Government in exile

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A government in exile (abbreviated as GiE) is a political group which claims to be a country or semi-sovereign state's legitimate government, but is unable to exercise legal power and instead resides in another state or foreign country. [1] Governments in exile usually plan to one day return to their native country and regain formal power. A government in exile differs from a rump state in the sense that a rump state controls at least part of its former territory. [2] For example, during World War I, nearly all of Belgium was occupied by Germany, but Belgium and its allies held on to a small slice in the country's west. A government in exile, in contrast, has lost all its territory.

Sovereign state political organization with a centralized independent government

In international law, a sovereign state, sovereign country, or simply state, is a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or state.

A federated state is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federation. Such states differ from fully sovereign states, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as the sovereign powers have been divided between the federated states and the central or federal government. Importantly, federated states do not have standing as entities of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity is the sovereign state for purposes of international law. Depending on the constitutional structure of a particular federation, a federated state can hold various degrees of legislative, judicial and administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government.

A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.


Exiled governments tend to occur during wartime occupation, or in the aftermath of a civil war, revolution, or military coup. For example, during German expansion in World War II, some European governments sought refuge in the United Kingdom, rather than face destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany. A government in exile may also form from widespread belief in the illegitimacy of a ruling government. Due to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War back in 2011, for instance, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was formed by groups whose members sought to end the rule of the ruling Ba'ath Party.

War Organised and prolonged violent conflict between states

War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

Civil war war between organized groups within the same sovereign state or republic

A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or to change government policies. The term is a calque of the Latin bellum civile which was used to refer to the various civil wars of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.

Revolution fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time

In political science, a revolution is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression. In book V of the Politics, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle described two types of political revolution:

  1. Complete change from one constitution to another
  2. Modification of an existing constitution.

The effectiveness of a government in exile depends primarily on the amount of support it can receive, either from foreign governments or from the population of its own country. Some exiled governments come to develop into a formidable force, posing a serious challenge to the incumbent regime of the country, while others are maintained chiefly as a symbolic gesture.

In politics, a regime is the form of government or the set of rules, cultural or social norms, etc. that regulate the operation of a government or institution and its interactions with society.

The phenomenon of a government in exile predates the formal utilization of the term. In periods of monarchical government, exiled monarchs or dynasties sometimes set up exile courts—as the House of Stuart did when driven from their throne by Oliver Cromwell and again at the Glorious Revolution [3] (see James Francis Edward Stuart § Court in exile). The House of Bourbon would be another example because it continued to be recognized by other countries at the time as the legitimate government of France after it was overthrown by the populace during the French Revolution. This continued to last through the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic Wars from 1803-04 to 1815. With the spread of constitutional monarchy, monarchical governments which were exiled started to include a prime minister, such as the Dutch government during World War II headed by Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy.

A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

House of Stuart European royal house

The House of Stuart, originally Stewart, was a European royal house that originated in Scotland. The dynasty's patrilineal, putatively Breton ancestors had held the office of High Steward of Scotland since Walter FitzAlan in around 1150. The royal Stewart line was founded by Robert II, whose descendants were kings and queens of Scotland from 1371 until the union with England in 1707. Mary, Queen of Scots, was brought up in France, where she adopted the French spelling of the name, Stuart.

Oliver Cromwell 17th-century English military and political leader

Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting simultaneously as head of state and head of government of the new republic.


International law recognizes that governments in exile may undertake many types of actions in the conduct of their daily affairs. These actions include:

International law regulations governing international relations

International law is the set of rules generally regarded and accepted in relations between nations. It serves as a framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations. International law differs from state-based legal systems in that it is primarily applicable to countries rather than to individual citizens. National law may become international law when treaties permit national jurisdiction to supranational tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court. Treaties such as the Geneva Conventions may require national law to conform to respective parts.

Treaty express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law

A treaty is an agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all of these forms of agreements are, under international law, equally considered treaties and the rules are the same.

Constitution Set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed

A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.

Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state. Recognition can be reaccorded either de facto or de jure. Recognition can be a declaration to that effect by the recognizing government, or an act of recognition such as entering into a treaty with the other state. A vote by a country in the United Nations in favour of the membership of another country is an implicit recognition of that country by the country so voting, as only states may be members of the UN.

