Prime minister

Taoiseach ISBN (identifier) President (government title)
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Prime ministers of the Nordic and Baltic countries in 2014. From left: Erna Solberg, Norway; Algirdas Butkevičius, Lithuania; Laimdota Straujuma, Latvia; Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Iceland; Alexander Stubb, Finland; Anne Sulling, Estonia (trade minister); Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark; Stefan Löfven, Sweden.

A prime minister 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 system. A prime minister is not the head of state of their respective state nor a monarch, rather they are the head of government, serving typically under a monarch in a hybrid of aristocratic and democratic government forms or a president in a republican form of government.

In parliamentary systems fashioned after the Westminster system, the prime minister is the presiding and actual head of government and head of the executive branch. 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.

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 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.

The prime minister is often, but not always, a member of the Legislature or the Lower House thereof 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) that are constitutionally vested in the crown and may be exercised 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.[note 1] In some cases, prime ministers may choose to hold additional ministerial posts (e.g. when its portfolio is critical to that government’s mandate at the time): during the Second World War, Winston Churchill was also Minister of Defence (although there was then no Ministry of Defence at the time). Another example is the Thirty-fourth government of Israel (2015-2019), when Benjamin Netanyahu at one point served as the Prime Minister and those of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation, Economy, Defense and Interior.


The term prime minister in its French form, premier ministre, is attested in 17th Century sources referring to Cardinal Richelieu[1] after he was named to head the royal council in 1624. The title was however informal and used alongside the equally informal 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 not in use.[2]

The term prime minister in the current sense originated in the 18th century in the United Kingdom when 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.[3]



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 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, 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.


The prime ministers of five members of the Commonwealth of Nations at the 1944 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference.

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.[4] 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.[5][6]

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 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.[7][8][9] 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

By the late 20th century,[10][11] the majority of the world's countries had a prime minister or equivalent minister, holding office under either a constitutional monarchy or a ceremonial president. The main exceptions to this system have been the United States and the presidential republics in Latin America modelled on the U.S. system, in which the president directly exercises executive authority.

Bahrain's prime minister, Sheikh Khalifah bin Sulman Al Khalifah has been in the post since 1970, 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, Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Malaysia, Morocco, Spain,[note 2] Sweden, Thailand, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom) and in parliamentary republics, in which the head of state is an elected official (such as Finland, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia (1945–1959), Ireland, Pakistan, Portugal, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Turkey (1923–2018)) and Italy). See also "First Minister", "Premier", "Chief Minister", "Chancellor", "Taoiseach", "Minister of State (Statsminister)", "President of the Government", "President of the Council of Minister" and "Secretary of State": alternative titles usually equivalent in meaning to, or translated as, "prime minister".

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 France, Russia or South Korea, 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 head of government of the People's Republic of China is referred to as the Premier of the State Council and 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.

While in practice most prime ministers under the Westminster system (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, India and the United Kingdom) are the leaders of the largest party or coalition in parliament, technically the appointment of the prime minister is a prerogative exercised by the head of state.

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 constitutional 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, governments 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 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, have a motion of no confidence passed against them, or where they lose supply, most constitutional systems require either:

  1. a letter of resignation or
  2. a request for parliamentary dissolution.

The latter in effect allows the government to appeal the opposition of parliament to the electorate. 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. 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 vested the power in the Executive Council (the then name for the Irish cabinet).

In Australia, the Prime Minister is expected to step down if they loses 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.[citation needed]

Cross-country comparative details


In the Russian constitution the prime minister is actually titled Chairman of the government while the Irish prime minister is called the Taoiseach (which is rendered into English as prime minister), and in Israel he is Rosh HaMemshalah, meaning "head of the government". In many cases, though commonly used, "prime minister" is not the official title of the office-holder; the Spanish prime minister is the President of the Government (Presidente del Gobierno).

Other common forms include president of the council of ministers (for example in Italy, Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri), 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 (e.g., a Canadian province, a Brazilian state, etc.) is most commonly known as the premier, chief minister, governor or minister-president.

The convention in the English language is to call nearly all national heads of government "prime minister" (sometimes the equivalent term "premier") except in the cases where the head of state and head of government are fused into 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 heads of government titles are almost always translated as 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. In the case of Ireland, the head of government is occasionally referred to as the Taoiseach by English speakers. 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 like a president. In some Commonwealth countries prime ministers and former prime ministers are styled Right Honourable due to their position (the Prime Minister of Canada, for example). In the United Kingdom the prime minister and former prime ministers may appear to also be styled Right Honourable, however this is not due to their position as head of government but as a privilege of being current members of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council.[12]

In the UK, where devolved government is in place, the leaders of the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Governments are styled First Minister. Between 1921 and 1972, when Northern Ireland was a Majority Rule Parliament the head of government would be known as the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. 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".

