Head of government

Head of government

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Head of government is the chief officer of the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 branch of a government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, often presiding over a cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

. In a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

, the head of government is often styled prime minister
Prime minister
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 may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, chief minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

, premier
Premier
Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries and states.-Examples by country:In many nations, "premier" is used interchangeably with "prime minister"...

, etc. In presidential republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

s or absolute monarchies, the head of government may be the same person as the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

, who is often called respectively a president
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 or a monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

.

In semi-presidential system
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

s, the Head of Government may answer to both the Head of State and the legislative power (such as parliament). An example is the French Fifth Republic
French Fifth Republic
The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, introduced on 4 October 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the French Fourth Republic, replacing the prior parliamentary government with a semi-presidential system...

 (1958–present), where the Président de la République appoints a Prime Minister but must choose someone who can get government business through, and has the support of, the National Assembly
National Assembly
National Assembly is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries. The best known National Assembly, and the first legislature to be known by this title, was that established during the French Revolution in 1789, known as the Assemblée nationale...

. When the opposition controls the National Assembly (and thus government funding and most legislation), the President is in effect forced to choose a Prime Minister from the opposition; in such cases, known as cohabitation
Cohabitation (government)
Cohabitation in government occurs in semi-presidential systems, such as France's system, when the President is from a different political party than the majority of the members of parliament. It occurs because such a system forces the president to name a premier that will be acceptable to the...

, the government controls internal state policy, with the President restricted largely to foreign affairs.

Titles of the head of the government


The most common title for a head of government is "Prime Minister." This is used as a formal title in many states, but also informally a generic term to describe whichever office is formally the first amongst the executive "ministers" of an otherwise styled Head of State, as Minister — Latin for servants or subordinates — is a common title for members of a government (but many other titles are in use, e.g. secretary (of state)).

Formally the "head of state" can also personally be the "head of government" (ex officio or by ad hoc cumulation such as an absolute monarch nominating himself) but otherwise has formal precedence over the Head of Government and other ministers, whether he is their actual political superior (absolute monarch, executive president) or rather theoretical or ceremonial in character. Various constitutions use different titles, and even the same title can have various political meanings depending on the constitution and political system of the state in question.

As political chief


In addition to Prime Minister, titles used for the democratic model, where there is an elected legislative body checking the Head of government, include the following.
Some of these titles relate to governments below the national level (e.g. states or provinces)

Alternate English terms & renderings

  • Chairman of the Executive Council
    Chairman of the Executive Council
    The Chairman of the Executive Council of the Isle of Man was the executive head of the Isle of Man Government from 1961 to 1986. The title of the office was changed in 1986 to Chief Minister.-Chairmen:*Sir Charles Kerruish MLC OBE LLD , 1961–67...

  • Chief Minister
    Chief Minister
    A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

     (often sub-national)
  • First Minister
    First Minister
    A First Minister is the leader of a government cabinet.-Canada:In Canada, "First Ministers" is a collective term that refers to all Canadian first ministers of the Crown, otherwise known as heads of government, including the Prime Minister of Canada and the provincial and territorial premiers...

     (often sub-national)
  • Minister-President
    Minister-President
    A minister-president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments, in which a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government prevails, who presides over the council of ministers...

  • Premier
    Premier
    Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries and states.-Examples by country:In many nations, "premier" is used interchangeably with "prime minister"...

     (from French premier ministre)
  • President of the Cabinet
  • President of the Council of Ministers
    President of the Council of Ministers
    The official title President of the Council of Ministers, or Chairman of the Council of Ministers is used to describe the head of government of the states of Italy and Poland, and formerly in the Soviet Union, Portugal, France , Spain , Brazil , and Luxembourg...

  • President of the Council of State
  • President of the Executive Council
    President of the Executive Council
    President of the Executive Council may refer to:*The Governor-General or Governors of the Australian states in Australia and New Zealand, although the actual title is not used*A Premier of a Canadian Province...

  • President of the Government
    President of the Government
    President of the Government is a term used in official statements to describe several Prime Ministers:* Croatia, Prime Minister of Croatia* Russia, Prime Minister of Russia, Literally Chairman of the Government...

  • State President
    State President of South Africa
    State President, or Staatspresident in Afrikaans, was the title of South Africa's head of state from 1961 to 1994. The office was established when the country became a republic in 1961, and Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be head of state...

