power of the monarch, but the increasing complexity and expense of government meant that a minister who could command the loyalty of the Commons was increasingly necessary. The long tenure of the wartime prime minister William Pitt the Younger (1783–1801), combined with the mental illness of George III, consolidated the power of the post. The title "prime minister" was first referred to on government documents during the administration of Benjamin Disraeli but did not appear in the formal British Order of precedence until 1905. The prestige of British institutions in the 19th century and the growth of the British Empire saw the British model of cabinet government, headed by a prime minister, widely copied, both in other European countries and in British colonial territories as they developed self-government. In some places alternative titles such as "premier", "chief minister", "first minister of state", "president of the council" or "chancellor" were adopted, but the essentials of the office were the same.


Modern usage

In the late 20th century, many of the world's countries had prime ministers or equivalent ministers, holding office under either
constitutional monarchies A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in decision making. Constitutional monarchies dif ...
or ceremonial presidents. The main exceptions to this system include Switzerland and the United States, as well as the presidential republics in Latin America, such as Chile and Mexico, modelled on the U.S. system in which the president directly exercises executive authority.
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made up of 50 natural islands and a ...
's former prime minister, Sheikh
Khalifah bin Sulman Al Khalifah Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa ( ar, خليفة بن سلمان آل خليفة) (24 November 1935 – 11 November 2020) was a Bahraini royal and politician who served as the Prime Minister of Bahrain from 10 January 1970 until his death in 202 ...
, occupied the post for about 50 years, from 1970 to November 2020, making him the longest serving non-elected prime minister.


Overview of the Office


In monarchies and in republics

The post of prime minister may be encountered both in constitutional monarchies (such as
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to ...
,
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of Denmark , establish ...
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a small lan ...
, the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Netherl ...
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Mal ...
,
Morocco Morocco (),, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to A ...
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = '' Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , ...
,
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
,
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 million. The country is b ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by to ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island coun ...
, and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and ...
) and in parliamentary republics, in which the head of state is an elected official (such as
Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million people in an area of . Bangladesh is among the mo ...
,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of Bot ...
, the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders wi ...
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Cr ...
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
, Indonesia (1945–66),
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the s ...
, Nigeria (1960–66),
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
, Portugal,
Montenegro ) , image_map = Europe-Montenegro.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Podgorica , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = ...
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedo ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia ( Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Basin and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hu ...
, Turkey (1923–2018) and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...
). See also "
First Minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Currently the title of '' ...
", " Premier", " Chief Minister", " Chancellor", " Taoiseach", "Minister of State (''Statsminister'')", "President of the Government", "President of the Council of Ministers" and " Secretary of State": alternative titles usually equivalent in meaning to, or translated as, "prime minister". Both
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of over 17,000 islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Gui ...
and
Nigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf o ...
lost their positions as prime ministers in 1966. Brazil,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
also lost their positions as prime ministers.
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the eas ...
,
Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the so ...
,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
never had positions as prime ministers. This contrasts with the presidential system, in which the president (or equivalent) is both the head of state and the head of the government. In some presidential and all semi-presidential systems, such as those of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, with its internationally recognised territory covering , and encompassing one-ei ...
,
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed ...
or
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders to the east and northeast. Ukraine covers approximately . Prior to the ongoing Russian inva ...
, the prime minister is an official generally appointed by the president but usually approved by the legislature and responsible for carrying out the directives of the president and managing the civil service. The premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is also appointed by the president, but requires no approval by the legislature. Appointment of the prime minister of France requires no approval by the parliament either, but the parliament may force the resignation of the government. In these systems, it is possible for the president and the prime minister to be from different political parties if the legislature is controlled by a party different from that of the president. When it arises, such a state of affairs is usually referred to as (political) cohabitation.