Entity Title
Austria Bundeskanzler
Bangladesh Prodhanmontri
Bhutan Lyonchhen
Buganda Katikkiro
Bulgaria Министър-председател, Ministar-predsedatel
Canada English : Prime Minister

French : Premier ministre

Denmark Danmarks statsminister
Estonia Peaminister
Eswatini Ndvunankhulu
Faroe Islands Løgmaður
Finland Finnish : Suomen pääministeri
Swedish : Finlands statsminister
Germany Bundeskanzler
Greece Prothypourgós tis Ellinikís Dimokratías
Greenland Greenlandic : Naalakkersuisut siulittaasuat
Danish : Landsstyreformand
Hungary Miniszterelnök
Iceland Forsætisráðherra Íslands
India Hindi: प्रधान मंत्री, Pradhān Mantrī
Israel Hebrew : רֹאשׁ הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה, Rosh HaMemshala
Ireland Taoiseach
Japan 内閣総理大臣, Naikaku-sōri-daijin
Latvia Ministru prezidents
Lithuania Ministras Pirmininkas
Malaysia Perdana Menteri
Malta Prim Ministru ta' Malta
Montenegro Premijer Crne Gore
Norway Statsminister
Netherlands Minister-president van Nederland
Pakistan Wazīr-ē-Āzam
Poland Prezes Rady Ministrów
Romania Prim-ministrul Guvernului României
Russia 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 : சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசின் பிரதமர், Ciṅkappūr kuṭiyaraciṉ piratamar
South Korea Hangul : 국무총리
Hanja : 國務總理
RR : Gungmuchongni
Sri Lanka Sinhala : ශ්‍රී ලංකා අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය Śrī Laṃkā agrāmāthya
Tamil : இலங்கை பிரதமர் Ilaṅkai piratamar
Sweden Statsminister
Thailand นายกรัฐมนตรี, Nayok Ratthamontri

Constitutional basis for the position in different countries

John A. Macdonald (1815–1891), first Canadian prime minister.

The position, power and status of prime ministers differ depending on the age of the constitution.

Australia's constitution makes no mention of a Prime Minister of Australia and the office only exists by convention, based on the British model.

Bangladesh's constitution 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 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, partly formally codified and partly uncodified. The codified part originally made no reference whatsoever to a prime minister[13] 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, to which all federal ministers (among others) are appointed and with Members[note 3] of which the Monarch or her Governor General normally performs executive government (as Queen- or Governor-in-Council).[14] The Constitution Act, 1982, adds passing reference to the "Prime Minister of Canada" [French: premier ministre du Canada] but as detail of conferences of federal and provincial first ministers.)[15]

Czech Republic's constitution 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 (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 (1975) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Greece.

Hungary's constitution (2012) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Hungary.

India's constitution (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 (1937), provides for the office of Taoiseach in detail, listing powers, functions and duties.

Italy's constitution (1948) lists the powers, functions and duties of the President of the Council of Ministers.

Japan's constitution (1946) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Japan.

The Republic of Korea's constitution (1987) sections 86–87 list the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.

Malta's constitution (1964) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Malaysia's constitution (1957) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Norway's constitution (1814) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Norway

Pakistan's constitution (1973) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Spain's constitution (1978) regulates the appointment, dismissal, powers, functions and duties of the President of the Government.

Thailand's constitution (1932) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Thailand.

Taiwan's constitution (1946) lists the powers, functions and duties of the President of the Executive Yuan.

The United Kingdom's constitution, being uncodified and largely unwritten, makes no mention of a prime minister. Though it had de facto 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 while David Cameron was still prime minister.

Ukraine's constitution (1996) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Lists of prime ministers

Countries with prime ministers (blue) and those that formerly had that position (dark red).

