Prime minister

related topics
{government, party, election}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{day, year, event}
{language, word, form}
{law, state, case}
{theory, work, human}
{country, population, people}
{church, century, christian}
{work, book, publish}

This series is part of
the Politics series

A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and can 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 of government, a prime minister is the official who is appointed to manage the civil service and execute the directives of the head of state.

In parliamentary systems fashioned after the Westminster system, the prime minister is the presiding and actual head of the government and head of the executive branch. In such systems, the head of state or the head of state's official representative (i.e. the monarch, president, or governor-general) usually holds a largely ceremonial position, although often with reserve powers. The prime minister is often, but not always, a member of parliament and is expected with other ministers to ensure the passage of bills through the legislature. In some monarchies the monarch may also exercise executive powers (known as the royal prerogative) which are constitutionally vested in the crown and can be exercised without the approval of parliament.

As well as being head of government, a prime minister may have other roles or titles - the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for example, is also First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service.[1] Prime ministers may take other ministerial posts - for example during the Second World War Winston Churchill was also Minister of Defence (although there was then no Ministry of Defence). The Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, was famous for forming his cabinet entirely of himself and his deputy as soon as the overall result of the 1972 federal election was beyond doubt (see First Whitlam Ministry).

Full article ▸

related documents
Vice President of the United States
Politics of Germany
Senate of Canada
Republican Party (United States)
Social Democratic Party (UK)
Green Party of England and Wales
Ronald Reagan
House of Lords
Libertarian Party (United States)
Brian Mulroney
Jean Chr├ętien
Joe Lieberman
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
Jacques Chirac
Politics of Singapore
Politics of Puerto Rico
Head of state
Green Party (United States)
United States Congress
Official Monster Raving Loony Party
Hu Jintao
Reform Act 1832
Boris Yeltsin
Pervez Musharraf
Dutch Labour Party
Fourth International
Westminster system
National Party of Australia
Ian Paisley
Social Democratic Party of Germany