In cases where a host country holds a large expatriate population from a government in exile's home country, or an ethnic population from that country, the government in exile might come to exercise some administrative functions within such a population. For example, the WWII Provisional Government of Free India had such authority among the ethnically Indian population of British Malaya, with the consent of the then Japanese military authorities.

Current governments in exile

Governments in exile may have little or no recognition from other states. Some exiled governments have some characteristics in common with rump states. Such disputed or partially in exile cases are noted in the tables below.

Deposed governments of current states

These governments in exile were created by deposed governments or rulers who continue to claim legitimate authority of the state they once controlled.

NameExile sinceState controlling its claimed territory (entirely or partially)NotesReferences
Flag of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic 1920Flag of Belarus.svg  Republic of Belarus The oldest current government (formally, a provisional parliament) in exile, currently led by Ivonka Survilla in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; see also Belarusian Democratic Republic [4] [5]
Flag of Persia (1910).svg Sublime State of Persia 1925Flag of Iran.svg  Islamic Republic of Iran The Qajar dynasty went into exile in 1923 and continue to claim the Iranian throne, which is currently claimed by Mohammad Hassan Mirza II who is based in Dallas, United States
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg Imperial State of Iran 1979Flag of Iran.svg  Islamic Republic of Iran The Pahlavi dynasty, led by Reza Pahlavi and living in Potomac, Maryland, United States; see also Iranian Revolution; see also National Council of Iran
Flag of Laos (1952-1975).svg Royal Lao Government in Exile 1975Flag of Laos.svg  Lao People's Democratic Republic The former government of the Kingdom of Laos; based in Gresham, Oregon, United States
Flag of Taliban.svg Quetta Shura 2001Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Based in Quetta, Pakistan as a continuation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. After the Taliban were removed from power in the 2001 Afghan war, the veteran high-ranking leaders of the former government including Mullah Mohammed Omar, founder and spiritual leader of the Taliban, fled to Pakistan where they set up Quetta Shura in exile to organize and direct the insurgency and retake Afghanistan. [6] [7] [8]

Deposed governments of former states

These governments in exile were created by deposed governments or rulers who continue to claim legitimate authority of the state they once controlled but whose state no longer exists.

NameExileCurrent control of claimed territoryNotesReferences
Flag of South Moluccas.svg Republic of South Maluku 1963Independent stateFlag of Indonesia.svg  Republic of Indonesia Maluku Province Based in the Netherlands and formed by members of the exiled government of the Republic of South Maluku which was an unrecognized independent state between 1950 and 1963. [9]

Current government regarded by some as a "government-in-exile"

Flag of the Republic of China.svg Government of the Republic of China : The currently Taipei-based Republic of China government does not regard itself as a government-in-exile, but is claimed to be such by some participants in the debate on the political status of Taiwan. [10] In addition to the island of Taiwan and some other islands it currently controls, the Republic of China formally maintains claims over territory now controlled by the People's Republic of China as well as some parts of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan. The usual formal reasoning on which this "government-in-exile" claim is based relies on an argument that the sovereignty of Taiwan was not legitimately handed to the Republic of China at the end of World War II, [11] and on that basis the Republic of China is located in foreign territory, therefore effectively making it a government in exile. [12] By contrast, this theory is not accepted by those who view the sovereignty of Taiwan as having been legitimately returned to the Republic of China at the end of the war. [13] Both the People's Republic of China government and the Kuomintang in Republic of China (Taiwan) hold the latter view.

However, there are also some who do not accept that the sovereignty of Taiwan was legitimately returned to the Republic of China at the end of the war nor that the Republic of China is a government-in-exile, and China's territory does not include Taiwan. The current Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan is inclined to this view, and supports Taiwan Independence.

Deposed governments of current subnational territories

These governments in exile claim legitimacy of autonomous territories of another state and have been created by deposed governments or rulers, who do not claim independence as a separate state.