     (used exclusively in South Africa)

Equivalent titles in other languages

  • Bundeskanzler
    Chancellor of Austria
    The Federal Chancellor is the head of government in Austria. Its deputy is the Vice-Chancellor. Before 1918, the equivalent office was the Minister-President of Austria. The Federal Chancellor is considered to be the most powerful political position in Austrian politics.-Appointment:The...

    /Chancellor
    Chancellor
    Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

     (German)
  • In Malaysia, the head of government of the constituent states are expressed in the Malay language (either Ketua Menteri, "chief minister" in the Malaysian states without a monarchy (Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak), or Menteri Besar
    Menteri Besar
    The Menteri Besar is the chief executive of the state government for states in Malaysia with hereditary rulers. For states without a monarch, the title Chief Minister is used...

     "great minister" in the sultanates and other monarchic states).
  • Lehendakari
    Lehendakari
    The President of the Basque Government , usually known in English as the Basque regional president, is the head of government of Basque Country. The president leads the executive branch of the regional government....

    (Basque Country)
  • Leitender Minister (German, literally 'directing minister')
  • Pääministeri (Finnish)
  • Statsminister
    Statsminister
    Statsminister is the local title for the function of prime minister in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland . Although it literally means 'state minister', it should not be confused with the English title Minister of State, which usually indicates a subordinate minister, or the French Ministre...

    (Scandinavian)
  • Taoiseach
    Taoiseach
    The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

    (Irish)

Under a dominant head of state


In a broader sense, a prime minister can be used loosely to refer to various comparable positions under a Head of State that is an absolute monarch (especially is the case of ancient or feudal eras, so the term "prime minister", in this case, could be considered an anachronism). In this case, the prime minister serves at the pleasure of the monarch and holds no more power than the monarch allows. In some cases a disgraced head of government has even been executed for his failure. Some such titles are:
  • Diwan
  • Mahamantri
  • Pradhan
    Pradhan
    Pradhan is a high, generally ministerial, title of Sanskrit origin in cultures of Hindu tradition, mainly in and around the Indian subcontinent. Pradhan literally means "Prime"...

  • Wasir or Grand Vizier
    Vizier
    A vizier or in Arabic script ; ; sometimes spelled vazir, vizir, vasir, wazir, vesir, or vezir) is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in a Muslim government....


Indirectly referred as the head of state


In some cases, the Head of state is a figurehead
Figurehead
A figurehead is a carved wooden decoration found at the prow of ships largely made between the 16th and 19th century.-History:Although earlier ships had often had some form of bow ornamentation A figurehead is a carved wooden decoration found at the prow of ships largely made between the 16th and...

 whilst the Head of the government leads the ruling party. In some cases a head of government may even pass on the title in hereditary fashion. Such titles include the following:
  • Mayor of the Palace
    Mayor of the Palace
    Mayor of the Palace was an early medieval title and office, also called majordomo, from the Latin title maior domus , used most notably in the Frankish kingdoms in the 7th and 8th centuries....

     of the Merovingian kingdoms
  • Nawab wasir of the Mughal Empire (also governor of Awadh
    Awadh
    Awadh , also known in various British historical texts as Oudh or Oude derived from Ayodhya, is a region in the centre of the modern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which was before independence known as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh...

    )
  • Peshwa
    Peshwa
    A Peshwa is the titular equivalent of a modern Prime Minister. Emporer Shivaji created the Peshwa designation in order to more effectively delegate administrative duties during the growth of the Maratha Empire. Prior to 1749, Peshwas held office for 8-9 years and controlled the Maratha army...

     of Satara
    Satara
    Satara is a city located in the Satara District of Maharashtra state of India. The town is 2320 ft. above sea-level, near the confluence of the Krishna and its tributary river Venna. The city was the capital of the Maratha empire in the 17th century, hence one of the the historical cities of...

     and the Maratha empire
    Maratha Empire
    The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of South Asia, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km²....

  • Shogun
    Shogun
    A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

     in the empire of Japan
  • Sultan
    Sultan
    Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

     in the original case of the Seljuk Turks who made the Caliph
    Caliph
    The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

    s of Baghdad
    Baghdad
    Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

     their puppets; later both styles were often used for absolute rulers in Nepal
    Nepal
    Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...