Entry into office

In parliamentary systems a prime minister may enter into office by several means. * The head of state appoints a prime minister, of their personal choice: Example:
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, where the President has the power to appoint the Prime Minister of their choice, though the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral legislature, the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or both houses of a bicameral legislature together. In the English language it generally means "an assembly composed of the r ...
can force a government to resign, they cannot nominate or appoint a new candidate. :While in practice most prime ministers under the Westminster system (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Mal ...
, India and the United Kingdom) are the leaders of the largest party or coalition in parliament, technically the appointment of the prime minister is de jure exercised by the head of state. * The head of state appoints a prime minister who has a set timescale within which they must gain a vote of confidence: Example:
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
,
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 million. The country is b ...
* The head of state appoints a formateur from among the members of Parliament, who then has a set timescale within which they must form a cabinet, and receive the confidence of Parliament after presenting the Cabinet Composition and Legislative Program to Parliament, and the formateur becomes Prime Minister once approved by parliament: Example: Israel * The head of state appoints the leader of the political party with the majority of the seats in the Parliament as Prime Minister. If no party has a majority, then the leader of the party with a plurality of seats is given an ''exploratory mandate'' to receive the confidence of the parliament within three days. If this is not possible, then the leader of the party with the second highest seat number is given the exploratory mandate. If this fails, then the leader of the third largest party is given it and so on: Example: Greece, see Prime Minister of Greece * The head of state ''nominates'' a candidate for prime minister who is then submitted to parliament for approval before appointment as prime minister: Example: Spain, where the King sends a nomination to parliament for approval. Also Germany where under the German Basic Law (constitution) the Bundestag votes on a candidate nominated by the federal president. In the Philippines under the 1973 Constitution as amended after martial law, the Prime Minister was elected by the Batasang Pambansâ (Legislature) upon nomination by the President. In these cases, parliament can choose another candidate who then would be appointed by the head of state (or, in the case of the Philippines, outright elect that candidate). * Parliament ''nominates'' a candidate who the head of state is then constitutionally obliged to appoint as prime minister: Example:
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the s ...
, where the President appoints the Taoiseach on the nomination of Dáil Éireann. Also
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
. * Election by the Legislature: Example: the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
under the unamended 1973 Constitution, where the prime minister was supposed to be elected by the Batasang Pambansâ; these provisions were never used because the Philippines was under martial law at the time. Also Vanuatu. * Direct election by popular vote: Example:
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
, 1996–2001, where the prime minister was elected in a general election, with no regard to political affiliation. * Nomination by a state office holder other than the head of state or his/her representative: Example: Under the modern Swedish Instrument of Government, the power to appoint someone to form a government has been moved from the monarch to the Speaker of Parliament and the parliament itself. The speaker nominates a candidate, who is then elected to prime minister (''statsminister'') by the parliament if an absolute majority of the members of parliament does not vote no (i.e. he can be elected even if more MP:s vote ''no'' than ''yes'').


Exit from office

Most prime ministers in parliamentary systems are not appointed for a specific term in office and in effect may remain in power through a number of elections and parliaments. For example, Margaret Thatcher was only ever appointed prime minister on ''one'' occasion, in 1979. She remained ''continuously'' in power until 1990, though she used the assembly of each House of Commons after a general election to reshuffle her cabinet. Some states, however, do have a term of office of the prime minister linked to the period in office of the parliament. Hence the Irish Taoiseach is formally ' renominated' after every general election. (Some
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
al experts have questioned whether this process is actually in keeping with the provisions of the Irish constitution, which ''appear'' to suggest that a taoiseach should remain in office, without the requirement of a renomination, unless s/he has clearly lost the general election.) The position of prime minister is normally chosen from the political party that commands majority of seats in the lower house of parliament. In parliamentary systems,
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government i ...
s are generally required to have the confidence of the lower house of parliament (though a small minority of parliaments, by giving a right to block supply to upper houses, in effect make the
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filin ...
responsible to both houses, though in reality upper houses, even when they have the power, rarely exercise it). Where they lose a ''
vote of confidence A motion of no confidence, also variously called a vote of no confidence, no-confidence motion, motion of confidence, or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility like in government or m ...
'', have a '' motion of no confidence'' passed against them, or where they lose supply, most
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
al systems require either: The latter in effect allows the government to appeal the opposition of parliament to the
electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size of (the) electorate'' * The dominion of a Prince-elector in the Holy Roman Empire until 1806 * An electoral district or c ...
. However, in many jurisdictions a head of state ''may'' refuse a parliamentary dissolution, requiring the resignation of the prime minister and his or her government. In most modern parliamentary systems, the prime minister is the person who decides when to request a parliamentary dissolution. Older constitutions often vest this power in the
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filin ...
. In the United Kingdom, for example, the tradition whereby it is the prime minister who requests a dissolution of parliament dates back to 1918. Prior to then, it was the ''entire'' government that made the request. Similarly, though the modern 1937 Irish constitution grants to the Taoiseach the right to make the request, the earlier 1922
Irish Free State Constitution The Constitution of the Irish Free State ( ga, Bunreacht Shaorstát Eireann) was adopted by Act of Dáil Éireann sitting as a constituent assembly on 25 October 1922. In accordance with Article 83 of the Constitution,Executive Council'' (the then name for the Irish cabinet). In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
, the Prime Minister is expected to step down if they lose the majority support of their party under a spill motion as have many such as Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull.