NameExileCurrent control of claimed territoryNotesReferences
Flag of Georgia.svg Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia 1993autonomous republic Flag of the Republic of Abkhazia.svg Republic of Abkhazia de facto independent state Georgian provincial government, led by Vakhtang Kolbaia, whose territory is under the control of Abkhaz separatists
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh 1994autonomous republicFlag of Nagorno-Karabakh.svg Nagorno-Karabakh Republic de facto independent state Azerbaijan provisional government, led by Bayram Safarov, whose territory is under the control of Armenian separatists
Flag of South Ossetia.svg Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia 2008provisional administrative entity Flag of South Ossetia.svg Republic of South Ossetia de facto independent state Georgian provincial administration, led by Dmitry Sanakoyev, whose territory is under the control of South Ossetian separatists
Flag of Crimea.svg Autonomous Republic of Crimea 2014autonomous republic Flag of Russia.svg Russian Federation federal subject (republic)Ukrainian autonomous republic, whose territory was seized and annexed by Russia in March 2014, following a disputed status referendum; Presidential Representative-in-exile now based in Kherson [14]
Flag of Sevastopol.svg City of Sevastopol 2014special city Flag of Russia.svg Russian Federation federal city Ukrainian special city, whose territory was seized and annexed by Russia in March 2014, following a disputed status referendum

Alternative governments of current states

These governments have been created in exile by political organisations and opposition parties, aspire to become actual governing authorities or claim to be legal successors to previously deposed governments, and have been created as alternatives to incumbent governments.

NameClaimed exileExile proclamationGovernment presently controlling claimed territoryNotesReferences
Flag of South Korea.svg Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces 1949 Flag of North Korea.svg North Korea Based in Seoul it is the South Korean government's provisional administrative for the five pre-1945 provinces which became North Korea at the end of World War II and the division of Korea. The five provinces are North Hamgyeong, South Hamgyeong, Hwanghae, North Pyeongan, South Pyeongan [15]
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Delegation of Taiwan Province, National People's Congress/CPPCC of PRC
Taiwan Affairs Office
1949Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Republic of China As representative body and executive organ, work together with Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (Political Party), All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots (Civil)
Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Crown Council of Ethiopia 19741993Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Led by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie and based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg National Council of Iran 2013Flag of Iran.svg  Islamic Republic of Iran Political umbrella coalition of forty Iranian opposition political organizations, led by Prince Reza Pahlavi; based in Maryland, United States
NCRI National Council of Resistance of Iran Lion & Sun Flag.jpg National Council of Resistance of Iran 1981Flag of Iran.svg  Islamic Republic of Iran Political umbrella coalition of five Iranian opposition political organizations, the largest organization being the People's Mujahedin of Iran led by Maryam and Massoud Rajavi; based in Paris [16]
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea 2003Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Republic of Equatorial Guinea Proclaimed Severo Moto President of Equatorial Guinea in Madrid [17]
Flag of South Vietnam.svg Provisional National Government of Vietnam 19901991Flag of Vietnam.svg  Socialist Republic of Vietnam The Provisional National Government of Vietnam was formed in Little Saigon[ which? ] by former soldiers and refugees from the former South Vietnamese. Declared a terrorist organization in Vietnam.[ citation needed ]
Flag of Syria 2011, observed.svg Syrian Interim Government 2012Flag of Syria.svg  Syrian Arab Republic Opposes the government of the Syrian Arab Republic; based in Istanbul; has ties to the Free Syrian Army. [18]
Flag of Laos (1952-1975).svg Royal Lao Government in Exile 1993Flag of Laos.svg  Lao People's Democratic Republic Opposes communist government in Laos; seek to institute a constitutional monarchy, based in Gresham, Oregon.

Alternative separatist governments of current subnational territories

These governments have been created in exile by political organisations, opposition parties, and separatist movements, and desire to become the governing authorities of their territories as independent states, or claim to be the successor to previously deposed governments, and have been created as alternatives to incumbent governments.

