Prime minister

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Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members without 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 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[clarification needed] 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, 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), and in the current cabinet of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu also serves as Minister of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation, Economy and Interior


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

The first actual usage of the term prime minister or Premier Ministre[citation needed] was used by Cardinal Richelieu when in 1625 he was named to head the royal council as prime minister of France. Louis XIV and his descendants generally attempted to avoid giving this title to their chief ministers. The term prime minister in the sense that we know it originated in the 18th century in the United Kingdom when members of parliament disparagingly used the title in reference to Sir Robert Walpole. Over time, the title became honorific and remains so in the 21st century.[2]


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 St John shared power.

Post-English Civil War

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 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.[3] 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.

By the late 20th century 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.

Prime ministers in republics and in monarchies

The post of prime minister may be encountered both in constitutional monarchies (such as Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Malaysia, Morocco, Spain,[4] 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, Ireland, Pakistan, Portugal, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Turkey). See also "First Minister", "Premier", "Chief Minister", "Chancellor", "Taoiseach", "Statsminister" 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 or 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.

  • The head of state appoints a prime minister, of their personal choice: Example: France, where the President has the power to appoint the Prime Minister of their choice, though the National Assembly 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, India and the United Kingdom) are the leaders of the largest party in parliament, technically the appointment of the prime minister is a prerogative exercised by the head of state. In India, the Prime Ministerial candidate must be a member of parliament either Lok Sabha (Lower House) or Rajya Sabha (Upper House). No parliamentary vote takes place on who is forming a government.
However as the government will have to outline its legislative programme to parliament in, for example, the Speech from the Throne, the speech is sometimes used to test parliamentary support. A defeat of the Speech is taken to mean a loss of confidence and so requires either a new draft, resignation, or a request for a dissolution of parliament. Until the early 20th century governments when defeated in a general election remained in power until their Speech from the Throne was defeated and then resigned. No government has done so for one hundred years, though Edward Heath in 1974 did delay his resignation while he explored whether he could form a government with Liberal party support.
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 or governor-general, 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 2003 in Canada when Paul Martin was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada while Jean Chrétien was still prime minister.
  • The head of state appoints a prime minister who has a set timescale within which they must gain a vote of confidence: (Example: Italy, Israel, Romania, Thailand)
  • 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 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 these cases, parliament can choose another candidate who then would be appointed by the head of state.
  • Parliament nominates a candidate who the head of state is then constitutionally obliged to appoint as prime minister: Example: Ireland, where the President appoints the Taoiseach on the nomination of Dáil Éireann. Also Japan.
  • Direct election by popular vote: (Example: Israel, 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).

Prime ministers and constitutions

Statue of 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.

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's constitution, being a 'mixed' or hybrid constitution (a constitution that is partly formally codified and partly uncodified) originally did not make any reference whatsoever to a prime minister, with her or his specific duties and method of appointment instead dictated by "convention". In the Constitution Act, 1982, passing reference to a "Prime Minister of Canada" is added, though only regarding the composition of conferences of federal and provincial first ministers.

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.

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.

India's constitution (1950) lists the powers, functions and duties of the Prime Minister of India.

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 Prime Minister of Italy.

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.

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).

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

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 s/he loses the majority support of his/her party under a spill motion as have many such as Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.


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 Scandinavian countries the prime minister is called statsminister in the native languages (i.e. minister of state). In federations, the head of government of subnational entities such as provinces 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 modified to the equivalent term of premier), 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, for example in the Prime Minister of Canada. 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.[5]

In the UK, where devolved government is in place, the leaders of the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Governments are styled First Minister. In India, The Prime Minister is referred to as "Pradhan Mantri", meaning "prime minister". In Pakistan, the prime minister is referred to as "Wazir-e-Azam", meaning "Grand Vizier".

Organisational structure

The Prime Minister's executive office is usually called the Office of the Prime Minister in the case of the Canada and other Commonwealth countries, it is called Cabinet Office in United Kingdom. Some Prime Minister's office do include the role of Cabinet. In other countries, it is called the Prime Minister's Department or the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as for Australia.

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]