Organisational structure

The Prime Minister's executive office is usually called the Office of the Prime Minister or Cabinet Office. The U.K.’s Cabinet Office includes the Prime Minister’s Office. Conversely, some Prime Minister's Offices incorporate the role of Cabinet, while Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet joins them at par. In Israel, the Prime Minister's executive office is officially titled the "Prime Minister's Office" in English, but the original Hebrew term can also be translated as the Prime Minister's Ministry. The Prime Minister's Department is also used, as is Cabinet Department.


Description of the role

Wilfried Martens, who served as Prime Minister of Belgium, described his role as follows: :First of all the Prime Minister must listen a lot, and when deep disagreements occur, he must suggest a solution to the matter. This can be done in different ways. Sometimes during the discussion, I note the elements of the problem and think of a proposal I can formulate to the Council (cabinet), the Secretary taking notes. The Ministers then insist on changing game ages. The Prime Minister can also make a proposal which leaves enough room for amendments in order to keep the current discussion on the right tracks. When a solution must be found in order to reach a consensus, he can force one or two Ministers to join or resign.


Cross-country comparative details


Titles

In many cases, though commonly used, "prime minister" is not the official title of the office-holder. In the
Russian constitution The Constitution of the Russian Federation () was adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993. Russia's constitution came into force on 25 December 1993, at the moment of its official publication, and abolished the Soviet system of go ...
, the prime minister is titled ''Chairman of the government''. The Irish prime minister is called the (which is rendered into English as ''prime minister''), in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
the prime minister is ''Rosh HaMemshalah,'' meaning "head of the government", and the Spanish prime minister is the President of the Government (). The head of government of the People's Republic of China is referred to as the Premier of the State Council. Other common forms include president of the council of ministers (for example in Italy, ), President of the Executive Council, or Minister-President. In the Nordic countries the prime minister is called ''Statsminister'', meaning "Minister of State". In federations, the head of government of a federated entity (such as the province or territory of Canada or the state of Brazil) is most commonly known as the premier, chief minister, governor or minister-president. It is convention in the English language to call nearly all national heads of government "prime minister" (or sometimes the equivalent term "premier"), except in cases where the head of state and head of government are one position (usually a presidency), regardless of the correct title of the head of government as applied in his or her respective country. The few exceptions to the rule are Germany and Austria, whose head of government's title is Federal Chancellor. Monaco, whose head of government is referred to as the Minister of State; and Vatican City, for which the head of government is titled the Secretary of State. A stand-out case is the president of Iran, who is not actually a head of state, but the head of the government of Iran. He is referred to as "president" in both the Persian and English languages. In non-Commonwealth countries, the prime minister may be entitled to the style of
Excellency Excellency is an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization, or members of an aristocracy. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", the holder usually retains the r ...
like a president. In some Commonwealth countries, prime ministers and former prime ministers are styled Honourable or Right Honourable associated with their position (the prime minister of Australia or the prime minister of Canada, for example). In the United Kingdom, the prime minister and former prime ministers are also often styled Honourable or Right Honourable; however, this is not due to their position as head of government, but a privilege of being current members of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. In the UK, where devolved government is in place, the leaders of the Scottish,
Northern Irish Northern Irish people is a demonym for all people born in Northern Ireland or people who are entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their period of residence. Most Northern Irish people either identify as Northern ...
and
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language spoken in Wales * Welsh people People * Welsh (surname) * Sometimes used as a synonym for the ancient Britons (Celtic peopl ...
Governments are styled
First Minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Currently the title of '' ...
. Between 1921 and 1972, when Northern Ireland had a majority rule Parliament, the head of government was the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. In
Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million people in an area of . Bangladesh is among the mo ...
, the prime minister is called ''Prodhan Montri'', literally meaning "the head of ministers" or "prime minister". In India, the prime minister is called ''Pradhān Mantrī'', literally meaning "the head of ministers" or "prime minister". In Pakistan, the prime minister is referred to as ''Wazir-e-Azam'', meaning "grand vizier". }, Guówùyuàn Zǒnglǐ , - ,