Heads of state and government


In some models the head of state and head of government are one and the same. These include:
  • President
    President
    A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

     (executive)
  • Absolutist monarch reigning and ruling
    Direct Rule
    Direct rule was the term given, during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, to the administration of Northern Ireland directly from Westminster, seat of United Kingdom government...

     without a prime minister (or nominating himself)
  • Chief Magistrate
    Chief Magistrate
    Chief Magistrate is a generic designation for a public official whose office—individual or collegial—is the highest in his or her class, in either of the fundamental meanings of Magistrate : as a major political and administrative office , and/or as a judge Chief Magistrate is a generic designation...

  • Führer
    Führer
    Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

     (sometimes used in Nazi Germany)

An alternative formula is a single chief political body (e.g. presidium
Presidium
The presidium or praesidium is the name for the heading organ of various legislative and organizational bodies.-Historical usage:...

) which collectively leads the government and provides (e.g. by turns) the ceremonial Head of state
See Head of State
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 for further explanation of these cases.

Parliamentary heads of government


In parliamentary systems, government functions along the following lines:
  • The head of government — usually the leader of the majority party or coalition
    Tyranny of the majority
    The phrase "tyranny of the majority" , used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule, is a criticism of the scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority's interests so far above a dissenting individual's interest that the individual would be...

     — forms the government, which is answerable to parliament;
  • Full answerability of government to parliament is achieved through
    • The ability of parliament to pass a vote of no confidence.
    • The ability to vote down legislative proposals of the government.
    • Control over or ability to vote down fiscal measures and the 'budget' (or 'supply
      Loss of Supply
      Loss of supply occurs where a government in a parliamentary democracy using the Westminster System or a system derived from it is denied a supply of treasury or exchequer funds, by whichever house or houses of parliament or head of state is constitutionally entitled to grant and deny supply. A...

      '); a government is powerless without control of the state finances. In a bicameral system, it is often the so-called lower house
      Lower house
      A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

      , e.g. the British House of Commons
      British House of Commons
      The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

       that exercises the major elements of control and oversight; in some others, e.g. Australia
      Australia
      Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

       and Italy
      Italy
      Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

      , the government is constitutionally or by convention answerable to both chambers/Houses of Parliament.


All of these requirements directly impact the Head of government's role. Consequently, they often play a 'day to day' role in parliament, answering questions and defending the government on the 'floor of the House', while in semi-presidential systems they may not be required to play as much of a role in the functioning of parliament.

Appointment


In many countries, the Head of government is commissioned by the Head of state to form a government, on the basis of the strength of party support in the lower house, in some other states directly elected by parliament. Many parliamentary systems require ministers to serve in parliament, while others ban ministers from sitting in parliament; they must resign on becoming ministers.

Removal


Heads of government are typically removed from power in a parliamentary system by
  • Resignation, following:
    • Defeat in a general election
      General election
      In a parliamentary political system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.The term...

      .
    • Defeat in a leadership vote at their party caucus
      Caucus
      A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement, especially in the United States and Canada. As the use of the term has been expanded the exact definition has come to vary among political cultures.-Origin of the term:...

      , to be replaced by another member of the same party.
    • Defeat in a parliamentary vote on a major issue, e.g. loss of supply
      Loss of Supply
      Loss of supply occurs where a government in a parliamentary democracy using the Westminster System or a system derived from it is denied a supply of treasury or exchequer funds, by whichever house or houses of parliament or head of state is constitutionally entitled to grant and deny supply. A...

      , loss of confidence
      Motion of no confidence
      A motion of no confidence is a parliamentary motion whose passing would demonstrate to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government.-Overview:Typically, when a parliament passes a vote of no...

      . (In such cases, a head of government may seek a parliamentary dissolution from the Head of state and attempt to regain support by popular vote).
  • Dismissal — some constitutions allow a Head of state (or their designated representative, as is the case in Commonwealth
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

     countries) to dismiss a Head of government, though its use can be controversial, as occurred in 1975 when then Australian Governor-General, Sir John Kerr
    John Kerr
    Sir John Robert Kerr, was the 18th Governor-General of Australia. He dismissed the Labor government of Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975, marking the climax of the most significant constitutional crisis in Australian history...

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

     in the Australian Constitutional Crisis
    Australian constitutional crisis of 1975
    The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis has been described as the greatest political crisis and constitutional crisis in Australia's history. It culminated on 11 November 1975 with the removal of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party , by Governor-General Sir John Kerr...