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 Artur Mikvabia
Afghanistan 1927 - years Abdullah Abdullah
Albania (List) 1912 - years Edi Rama
Algeria 1962 yes years Abdelmalek Sellal
Andorra 1982 - years Antoni Martí
Angola 1975 - dates (Post abolished)
Anguilla 1976 yes dates Victor Banks
Antigua and Barbuda 1981 - years Gaston Browne
Armenia 1918 yes dates Hovik Abrahamyan
Aruba 1986 - dates Mike Eman
Australia (List) 1901 yes dates Malcolm Turnbull
Austria 1918 yes years Werner Faymann
Azerbaijan 1918 yes dates Artur Rasizade
Bahamas 1967 - dates Perry Christie
Bahrain 1970 - years Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Bangladesh 1971 yes dates Sheikh Hasina
Barbados 1954 yes dates Freundel Stuart
Belarus 1919 - dates Andrei Kobyakov
Belgium 1831 yes dates Charles Michel
Belize 1973 yes years Dean Barrow
Benin 1957 yes dates Lionel Zinsou
Bermuda 1968 yes dates Michael Dunkley
Bhutan 1952 - dates Tshering Tobgay
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1943 - dates Denis Zvizdić
Botswana 1965 yes dates (Post abolished)
Brazil 1847 yes dates (Post abolished)
British Virgin Islands 1967 yes dates Orlando Smith
Brunei 1984 no dates Hassanal Bolkiah
Bulgaria 1879 yes dates Boyko Borisov
Burkina Faso 1971 - dates Yacouba Isaac Zida
Burundi 1961 yes dates (Post abolished)
Cambodia 1945 - years Hun Sen
Cameroon 1960 - dates Philémon Yang
Canada (List) 1867 yes dates Justin Trudeau
Cape Verde 1975 - dates José Maria Neves
Cayman Islands 1992 yes dates Alden McLaughlin
Central African Republic 1958 - dates Mahamat Kamoun
Chad 1978 - dates Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet
People's Republic of China (List) 1949 - dates Li Keqiang
Comoros 1957 yes dates (Post abolished)
Congo (Brazzaville) 1957 yes dates (Post abolished)
Congo (Kinshasa) (List) 1960 yes dates Augustin Matata Ponyo
Cook Islands 1965 yes dates Henry Puna
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 1957 yes dates Daniel Kablan Duncan
Croatia 1939 - dates Zoran Milanović
Cuba 1940 - dates Raúl Castro
Curaçao 2010 - dates Ben Whiteman
Northern Cyprus 1983 yes dates Ömer Kalyoncu
Czech Republic 1993 - years Bohuslav Sobotka
Denmark (List) 1848 - years Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Djibouti 1977 - dates Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed
Dominica 1960 - dates Roosevelt Skerrit
East Timor 2002 - dates Rui Maria de Araújo
Egypt (List) 1878 - years Sherif Ismail
Equatorial Guinea 1963 - dates Vicente Ehate Tomi
Estonia 1918 - dates Taavi Rõivas
Ethiopia 1942 yes dates Hailemariam Desalegn
Faroe Islands 1946 - years Aksel V. Johannesen
Fiji 1966 - dates Frank Bainimarama
Finland 1917 yes years Juha Sipilä
France (List) 1589 - years Manuel Valls
Gabon 1957 yes dates Daniel Ona Ondo
The Gambia 1961 - dates (Post abolished)
Ghana 1957 - dates (Post abolished)
Georgia 1918 yes dates Giorgi Kvirikashvili
Germany (List) 1871/1949 yes dates Angela Merkel
Gibraltar 1964 yes dates Fabian Picardo
Greece (List) 1833 - dates Alexis Tsipras
Greenland 1979 - years Kim Kielsen
Grenada 1954 - years Keith Mitchell
Guernsey 2007 - dates Jonathan Le Tocq
Guinea 1972 - dates Mamady Youla
Guinea-Bissau 1973 - dates Carlos Correia
Guyana 1953 - dates Moses Nagamootoo
Haiti 1988 - dates Evans Paul
Hungary (List) 1848 - dates Viktor Orbán
Iceland 1904 - dates Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
India (List) 1947 yes dates Narendra Modi
Indonesia 1945 yes dates (Post abolished)
Iran (List) 1824 - years (Post abolished)
Iraq 1920 - years Haider al-Abadi
Ireland 1937 yes dates Enda Kenny
Israel (List) 1948 - years Benjamin Netanyahu
Italy (List) 1861 - years Matteo Renzi
Jamaica 1959 - years Portia Simpson-Miller
Japan (List) 1885 - dates Shinzō Abe
Jersey 2005 - dates Ian Gorst
Jordan 1944 - dates Abdullah Ensour
Kazakhstan 1920 - years Karim Massimov
Kenya 1963 - dates (Post abolished)
North Korea 1948 - years Pak Pong-ju
South Korea (List) 1948 - years Hwang Kyo-ahn
Kosovo 1945 yes dates Isa Mustafa
Kuwait 1962 yes dates Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah
Kyrgyzstan 1924 - dates Temir Sariyev
Laos 1941 - years Thongsing Thammavong
Latvia 1918 yes dates Laimdota Straujuma
Lebanon 1926 - dates Tammam Salam
Lesotho 1965 yes dates Pakalitha Mosisili
Libya 1951 - dates Abdullah al-Thani / Khalifa al-Ghawi
Liechtenstein 1921 yes dates Adrian Hasler