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of Denmark , establish ...
, , Danmarks statsminister , - ,
Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, an ...
, , Peaminister , - , Eswatini , , Ndvunankhulu , - ,
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway bet ...
, , Faroese: Løgmaður
Danish: Lagmand , - ,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of Bot ...
, , Finnish: Suomen pääministeri
Swedish: Finlands statsminister , - ,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, French: Premier ministre de la République Française , - ,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwee ...
, , Bundeskanzler , - , Georgia , პრემიერ-მინისტრი, Premier-Ministri , - ,
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders wi ...
, , Prothypourgós tis Ellinikís Dimokratías , - ,
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Greenland ...
, , Greenlandic: Naalakkersuisut siulittaasuat
Danish: Landsstyreformand , - ,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Cr ...
, , Miniszterelnök , - ,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland's capital and largest city is Reykjavík, which (along with its ...
, , Forsætisráðherra Íslands , - ,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
, ,
Hindi Hindi (Devanāgarī: or , ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in the Hindi Belt region encompassing parts of northern, central, eastern, and western India. Hindi has been ...
: प्रधान मंत्री, Pradhān Mantrī , - ,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
, , Hebrew : רֹאשׁ הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה, Rosh HaMemshala , - ,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the s ...
, , Taoiseach , - ,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...
, , Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri , - ,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
, , 内閣総理大臣, Naikaku-sōri-daijin , - , Latvia , , Ministru prezidents , - , Lithuania , , Ministras Pirmininkas , - ,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Mal ...
, , Perdana Menteri , - ,
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ), is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of an archipelago, between Italy and Libya, and is often considered a part of Southern Europe. It lies ...
, , Prim Ministru ta' Malta , - ,
Montenegro ) , image_map = Europe-Montenegro.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Podgorica , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = ...
, , Premijer Crne Gore , - ,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
, , Statsminister , - , Nepal , ,
Nepali Nepali or Nepalese may refer to : Concerning Nepal * Anything of, from, or related to Nepal * Nepali people, citizens of Nepal * Nepali language, an Indo-Aryan language found in Nepal, the current official national language and a language spoken ...
: प्रधानमन्त्री, Pradhān Mantrī , - ,
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Netherl ...
, , Minister-president van Nederland , - ,
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
, ,
Urdu Urdu (;"Urdu"
'' Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is the fifth-most populou ...
, , Prezes Rady Ministrów , - , Portugal , , Primeiro-Ministro , - ,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
, , Prim-ministrul Guvernului României , - ,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, with its internationally recognised territory covering , and encompassing one-ei ...
, , Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации, Predsedatel' Pravitel'stva Rossiyskoy Federatsii , - , Singapore , , Malay: Perdana Menteri Republik Singapura
Chinese: 新加坡共和国总理, Xīnjiāpō gònghéguó zǒnglǐ
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India and some other parts of Asia ** Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka also called ilankai tamils **Tamil Malaysians, Tamil people native to Malaysia * Tamil language, na ...
: சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசின் பிரதமர், Ciṅkappūr kuṭiyaraciṉ piratamar , - ,
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed ...
, ,
Hangul The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, . Hangul may also be written as following South Korea's standard Romanization. ( ) in South Korea and Chosŏn'gŭl in North Korea, is the modern official writing system for the Korean language. The l ...
: 국무총리
Hanja: 國務總理
RR: Gungmuchongni , - ,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = '' Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , ...
, , Presidente del Gobierno , - ,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
, , Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකා අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය, Śrī Laṃkā agrāmāthya
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India and some other parts of Asia ** Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka also called ilankai tamils **Tamil Malaysians, Tamil people native to Malaysia * Tamil language, na ...
: இலங்கை பிரதமர் Ilaṅkai piratamar , - ,
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
, , Statsminister , - ,
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 million. The country is b ...
, , นายกรัฐมนตรี, Nayok Ratthamontri , - , Vietnam , , Thủ Tướng , - ,
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and ...
, , Prime Minister