NameClaimed exileExile proclamationGovernment presently controlling claimed territoryNotesReferences
Flag of the Free City of Danzig.svg Free City of Danzig Government in Exile 19391947Flag of Poland.svg  Republic of Poland Based in Berlin, Germany [19]

[20] [21]

Flag of West Papua.svg West Papuan Government in Exile 19631969Flag of Indonesia.svg  Republic of Indonesia Campaigns for an independent West Papua; based in the Netherlands [22] [23]
Flag of Biafra.svg Biafran Government in Exile 19702007Flag of Nigeria.svg  Federal Republic of Nigeria An arm of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, seeking to reestablish the Republic of Biafra; based in Washington, DC [24]
Flag of Cabinda.svg Republic of Cabinda 19751975Flag of Angola.svg  Republic of Angola Based in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg  Chechen Republic of Ichkeria 20002000Flag of Russia.svg  Russian Federation Some members are fighting as rebels against the Russian Armed Forces; based in Western Europe and the United States, with its leaders in London.
There is a contested claim that it has been succeeded by the Caucasus Emirate.
Flag of Serbian Krajina (1991).svg Republic of Serbian Krajina 19962005Flag of Croatia.svg  Republic of Croatia Reconstituted in 2005 in Belgrade, by the remains of the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, after Croatian forces pushed out the internationally unrecognized entity in 1995 during Operation Storm at the end of the Croatian War of Independence [26]
Flag of Koma Komalen Kurdistan.svg Koma Civakên Kurdistan 1998Flag of Turkey.svg  Republic of Turkey Aims to create a Kurdish entity in Turkey; successor organization of Kurdish parliament in exile [27]
Flag of The Federal Republic of Southern Cameroons.svg Republic of Ambazonia 1999Flag of Cameroon.svg  Republic of Cameroon Former British territory of Southern Cameroons; declared independence on December 31, 1999 [28]
Flag of Kurdistan.svg Western Kurdistan Government in Exile 2004Flag of Syria.svg  Syrian Arab Republic Aims to create a Kurdish state in Syria; based in London [29]
Coptic flag.svg Coptic Government In Exile 1992Flag of Egypt.svg  Arab Republic of Egypt Aims to establish an independent state for the Coptic ethnic group [30]
Flag of the Shan State.svg Interim Government of Federated Shan States 2005Flag of Myanmar.svg  Republic of the Union of Myanmar Aims to establish an independent state for the Shan ethnic group [31]
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam 20092010Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka Aims to establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam [32]

Exiled governments of non-self-governing or occupied territories

These governments in exile are governments of non-self-governing or occupied territories. They claim legitimate authority over a territory they once controlled, or claim legitimacy of a post-decolonization authority. The claim may stem from an exiled group's election as a legitimate government.

The United Nations recognizes the right of self-determination for the population of these territories, including the possibility of establishing independent sovereign states.

From the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988 in exile in Algiers by the Palestine Liberation Organization, it has effectively functioned as the government in exile of the Palestinian State. In 1994, however the PLO established the Palestinian National Authority interim territorial administration as result of the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO, Israel, the United States, and Russia. Between 1994 and 2013, the PNA functioned as an autonomy, thus while the government was seated in the West Bank it was not sovereign. In 2013, Palestine was upgraded to a non-member state status in the UN.

All of the above created an ambiguous situation, in which there are two distinct entities: The Palestinian Authority, exercising a severely limited amount of control on the ground under the tutelage of an Israeli military occupation; and the State of Palestine, recognized by the United Nations and by numerous countries as a fully sovereign and independent state, but not able to exercise such sovereignty on the ground. Both are headed by the same person—as of February 2016, President Mahmud Abbas—but are judicially distinct. For example, a dissolution of The Palestinian Authority and resumption of full rule on the ground by Israel would not in itself affect the State of Palestine, which could continue to exist as a government-in-exile diplomatically recognized by the UN and by numerous countries.

Exiled governments with ambiguous status

These governments have ties to the area(s) they represent, but their claimed status and/or stated aims are sufficiently ambiguous that they could fit into other categories.[ original research? ]

NameExileCurrent control of claimed territoryNotesReferences
Flag of Tibet.svg Central Tibetan Administration 1959Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China Founded by the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India with cooperation of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; see also Tibetan sovereignty debate and Tibetan independence movement, [33]
Kokbayraq flag.svg East Turkistan Government in Exile 1949Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China Seeking independence for Xinjiang as "East Turkestan"; based in Washington, DC [34]
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukrainian Salvation Committee 2015Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine (President Petro Poroshenko)Formed in Moscow, Russia, by former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov, with the intention of holding new elections in Ukraine. [35]
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.svg Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic 1976Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Proclaimed on February 27, 1976, following the Spanish withdrawal from what was until then Spanish Sahara. Not strictly a government in exile since it does control 20-25% of its claimed territory. Nevertheless, often referred to as such, especially since most day-to-day government business is conducted in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria, which house most of the Sahrawi exile community, rather than in the proclaimed temporary capital (first Bir Lehlou, moved to Tifariti in 2008).