Lithuania 1918 yes dates Algirdas Butkevičius
Luxembourg 1959 - years Xavier Bettel
Macedonia 1943 yes dates Nikola Gruevski
Madagascar 1833 - dates Jean Ravelonarivo
Malawi 1963 yes dates (Post abolished)
Malaysia 1957 yes years Najib Razak
Mali 1957 yes dates Modibo Keita
Malta 1921 yes years Joseph Muscat
Isle of Man 1986 - years Allan Bell
Mauritania 1957 yes dates Yahya Ould Hademine
Mauritius 1961 yes dates Sir Anerood Jugnauth
Moldova 1990 - dates Gheorghe Brega
Monaco 1911 n/a dates Michel Roger
Mongolia 1912 yes dates Chimediin Saikhanbileg
Montenegro 1879 yes dates Milo Đukanović
Montserrat 1960 yes dates Donaldson Romeo
Morocco 1955 yes years Abdelilah Benkirane
Mozambique 1974 yes dates Carlos Agostinho do Rosário
Myanmar (Burma) 1948 yes dates (Post abolished)
Nagorno-Karabakh 1992 no dates Arayik Harutyunyan
Namibia 1990 yes dates Saara Kuugongelwa
Nepal 1953 - dates Khadga Prasad Oli
Netherlands (List) 1848 yes dates Mark Rutte
New Zealand (List) 1856 yes dates John Key
Newfoundland 1855 yes dates (Post abolished)
Niger 1958 yes dates Brigi Rafini
Nigeria 1960 yes dates (Post abolished)
Niue 1974 - dates Toke Talagi
Norfolk Island 1896 2015 dates (Post abolished)
Norway 1814 yes years Erna Solberg
Pakistan (List) 1947 yes dates Nawaz Sharif
Palestinian National Authority 2003 yes dates Rami Hamdallah
Papua New Guinea 1975 yes years Peter O'Neill
Peru 1975 yes dates Pedro Cateriano
Philippines 1899 yes dates (Post abolished)
Poland (List) 1917 - dates Beata Szydło
Portugal (List) 1834 yes dates António Costa
Qatar 1970 - dates Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani
Romania 1862 - years Dacian Cioloș
Russia (List) 1864/1905 yes dates Dmitry Medvedev
Rwanda 1960 yes dates Anastase Murekezi
Saint Kitts and Nevis 1960 - dates Timothy Harris
Saint Lucia 1960 - dates Kenny Anthony
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1956 - dates Ralph Gonsalves
Samoa 1875 yes dates Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi
São Tomé and Principe 1974 yes dates Patrice Trovoada
Saudi Arabia 1953 no dates Salman
Senegal 1957 yes dates Mohamed Dionne
Serbia 1805 yes years Aleksandar Vučić
Seychelles 1970 yes years (Post abolished)
Sierra Leone 1954 yes dates (Post abolished)
Singapore 1959 - dates Lee Hsien Loong
Sint Maarten 2010 - dates William Marlin
Slovakia 1993 - dates Robert Fico
Slovenia 1943 yes years Miro Cerar
Solomon Islands 1949 yes dates Manasseh Sogavare
Somalia 1949 yes dates Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
South Africa 1910 - dates (Post abolished)
South Ossetia 1991 - dates Domenty Kulumbegov
Spain (List) 1705 yes years Mariano Rajoy
Sri Lanka (List) 1948 - dates Ranil Wickremesinghe
Sudan 1952 yes dates (Post abolished)
Suriname 1949 yes dates (Post abolished)
Swaziland 1967 - years Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini
Sweden (List) 1876 yes years Stefan Löfven
Syria 1920 - dates Wael Nader Al-Halqi
Taiwan (Republic of China) (List) 1911 - dates Mao Chi-kuo
Tajikistan 1924 - dates Kokhir Rasulzoda
Tanzania 1960 yes dates Majaliwa K. Majaliwa
Thailand (List) 1932 yes dates Prayuth Chan-ocha
Togo 1956 yes dates Komi Sélom Klassou
Tokelau 1992 - dates Siopili Perez
Tonga 1876 - years ʻAkilisi Pōhiva
Transnistria 2012 yes dates Pavel Prokudin
Trinidad and Tobago 1956 - dates Keith Rowley
Tunisia 1969 - dates Habib Essid
Turkmenistan 1924 - dates (Post abolished)
Turkey (List) 1920 yes dates Ahmet Davutoğlu
Turks and Caicos Islands 1976 yes dates Rufus Ewing
Tuvalu 1975 n/a dates Enele Sopoaga
Uganda 1961 yes dates Ruhakana Rugunda
Ukraine (List) 1917 - dates Arseniy Yatsenyuk
United Arab Emirates 1971 - years Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
United Kingdom (List) 1721 yes dates David Cameron
Uzbekistan 1924 - dates Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Vanuatu 1980 yes dates Sato Kilman
Vatican 1644 - years Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Vietnam 1976 yes dates Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Yemen 1990 yes years vacant
Western Sahara 1976 no years Abdelkader Taleb Oumar
Zambia 1964 yes dates (Post abolished)
Zimbabwe 1923 - dates (Post abolished)

See also



  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.
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  4. 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'
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