Constitutional basis for the position in different countries

The position, power and status of prime ministers differ depending on the age of the constitution. Australia's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
makes no mention of a Prime Minister of Australia and the office only exists by convention, based on the British model. Bangladesh's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
clearly outlines the functions and powers of the prime minister, and also details the process of his/her appointment and dismissal. The People's Republic of China
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
set a premier just one place below the National People's Congress in China. Premier read as ( Simplified Chinese: 总理; pinyin: Zŏnglĭ) in Chinese. Canada has a 'mixed' or hybrid
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
, partly formally codified and partly uncodified. The codified part originally made no reference whatsoever to a prime minister and still gives no parameters of the office. Instead, her or his powers, duties, appointment and termination follow uncodified conventions. The '' Constitution Act, 1867'' only establishes the
Queen's Privy Council for Canada The 's Privy Council for Canada (french: Conseil privé du Roi pour le Canada),) during the reign of a queen. sometimes called Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council (PC), is the full group of personal consultants to the ...
, to which all federal ministers (among others) are appointed and with Members of which the Monarch or her Governor General normally performs executive government (as Queen- or Governor-in-Council). The '' Constitution Act, 1982'', adds passing reference to the " Prime Minister of Canada" rench: but as detail of
conferences A conference is a meeting of two or more experts to discuss and exchange opinions or new information about a particular topic. Conferences can be used as a form of group decision-making, although discussion, not always decisions, are the main ...
of federal and provincial
first minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Currently the title of '' ...
s.)
Constitution Act, 1982
', Schedule B to the ''Canada Act 1982'' (U.K.), 1982, c. 11, §§ 35.1, 49. See also “Constitution Act, 1982,” in: Justice Canada, ed.
''A Consolidation of'' The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982
Government of Canada Catalogue № YX1‑1/2012 (Ottawa: 2012), , pp. 53–75 at 63, 68.
Czech Republic's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
clearly outlines the functions and powers of the prime minister of the Czech Republic, and also details the process of his/her appointment and dismissal. France's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1958) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of France. Germany's Basic Law (1949) lists the powers, functions and duties of the federal chancellor. Greece's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1975) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Greece. Hungary's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(2012) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Hungary. India's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1950) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of India. In India, prime ministerial candidates must be a member of parliament, i.e. of either the Lok Sabha (Lower House) or Rajya Sabha (Upper House). No parliamentary vote takes place on who forms a government. Ireland's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1937), provides for the office of Taoiseach in detail, listing powers, functions and duties. Italy's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1948) lists the powers, functions and duties of the President of the Council of Ministers. Japan's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1946) lists the powers, functions and duties of the
prime minister of Japan The prime minister of Japan ( Japanese: 内閣総理大臣, Hepburn: ''Naikaku Sōri-Daijin'') is the head of government of Japan. The prime minister chairs the Cabinet of Japan and has the ability to select and dismiss its Ministers of S ...
. The Republic of Korea's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1987) sections 86–87 list the powers, functions and duties of the
Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea The prime minister of the Republic of Korea (PMOTROK or PMOSK; ) is the deputy head of government and the second highest political office of South Korea who is appointed by the President of the Republic of Korea, with the National Assembly's ap ...
. Malta's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1964) lists the powers, functions and duties of the
prime minister of Malta The prime minister of Malta ( mt, Prim Ministru ta' Malta) is the head of government, which is the highest official of Malta. The Prime Minister chairs Cabinet meetings, and selects its ministers to serve in their respective portfolios. The P ...
. Malaysia's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1957) lists the powers, functions and duties of the
prime minister of Malaysia The prime minister of Malaysia ( ms, Perdana Menteri Malaysia; ms, ڤردان منتري مليسيا, label= Jawi, script=arab, italic=unset) is the head of government of Malaysia. The prime minister directs the executive branch of the f ...
. Norway's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1814) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Norway Pakistan's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1973) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Pakistan. Spain's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1978) regulates the appointment, dismissal, powers, functions and duties of the President of the Government. Sri Lanka's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1978) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Sri Lanka. Thailand's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1932) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Thailand. Taiwan's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1946) lists the powers, functions and duties of the president of the Executive Yuan. The United Kingdom's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
, being uncodified and largely unwritten, makes no mention of a prime minister. Though it had ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with '' de jure'' ("by l ...
'' existed for centuries, its first mention in official state documents did not occur until the first decade of the twentieth century. Accordingly, it is often said "not to exist"; indeed there are several instances of parliament declaring this to be the case. The prime minister sits in the cabinet solely by virtue of occupying another office, either First Lord of the Treasury (office in commission) or more rarely Chancellor of the Exchequer (the last of whom was Balfour in 1905). :In such systems unwritten (and unenforceable) constitutional conventions often outline the order in which people are asked to form a government. If the prime minister resigns after a general election, the monarch usually asks the leader of the opposition to form a government. Where however a resignation occurs during a parliament session (unless the government has itself collapsed) the monarch will ask another member of the government to form a government. While previously the monarch had some leeway in whom to ask, all British political parties now elect their leaders (until 1965 the Conservatives chose their leader by informal consultation). The last time the monarch had a choice over the appointment occurred in 1963 when the Earl of Home was asked to become Prime Minister ahead of Rab Butler. During the period between the time it is clear that the incumbent government has been defeated at a general election, and the actual swearing-in of the new prime minister by the monarch, governor-general, or president, that person is referred to as the "prime minister-elect" or "prime minister-designate". Neither term is strictly correct from a constitutional point of view, but they have wide acceptance. In a situation in which a ruling party elects or appoints a new leader, the incoming leader will usually be referred as "prime minister-in-waiting". An example or this situation was in 2016 in the United Kingdom when Theresa May was elected leader of the
Conservative Party The Conservative Party is a name used by many political parties around the world. These political parties are generally right-wing though their exact ideologies can range from center-right to far-right. Political parties called The Conservative P ...
while David Cameron was still prime minister. Russia's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1993) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Russia. Ukraine's
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
(1996) lists the powers, functions and duties of the prime minister of Ukraine.