Past governments in exile

NameExiled or created(*) sinceDefunct, reestablished,(*) or integrated(°) sinceState that controlled its claimed territoryNotesReferences
Siena-Stemma.png Republican Government of Siena 15551559Medici Flag of Tuscany.png Grand Duchy of Tuscany After the Italian city-state of Siena was defeated in the Battle of Marciano and annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, 700 Sienese families did not concede defeat, established themselves in Montalcino and declared themselves to be the legitimate Republican Government of Siena. This lasted until 1559, when Tuscan troops arrived and annexed Montalcino, too.
Flag of The Electoral Palatinate (1604).svg Exile government of the Electoral Palatinate 1622–1623*1648°Electoral Standard of Bavaria (1623-1806).svg Electorate of Bavaria In the early stages of the Thirty Years' War, Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, occupied the Electoral Palatinate and was awarded possession of it by the Emperor. In late 1622 and early 1623, the fugitive Frederick V, Elector Palatine organised a Palatinate government-in-exile at The Hague. This Palatinate Council was headed by Ludwig Camerarius, replaced in 1627 by Johann Joachim Rusdorf. Frederick himself died in exile, but his son and heir Charles Louis was able to regain the Lower Palatinate following the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
Flag of England.svg Privy Council of England 16491660°Flag of The Commonwealth.svg Commonwealth of England (1649–1653)
Flag of the Commonwealth (1658-1660).svg Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland (1653–1659)
Flag of The Commonwealth.svg Commonwealth of England (1659–1660)
Based for most of the Interregnum in the Spanish Netherlands and headed by Charles II; actively supported Charles' claim to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland
Coat of arms of Hannover.svg Hanover exile court/Guelphic Legion 18661878Flag of Prussia (1892-1918).svg Prussia / Flag of the German Empire.svg Imperial Germany On 20 September 1866, Prussia annexed Hanover. Living in exile in Austria, at Hietzing and Gmunden, King George V of Hanover never abandoned his claim to the Hanoverian throne and from 1866 to 1870 maintained at his own expense an exile Hanoverian armed force, the Guelphic Legion . [36] George was forced to give up this Legion after the Prussian lower chamber passed in 1869 a law sequestering his funds. [37] George V died in 1878. Though his son and heir Prince Ernest Augustus retained a formal claim to be the legitimate King of Hanover until 1918 (when all German Royal Families were dethroned) he does not seem to have kept up a government-in-exile.
Flag of Hawaii.svg  Kingdom of Hawaii 18931895 Flag of Hawaii.svg Republic of Hawaii Royal government exiled following the Hawaiian Revolution of 1893, dissolved after the abdication of Queen Liliuokalani in response to the Hawaiian Counter-revolution of 1895.
Flag of Bangladesh (1971).svg Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh 1971*1972° Flag of Pakistan.svg East Pakistan Based in Calcutta; led by Tajuddin Ahmad, the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
Flag of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.svg  Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea 1919*1948° Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Korea Based in Shanghai, and later in Chongqing; after Japan’s defeat in World War II, President Syngman Rhee became the first president of the First Republic of South Korea
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovak government-in-exile 19391945°Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia Based in Paris and later in London, during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. After the defeat of Germany, it took control of Czechoslovakia.
Flag of Azad Hind.svg Azad Hind 19431945*British Raj Red Ensign.svg  British Raj Based in Rangoon and later in Port Blair. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the leader of the government and the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government in Exile. This government was disestablished in 1945 following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg All-Palestine Government 19481959Flag of Israel.svg  Israel
Flag of the United Arab Republic.svg  Egypt (Gaza Strip)
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan (West Bank)
The All-Palestine government was proclaimed in Gaza in September 1948, but was shortly relocated to Cairo in fear of Israeli offensive. Despite Egyptian ability to keep control of the Gaza Strip, the All-Palestine Government was forced to remain in exile in Cairo, gradually stripping it of its authority, until in 1959 it was dissolved by President Nasser's decree.
Flag of Algeria (1958-1962).svg Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic 1958*1962* Flag of France.svg French Algeria (France)Established during the latter part of the Algerian War of Independence; after the war, a compromise agreement with the Armée de Libération Nationale dissolved it but allowed most of its members to enter the post-independence government
Bandeira da FNLA.svg Revolutionary Government of Angola in Exile 1962*1992° Flag of Angola.svg People's Republic of Angola Based in Kinshasa; its military branch, the National Liberation Front of Angola, was recognized as a political party in 1992 and holds three seats in Angola’s parliament
Flag of South Vietnam.svg