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

Government List starts Parties
Term given by
years or dates
Abkhazia 1995 - dates Alexander Ankvab
Afghanistan 1927 - years Abdullah Abdullah
Albania (List) 1912 - years Edi Rama
Algeria 1962 yes years Abdelaziz Djerad
Andorra 1982 - years Xavier Espot Zamora
Angola 1975 - dates (Post abolished)
Anguilla 1976 yes dates Victor Banks
Antigua and Barbuda 1981 - years Gaston Browne
Argentina 1993 yes dates Santiago Cafiero
Armenia 1918 yes dates Nikol Pashinyan
Artsakh 1992 no dates (Post abolished)
Aruba 1986 - dates Evelyn Wever-Croes
Australia (List) 1901 yes dates Scott Morrison
Austria 1918 yes years Sebastian Kurz
Azerbaijan 1918 yes dates Ali Asadov
Bahamas 1967 - dates Hubert Minnis
Bahrain 1970 - years Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Bangladesh 1971 yes dates Sheikh Hasina
Barbados 1954 yes dates Mia Mottley
Belarus 1919 - dates Roman Golovchenko
Belgium 1831 yes dates Sophie Wilmès
Belize 1973 yes years Dean Barrow
Benin 1957 yes dates (Post abolished)
Bermuda 1968 yes dates Edward David Burt
Bhutan 1952 - dates Lotay Tshering
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1943 - dates Zoran Tegeltija
Botswana 1965 yes dates (Post abolished)
Brazil 1847 yes dates (Post abolished)
British Virgin Islands 1967 yes dates Orlando Smith
Brunei 1984 no dates Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Bulgaria 1879 yes dates Boyko Borisov
Burkina Faso 1971 - dates Christophe Joseph Marie Dabiré
Burundi 1961 yes dates (Post abolished)
Cambodia 1945 - years Hun Sen
Cameroon 1960 - dates Joseph Ngute
Canada (List) 1867 yes dates Justin Trudeau
Cape Verde 1975 yes dates Ulisses Correia e Silva
Cayman Islands 1992 yes dates Alden McLaughlin
Central African Republic 1958 - dates Firmin Ngrébada
Chad 1978 - dates (Post abolished)
People's Republic of China (List) 1949 - dates Li Keqiang
Comoros 1957 yes dates (Post abolished)
Congo (Brazzaville) 1957 yes dates Clément Mouamba
Congo (Kinshasa) (List) 1960 yes dates Sylvestre Ilunga
Cook Islands 1965 yes dates Henry Puna
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 1957 yes dates Vacant
Croatia 1939 - dates Andrej Plenković
Cuba 1940 - dates Manuel Marrero Cruz
Curaçao 2010 - dates Eugene Rhuggenaath
Northern Cyprus 1983 yes dates Ersin Tatar
Czech Republic 1993 - years Andrej Babiš
Denmark (List) 1848 - years Mette Frederiksen
Djibouti 1977 - dates Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed
Dominica 1960 - dates Roosevelt Skerrit
East Timor 2002 yes dates Taur Matan Ruak
Egypt (List) 1878 - years Moustafa Madbouly
Equatorial Guinea 1963 - dates Francisco Pascual Obama Asue
Estonia 1918 - dates Jüri Ratas
Ethiopia 1942 yes dates Abiy Ahmed
Faroe Islands 1946 - years Bárður á Steig Nielsen
Fiji 1966 - dates Frank Bainimarama
Finland 1917 yes years Sanna Marin
France (List) 1589 - years Édouard Philippe
Gabon 1957 yes dates Julien Nkoghe Bekale
The Gambia 1961 - dates (Post abolished)
Georgia 1918 yes dates Giorgi Gakharia
Germany (List) 1871/1949 yes dates Angela Merkel
Ghana 1957 - dates (Post abolished)
Gibraltar 1964 yes dates Fabian Picardo
Greece (List) 1833 - dates Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Greenland 1979 - years Kim Kielsen
Grenada 1954 - years Keith Mitchell
Guernsey 2007 - dates Gavin St Pier
Guinea 1972 - dates Ibrahima Kassory Fofana
Guinea-Bissau 1973 - dates Nuno Gomes Nabiam
Guyana 1953 - dates Mark Phillips
Haiti 1988 - dates Joseph Joute
Hungary (List) 1848 - dates Viktor Orbán
Iceland 1904 - dates Katrín Jakobsdóttir
India (List) 1947 yes dates Narendra Modi
Indonesia 1945 yes dates (Post abolished)
Iran (List) 1624 - years (Post abolished)
Iraq 1920 - years Mustafa Al-Kadhimi
Ireland 1937 yes dates Leo Varadkar
Israel (List) 1948 - years Benjamin Netanyahu
Italy (List) 1861 - years Giuseppe Conte
Jamaica 1959 - years Andrew Holness
Japan (List) 1885 - dates Yoshihide Suga
Jersey 2005 - dates John Le Fondré Jr
Jordan 1944 - dates Omar Razzaz
Kazakhstan 1920 - years Askar Mamin
Kenya 1963 - dates (Post abolished)
North Korea 1948 - years Kim Tok-hun
South Korea (List) 1948 - years Chung Sye-kyun
Kosovo 1945 yes dates Avdullah Hoti
Kuwait 1962 yes dates Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah
Kyrgyzstan 1924 - dates Muhammetkaliy Abulgaziyev
Laos 1941 - years Thongloun Sisoulith
Latvia 1918 yes dates Krišjānis Kariņš