Lists of prime ministers

The following table groups the list of past and present prime ministers and details information available in those lists.


See also

*
List of current prime ministers by date of assumption of office Date of assumption of office Prime ministers A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential ...
* Chancellor * Chief Minister * Governor-General * Head of government * Head of state * Monarch * President *
Prime ministerial government A cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the executive branch's top leaders. Members of a cabinet are usually called cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a cabinet varies: in some countries ...
;Lists: * List of current heads of state and government *
List of democracy and election-related topics The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to democracy. Democracy – form of government which allows people to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, d ...


Notes


References


Further reading

* Andrew Blick & George Jones
''Premiership:'' ''The Development, Nature and Power of the Office of the British Prime Minister''
(Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2010), . * Michael Foley
The British Presidency
(Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2000) * Peter Hennessy,
The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holders Since 1945
' (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001), . * Paul Langford
"Prime Ministers and Parliaments: The Long View, Walpole to Blair."
The Annual History of Parliament Lecture, 2005, ''Parliamentary History'', 25, 3 (2006): 382–394, doi:10.1353/pah.2006.0045. * Brian Carroll
''Australia's Prime Ministers: From Barton to Howard''
(Rosenberg Publishing, 2004) * James Manor
''Nehru to the Nineties: The Changing Office of Prime Minister in India''
(C. Hurst & Co., 1994) * Jagdish Chandra Sharma
''Indian Prime Ministership: A Comprehensive Study''
(Concept Publishing Company, 2002), . {{DEFAULTSORT:Prime Minister Heads of government Titles +Prime Positions of authority 17th-century neologisms