Government of Free Vietnam

1995*2013°Flag of Vietnam.svg  Socialist Republic of Vietnam The Government of Free Vietnam was an anti-communist political organization centered in Garden Grove, California and Missouri City, Texas. This organization known to often commit acts of terror against the government of vietnam, one of the example at April 2001 when they attack Vietnam embassy in Phnom Phen who injured a guard.This organization has been included in a terrorist organization by Vietnam but this organization was disbanded in 2013.
Flag of Namibia.svg Namibian Government in Exile 1966*1989°Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa Formed after opposition to the apartheid South African administration over South-West Africa, which had been ruled as illegal by the United Nations; in 1990, Namibia achieved independence. [38]
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Sinkiang Provincial Government Office 19491992 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Xinjiang Autonomous Region Relocated to Taipei, Taiwan in 1949 after Sinkiang fell to the communists. Office was abolished in 1992.
Flag of the People's Republic of Kampuchea.svg Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea 1982*1993° Flag Of The State and PR Of Cambodia.svg People's Republic of Kampuchea Established with UN recognition in opposition to the Vietnamese-backed government. Elections in 1993 brought the reintegration of the exiled government into the newly reconstituted Kingdom of Cambodia.
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg Polish government-in-exile 1939*1990°Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svgFlag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Occupied Poland
Flag of Poland.svg People's Republic of Poland
Based in Paris, Angers, and London, it opposed German occupied Poland and the Soviet satellite state, the People's Republic of Poland; disbanded following the fall of communism in Poland
Flag of Estonia.svg Estonian government-in-exile 1953*1992 Flag of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic Established in Sweden by several members of Otto Tief's government; did not achieve any international recognizion. In fact, it was not recognized even by Estonian diplomatic legations that were seen by western countries as legal representatives of the annexed state. However the government in exile was recognized by the restored Government of Estonia when the government in exile ceased its activity in 1992 and gave over its credentials to the restored Republic of Estonia.

A rival government was created by another group of Estonian exiles in the same year in Detmold, in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) but it was short lived.