Lebanon 1926 - dates Hassan Diab
Lesotho 1965 yes dates Moeketsi Majoro
Libya 1951 - dates Abdullah al-Thani / Fayez al-Sarraj
Liechtenstein 1921 yes dates Adrian Hasler
Lithuania 1918 yes dates Saulius Skvernelis
Luxembourg 1959 - years Xavier Bettel
Madagascar 1833 - dates Christian Ntsay
Malawi 1963 yes dates (Post abolished)
Malaysia 1957 yes years Muhyiddin Yassin
Mali 1957 yes dates Boubou Cisse
Malta 1921 yes years Robert Abela
Isle of Man 1986 - years Howard Quayle
Mauritania 1957 yes dates Mohamed Ould Bilal
Mauritius 1961 yes dates Pravind Jugnauth
Moldova 1990 - dates Maia Sandu
Monaco 1911 n/a dates Pierre Dartout
Mongolia 1912 yes dates Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh
Montenegro 1879 yes dates Duško Marković
Montserrat 1960 yes dates Easton Taylor-Farrell
Morocco 1955 yes years Saadeddine Othmani
Mozambique 1974 yes dates Carlos Agostinho do Rosário
Myanmar (Burma) 1948 yes dates Aung San Suu Kyi (as State Counsellor)
Namibia 1990 yes dates Saara Kuugongelwa
Nepal 1803 - dates KP Sharma Oli
Netherlands (List) 1848 yes dates Mark Rutte
New Zealand (List) 1856 yes dates Jacinda Ardern
Newfoundland 1855 yes dates (Post abolished)
Niger 1958 yes dates Brigi Rafini
Nigeria 1960 yes dates (Post abolished)
Niue 1974 - dates Sir Toke Talagi
Norfolk Island 1896 2015 dates (Post abolished)
North Macedonia 1943 yes dates Oliver Spasovski
Norway 1814 yes years Erna Solberg
Pakistan (List) 1947 yes dates Imran Khan
Palestine 2003 yes dates Rami Hamdallah
Papua New Guinea 1975 yes years James Marape
Peru 1975 yes dates Vicente Zeballos
Philippines 1899 yes dates (Post abolished)
Poland (List) 1918 - dates Mateusz Morawiecki
Portugal (List) 1834 yes dates António Costa
Qatar 1970 - dates Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani
Romania 1862 - years Ludovic Orban
Russia (List) 1864/1905 yes dates Mikhail Mishustin
Rwanda 1960 yes dates Édouard Ngirente
Saint Kitts and Nevis 1960 - dates Timothy Harris
Saint Lucia 1960 - dates Allen Chastanet
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1956 - dates Ralph Gonsalves
Samoa 1875 yes dates Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi
São Tomé and Principe 1974 yes dates Jorge Bom Jesus
Saudi Arabia 1953 no dates King Salman
Senegal 1957 yes dates (Post abolished)
Serbia 1805 yes years Ana Brnabić
Seychelles 1970 yes years (Post abolished)
Sierra Leone 1954 yes dates David J. Francis
Singapore 1959 - dates Lee Hsien Loong
Sint Maarten 2010 - dates Silveria Jacobs
Slovakia 1993 - dates Igor Matovič
Slovenia 1943 yes years Janez Janša
Solomon Islands 1949 yes dates Manasseh Sogavare
Somalia 1949 yes dates Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid
South Africa 1910 - dates (Post abolished)
South Ossetia 1991 - dates Erik Pukhayev
Spain (List) 1705 yes years Pedro Sánchez
Sri Lanka (List) 1948 - dates Mahinda Rajapaksa
Sudan 1952 yes dates Abdalla Hamdok
Suriname 1949 yes dates (Post abolished)
Swaziland 1967 - years Mandvulo Ambrose Dlamini
Sweden (List) 1876 yes years Stefan Löfven
Syria 1920 - dates Hussein Arnous
Taiwan (Republic of China) (List) 1911 - dates Su Tseng-chang
Tajikistan 1924 - dates Kokhir Rasulzoda
Tanzania 1960 yes dates Kassim Majaliwa
Thailand (List) 1932 yes dates Prayut Chan-o-cha
Togo 1956 yes dates Komi Sélom Klassou
Tokelau 1992 - dates Afega Gaualofa
Tonga 1876 - years Pohiva Tuʻiʻonetoa
Transnistria 2012 yes dates Aleksandr Martynov
Trinidad and Tobago 1956 - dates Keith Rowley
Tunisia 1969 - dates Hichem Mechichi
Turkey (List) 1920 yes dates (Post abolished)
Turkmenistan 1924 - dates (Post abolished)
Turks and Caicos Islands 1976 yes dates Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson
Tuvalu 1975 n/a dates Kausea Natano
Uganda 1961 yes dates Ruhakana Rugunda
Ukraine (List) 1917 - dates Denys Shmyhal
United Arab Emirates 1971 - years Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
United Kingdom (List) 1721 yes dates Boris Johnson
Uruguay No List (post established 1919) - - (post abolished)
Uzbekistan 1924 - dates Abdulla Aripov
Vanuatu 1980 yes dates Bob Loughman
Vatican 1644 - years Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Vietnam 1976 yes dates Nguyễn Xuân Phúc
Yemen 1990 yes years Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed
Western Sahara 1976 no years Mohamed Wali Akeik
Zambia 1964 yes dates (Post abolished)
Zimbabwe 1923 - dates (Post abolished)

