The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. In diplomacy, head of government is differentiated from head of state although in some countries, for example the United States, they are the same person. The authority of a head of government, such as a president, chancellor, or prime minister, and the relationship between that position and other state institutions, such as the relation between the head of state and of the legislature, varies greatly among sovereign states, depending largely on the particular system of the government that has been chosen, won, or evolved over time. In most parliamentary systems, including constitutional monarchies, the head of government is the de facto political leader of the government, and is answerable to at least one chamber of the legislature. Although there is often a formal reporting relationship to a head of state, the latter usually acts as a figurehead who may take the role of chief executive on limited occasions, either when receiving constitutional advice from the head of government or under specific provisions in a constitution. In presidential republics or in absolute monarchies, the head of state is also usually the head of government.[6] The relationship between that leader and the government, however, can vary greatly, ranging from separation of powers to autocracy, according to the constitution (or other basic laws) of the particular state. In semi-presidential systems, the head of government may answer to both the head of state and the legislature with the specifics provided by each countrys constitution. A modern example is the present French government, which originated as the French Fifth Republic in 1958. (English)
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