    .
  • Death — in this case, the deputy Head of government typically acts as the head of government until a new head of government is appointed.

First among equals or dominating the cabinet?


Constitutions differ in the range and scope of powers granted to the head of government. Some older constitutions (for example, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

's 1900 text, and Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

's 1830 text) do not mention the office of Prime minister at all, the office becoming a de facto reality without formal constitutional status. Some constitutions make a Prime minister primus inter pares
Primus inter pares
Primus inter pares is Latin phrase describing the most senior person of a group sharing the same rank or office.When not used in reference to a specific title, it may indicate that the person so described is formally equal, but looked upon as an authority of special importance by their peers...

 (first among equals
First Among Equals
First Among Equals is a 1984 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer, which follows the careers and personal lives of four fictional British politicians from 1964 to 1991, with each vying to become Prime...

) and that remains the practical reality in places like Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 and Belgium. Other states however, make their Prime minister a central and dominant figure within the cabinet system; Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

's Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

, for example, alone can decide when to seek a parliamentary dissolution, in contrast to other countries where this is a cabinet decision, with the Prime Minister just one member voting on the suggestion. Under the Constitution of the United Kingdom
Constitution of the United Kingdom
The constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed.Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single core constitutional document. In this sense, it is said not to have a written constitution but an uncodified one...

, the Prime Minister's role has evolved, based often on the individual's personal appeal and strength of character, as contrasted between, for example, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 as against Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS was a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955...

, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 as against John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

.

It is alleged that the increased personalisation of leadership in a number of states has led to prime ministers becoming themselves "semi-presidential" figures, due in part to: media coverage of politics that focuses on the leader and his or her mandate, rather than on parliament; and to the increasing centralisation of power in the hands of the Prime minister. Such allegations have been made against two recent British Prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 and Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

. They were also made against Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 prime minister Pierre Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, , usually known as Pierre Trudeau or Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.Trudeau began his political career campaigning for socialist ideals,...

 and Chancellor
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

 of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 (later all of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

), Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

, when in power.

Official residence


The Head of government is often provided with an official residence
Official residence
An official residence is the residence at which heads of state, heads of government, gubernatorial or other senior figures officially reside...

, in the same way as Heads of state often are. The name of the residence is often used as a metonym or alternate title for 'the government' when the office is politically the highest, e.g. in the UK "Downing Street announced today..."

Well-known official residences of heads of government include:
  • 10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

     in London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

     — Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     (who also has a country residence Chequers
    Chequers
    Chequers, or Chequers Court, is a country house near Ellesborough, to the south of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England, at the foot of the Chiltern Hills...

    )
  • 7 Race Course Road
    7 Race Course Road
    7, Race Course Road is the official residence of the Prime Minister of India, where he lives and holds most of his official or political meetings. Situated on Race Course Road, New Delhi, the official name of the PM's residence complex is Panchavati...

     (Panchavati) in New Delhi
    New Delhi
    New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

     — Prime Minister of India
    Prime Minister of India
    The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

  • Catshuis
    Catshuis
    Catshuis has been the official residence of the prime minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1963.It lies in the governmental seat The Hague on the road to Scheveningen, and serves to receive official guests.-History:...

     — Prime Minister of the Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

  • 24 Sussex Drive
    24 Sussex Drive
    24 Sussex Drive is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada, located in the New Edinburgh neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario. Built between 1866 and 1868 by Joseph Merrill Currier, it has been the official home of the Canadian prime minister since 1951.-History:The house at 24 Sussex...

     in Ottawa
    Ottawa
    Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

     — Prime Minister of Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     (who also has a country residence Harrington Lake
    Harrington Lake
    Harrington Lake estate is the name of the official country retreat of the Prime Minister of Canada and also the name of the land which surrounds it. It is located near Meech Lake where the Meech Lake Accord was negotiated in 1987approximately 35 kilometers northwest of Ottawa, in an area known as...