See also


Notes and references


  1. ^ Contrary to popular perception, the two posts are separate and need not be held by the one person. The last prime minister not to be First Lord of the Treasury was Lord Salisbury at the turn of the 20th century. 10 Downing Street is actually the First Lord's residence, not the Prime Minister's. As Salisbury was not First Lord, he had to live elsewhere as prime minister.
  2. ^ Although the roles of the Spanish head of government coincide with the definition of a 'prime minister', in Spain the position is in fact referred to as 'the Presidency of the Government'.
  3. ^ Which Members, though, are left to uncodified convention. As appointment to the Privy Council normally lasts for life, former Cabinet ministers predominate. The convention of Responsible Government, however, requires the Governor General to only act on the advice of the current Cabinet (or its ministers relevant to the issue at hand).


  1. ^ "Testament Politique du Cardinal Duc de Richelieu, Premier Ministre de France sous le Règne de Louïs XIII". Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  2. ^ Ancien Régime Archived 31 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine in Encyclopédie Larousse ("Après 1661, Louis XIV impose une nouvelle formule, qui joue à la fois sur les ministres et sur les conseils, sans accepter la primauté d'un ministre.")
  3. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Britain's unwritten constitution". British Library. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015. The key landmark is the Bill of Rights (1689), which established the supremacy of Parliament over the Crown.... The Bill of Rights (1689) then settled the primacy of Parliament over the monarch’s prerogatives, providing for the regular meeting of Parliament, free elections to the Commons, free speech in parliamentary debates, and some basic human rights, most famously freedom from ‘cruel or unusual punishment’.
  5. ^ Dr Andrew Blick and Professor George Jones — No 10 guest historian series, Prime Ministers and No. 10 (1 January 2012). "The Institution of Prime Minister". Government of the United Kingdom: History of Government Blog. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  6. ^ Carter, Byrum E. (2015) [1955]. "The Historical Development of the Office of Prime Minister". Office of the Prime Minister. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400878260. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  7. ^ Seidle, F. Leslie; Docherty, David C. (2003). Reforming parliamentary democracy. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780773525085. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  8. ^ Johnston, Douglas M.; Reisman, W. Michael (2008). The Historical Foundations of World Order. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 571. ISBN 9047423933. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  9. ^ Fieldhouse, David; Madden, Frederick (1990). Settler self-government, 1840–1900 : the development of representative and responsible government (1. publ. ed.). New York: Greenwood Press. p. xxi. ISBN 9780313273261. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  10. ^ Julian Go (2007). "A Globalizing Constitutionalism?, Views from the Postcolony, 1945-2000". In Arjomand, Saïd Amir (ed.). Constitutionalism and political reconstruction. Brill. pp. 92–94. ISBN 9004151745. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  11. ^ "How the Westminster Parliamentary System was exported around the World". University of Cambridge. 2 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Privy Council Members". The Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  13. ^ Constitution Act, 1867 (U.K.), 30 & 31 Vict., c. 3. See also “Constitution Act, 1867,” in: Justice Canada, ed., A Consolidation of The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982, Government of Canada Catalogue № YX1‑1/2012 (Ottawa: 2012), ISBN 9780660674582, pp. 1–52.
  14. ^ See Constitution Act, 1867 (U.K.), 30 & 31 Vict., c. 3, Part 2 (§ 11 in particular). See also “Constitution Act, 1867,” in: Justice Canada, ed., A Consolidation of The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982, Government of Canada Catalogue № YX1‑1/2012 (Ottawa: 2012), ISBN 9780660674582, pp. 3–4.
  15. ^ 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), ISBN 9780660674582, pp. 53–75 at 63, 68.