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Deputy prime minister

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A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both positions are "number two" offices. The position of deputy prime minister should not be confused with the Canadian office of the Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister of Canada, which is a non-political civil servant position (Nor does the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada act as a "number two"). The states of Australia and provinces of Canada each have the analogous office of Deputy Premier. In the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, an analogous position is that of the Deputy First Minister.

Deputy prime minister traditionally serve as acting prime minister when the real prime minister is temporarily absent or incapable of exercising his/her power. For this reason the deputy prime minister is often asked to succeed to the prime minister's office following the prime minister's sudden death or unexpected resignation, although this is not necessarily constitutionally mandated.

Deputy prime minister is often a job that is held simultaneously with another ministry, and is usually given to one of the most senior, experienced ministers of the cabinet.

A deputy prime minister may also be deputy leader of the governing party, or the leader of the junior party of a coalition government.

Little scholarly attention has focused on deputy prime ministers. A 2009 study in Political Science identified nine 'qualities' of deputy prime ministership: temperament; relationships with their Cabinet and caucus; relationships with their party; popularity with the public; media skills; achievements as deputy prime minister; relationship with the prime minister; leadership ambition; and method of succession.[1]

By contrast, the structure of the Government of Russia [2] and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine foresees the positions of several deputy prime ministers or vice prime ministers.[3] In the case of the Russian government, the Prime Minister is responsible for defining the scope of the duties for each of his or her deputies,[4] who also may head a specific ministry - e.g. the current Minister of Finance of Russia, Alexey Kudrin also serves as one of the deputies of the prime ministers or vice-premiers. One or two of these deputy prime ministers may hold the title of a First Deputy Prime Minister. The Russian federal law indicates that in accordance with the order established in advance, one of the deputy prime ministers may temporarily substitute for the Prime Minister in his or her absence. Customarily, however, it is to one of the "First" Deputy Prime Ministers that the prime-ministerial duties may be delegated. At the same time, in the case of Prime Minister's resignation, the law allows the President of Russia to choose any of the current vice-premiers to serve as an acting Prime Minister until the confirmation of the new government.[5]

[edit] Country-related articles

[edit] References

  1. ^ Steven Barnes, 'What About Me? Deputy Prime Ministership in New Zealand', Political Science, Vol. 61, No. 1, 2009, pp. 33-49
  2. ^ Article 110.2 of the Constitution of Russian Federation
  3. ^ Article 114 of the Constitution of Ukraine
  4. ^ Article 25 of the Federal Constitutional Law "On the Government of Russian Federation" from December 17, 1997
  5. ^ Article 8 of the Federal Constitutional Law "On the Government of Russian Federation
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