    )
  • Kantei
    Kantei
    The is the principal workplace of the Prime Minister of Japan.- About :Located at 2-3-1 Nagata-chō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, it is diagonally adjacent to the National Diet Building. The new residence went into service in April 2002 and replaced the former residence, built in 1929. The former...

     in Tokyo
    Tokyo
    , ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

     — Prime Minister of Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

  • Kirribilli House
    Kirribilli House
    Kirribilli House is the official Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister. The house is located at the far eastern end of Kirribilli Avenue in the harbourside suburb of Kirribilli...

     in Sydney
    Sydney
    Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

    ; and The Lodge in Canberra
    Canberra
    Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

     — Prime Minister of Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

  • Hôtel Matignon
    Hôtel Matignon
    The Hôtel Matignon is the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. It is located in the VIIe arrondissement of Paris, France.The address of Hotel Matignon is 57 rue de Varenne, Paris, France.-History:...

     in Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

    — Prime Minister of France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     (a grand palace is called a hôtel in French)
  • The Lambermont in Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

     — federal Prime Minister of Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

  • Palacio de la Moncloa
    Palacio de la Moncloa
    The Palace of Moncloa or Moncloa Palace , located in the Ciudad Universitaria ward of Madrid , has been the official residence for the Prime Minister of Spain since 1977, when Adolfo Suárez moved the residence from the Villamejor Palace on the Paseo de la Castellana...

     in Madrid
    Madrid
    Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

     — President of the Government, Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

  • Premier House
    Premier House
    Premier House, on Tinakori Road in Wellington, New Zealand, is the official residence of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.The original building, constructed in the early days of the New Zealand colony in 1843 is located at the southern end of the current building, and was greatly expanded two...

     in Wellington
    Wellington
    Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand, although it is likely to have surpassed Christchurch due to the exodus following the Canterbury Earthquake. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range...

     — Prime Minister of New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

  • Sager House
    Sager House
    The Sager House or Sager Palace is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden at Strömgatan 18 in Sweden's capital Stockholm.- Location and Environment :...

     in Stockholm
    Stockholm
    Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

     — Prime Minister of Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....


Fuller list in the official residence
Official residence
An official residence is the residence at which heads of state, heads of government, gubernatorial or other senior figures officially reside...

 article.

Similarly the Heads of government of (con)federal entities below the level of the sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

 state (often without an actual Head of state, at least under international law) may also be given an official residence, sometimes used as an opportunity to display its aspirations of statehood.
E.g. in Belgium:
  • Hotel Errera in Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

     — Minister-president
    Minister-President
    A minister-president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments, in which a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government prevails, who presides over the council of ministers...

     of the Flemish community
    Flemish Community
    The term Flemish Community has two distinct, though related, meanings:...

     and region
  • Élysette in Namur
    Namur (city)
    Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, in southern Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia....

     — Minister-president of the Walloon region
    Walloon Region
    The Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, is one of the three federal Regions of Belgium, and its capital is Namur. It comprises, as defined by Article 5 of the Constitution of Belgium, the provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur...



However, Heads of governments' residences are usually far less grand than those (often called palace) of a Head of state (even a merely ceremonial one), unless they combine both roles, as for example:
  • The White House
    White House
    The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

     (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

     — President of the United States of America


Even the formal representative of the Head of State, such as a Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

, may well be housed in a grander palace-type residence, often with such names as Government House
Government House
Government House is the name of many of the residences of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. It serves as the venue for the Governor's official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by...

.

Current


(as in mid 2011)
  • World's longest serving unelected head of government: Prince
    Prince
    Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

     Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain
    Prime Minister of Bahrain
    In Bahrain, the Prime Minister is the head of government of the country. According to the Constitution of Bahrain, the Prime Minister is appointed directly by the King, and needs not be an elected member of the Council of Representatives....

     since 1971.
  • World's longest serving current monarchy head of government: Tage Erlander
    Tage Erlander
    was a Swedish politician. He was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and Prime Minister of Sweden from 1946 to 1969...

    , Prime Minister of Sweden
    Prime Minister of Sweden
    The Prime Minister is the head of government in the Kingdom of Sweden. Before the creation of the office of a Prime Minister in 1876, Sweden did not have a head of government separate from its head of state, namely the King, in whom the executive authority was vested...

     from 1946 to 1969 ().
  • World's longest serving current republican head of government: Lee Kuan Yew
    Lee Kuan Yew
    Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

    , Prime Minister of Singapore
    Prime Minister of Singapore
    The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs.The office of Prime Minister...

    from 1965 to 1990 ().

Sources and References

  • Jean Blondel & Ferdinand Muller-Rommel Cabinets in Western Europe (ISBN 0-333-46209-2)
  • WorldStatesmen (click on each country)