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head of government

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Person responsible for carrying on the business of government and for leading the team of ministers who control the central institutions of the government and the state. In democratic presidential systems such as Russia and the United States, the head of state also serves as head of government. In parliamentary systems the head of government is normally the leader of the largest party in the legislature. In a presidential system the head of government draws legitimacy from popular election, in a parliamentary system from the strength of support in the legislature. In France the head of state, a president elected for a seven‐year term, does not serve as head of government, but may chair meetings of the cabinet and exercises direct responsibility for matters of defence and foreign policy. In addition, the president may also appoint and dismiss the prime minister. In non‐democratic systems the head of government, who may also be head of state, may have been appointed as a result of military intervention, or some other device for managing power.


Subjects: Social sciencesPolitics

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