Chief minister

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A chief minister is an elected or appointed head of government of – in most instances – a sub-national entity, for instance an administrative subdivision or federal constituent entity. Examples include a state (and sometimes a union territory) in India; a territory of Australia; [1] a province of Sri Lanka or Pakistan; a federal province in Nepal; an autonomous region of Philippines; [2] or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-governance. It is also used as the English version of the title given to the heads of governments of the Malay states [3] without a monarchy.


The title is also used in the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man (since 1986), in Guernsey (since 2004), and in Jersey (since 2005).

In 2018 Sierra Leone, a presidential republic, created the role of an appointed chief minister, which is similar to a prime minister in a semi-presidential system. [4] Before that, only Milton Margai had the same position between 1954 and 1958. [5]

Meaning and role

The title has a similar construction and role as a first minister or minister-president but usually with a lower rank. The role has context within the Westminster system of government where a constitutional head of state (usually sub-national) is advised by ministers who usually head executive government departments (ministries). A chief minister is understood to be "first among equals". They would be the chief adviser to the nominal head of their state, the chair of cabinet and leader of the main governing political party in the legislature. [6]

Chief ministers around the world

Informal chief ministers

See also

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Chief Secretary may refer to:

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  1. "About government". Retrieved on 16 March 2018.
  2. Only in Bangsamoro
  3. "Malay Stats" . Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  4. Thomas, Abdul Rashid (2 May 2018). "Controversy over appointment of chief minister of Sierra Leone".
  5. Centre of Sierra Leone Studies – The politics of Sierra Leone. The University of Makeni. Archived 26 November 2019 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. Boland, Angela (8 August 2017). Cabinet Handbook (PDF). Northern Territory Government. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.