Flag of Spain 1931 1939.svg Spanish Republican government in exile 19391977Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg  Spanish State Created after Francisco Franco's coup d'état; first based in Paris, France from 1939 until 1940 when France fell to the Nazis. The exiled government was then moved to Mexico City and stayed there from 1940 to 1946, when it was moved back to Paris, where it lasted until Franco's death and democracy in Spain was restored.
Flag of Georgia (1918-1921).svg Government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in Exile 19211954 Flag of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic Formed after the Soviet invasion of Georgia of 1921; based in Leuville-sur-Orge, France
Republic of Dubrovnik Flag.png Dubrovnik Republic (1991) 19911992Flag of Croatia.svg  Republic of Croatia Formed in Cavtat with the help of the Yugoslav People's Army after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Claimed to be the historic successor of the Republic of Ragusa (1358–1808). [40]
Flag of Ukraine.svg President of Ukraine (in exile) 19201992 Flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Flag of Poland.svg Second Polish Republic
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovak Republic
Flag of Romania.svg  Kingdom of Romania
Organized after the Soviet occupation of Ukraine during the Russian Civil War.
Flag of Free Aceh Movement.svg Free Aceh Movement 1976*2005 Flag of Indonesia.svg Republic of Indonesia Headquartered in Sweden; surrendered its separatist intentions and dissolved its armed wing following the 2005 peace agreement with the Indonesian government
Flag of Gabon.svg Bongo Doit Partir19982009Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon Founded by Daniel Mengara in opposition to president Omar Bongo; after Bongo's death in June 2009, Mengara returned to Gabon in order to participate in the country's elections [41] [42]
Flag of the Missouri State Guard.svg Confederate government of Missouri 18611865Flag of the United States (1861-1863).svg  United States of America (Union) Missouri had both Union and Confederate governments, but the Confederate government was exiled, eventually governing out of Marshall, Texas. [43]
Flag of Kentucky.svg Confederate government of Kentucky 18611865Flag of the United States (1861-1863).svg  United States of America (Union) Kentucky had both Union and Confederate governments. The Confederate government was soon forced out of the state, and was an exiled government traveling with the Confederate Army of Tennessee, except for during a short return when the Confederate army briefly occupied Frankfort.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg De Broqueville government in exile 19141918 Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire Formed in 1915 by the Government of Belgium following the German invasion during World War I. It was disbanded following the restoration of Belgian sovereignty with the Armistice with Germany.
Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma 19902012 Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svg Union of Myanmar (1988-2011)
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Led by Sein Win and composed of members of parliament elected in 1990 but not allowed by the military to take office; based in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S. [44] [45]
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Philippine Commonwealth in exile 19421944°Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Empire of Japan(1943)
Flag of the Philippines (1943-1945).svg  Second Philippine Republic (1943–1945)
After Japanese forces took control over the Philippine islands, the Philippine commonwealth government in exile led by Manuel Quezon in Melbourne, Australia and was administered from Washington D.C., United States from May 1942 to October 1944.
Flag of Indonesia.svg Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia 1948*1949° Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch East Indies Based in Bukittinggi; led by Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, founded after Operatie Kraai in December 1948.
Flag of France.svg Vichy France 1944*1945° Flag of France.svg Provisional Government of the French Republic Based in Sigmaringen, it was led by Philippe Petain following the Liberation of France by the Allies.

Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta may be considered a case of a government in exile, since it is without territory but recognised as a sovereign government by numerous sovereign countries. However, it does not claim to be a sovereign state, rather a "sovereign subject" of international law. In addition, it no longer claims jurisdiction over Malta, and recognises and maintains diplomatic relations with the independent Republic of Malta.

World War II

Many countries established a government in exile after loss of sovereignty in connection with World War II.

Governments in London

A large number of European governments-in-exile were set up in London.

Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgian government in exile Prime Minister: Hubert Pierlot
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovak government-in-exile President: Edvard Beneš
Prime Minister: Jan Šrámek
Flag of Free France (1940-1944).svg Free France Charles de Gaulle, Henri Giraud, French Committee of National Liberation (from 1943)
Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Greek government-in-exile King George II
Prime Minister: Emmanouil Tsouderos (1941–1944) , Sofoklis Venizelos (1944) ,Georgios Papandreou (1944-1945)
Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg government-in-exile Grand Duchess Charlotte
Prime Minister: Pierre Dupong
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch government-in-exile Queen Wilhelmina
Prime Minister: Dirk Jan de Geer (1940) , Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy (1940–1945)
Flag of Norway.svg Norwegian government-in-exile King Haakon VII
Prime Minister: Johan Nygaardsvold
Flag of Poland.svg Polish government-in-exile President: Władysław Raczkiewicz
Prime Minister: Władysław Sikorski (1939–1943) , Stanisław Mikołajczyk (1943–1944) , Tomasz Arciszewski (1944–1945)
Flag of Yugoslavia (1918-1943).svg Yugoslav government-in-exile King Peter II
Prime Minister: Dušan Simović (1941–1942) , Slobodan Jovanović (1942–1943) , Miloš Trifunović  [ sr ](1943) , Božidar Purić (1943–1944) , Ivan Šubašić (1944–1945)
Unrecognised groups Austrian Democratic Union
Danish Freedom Council
Free Thai Movement

Other exiled leaders in Britain in this time included King Zog of Albania and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

The Danish exception

The Occupation of Denmark (9 April 1940) was administered mainly by the German Foreign Office, contrary to other occupied lands that were under military or civilian administration. Denmark did not establish a government in exile, although there was an Association of Free Danes established in London. [46] King Christian X and his government remained in Denmark, and functioned comparatively independently until August 1943 when it was dissolved, placing Denmark under full German occupation. Meanwhile, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands were occupied by the Allies, and effectively separated from the Danish crown. (See British occupation of the Faroe Islands, Iceland during World War II, and History of Greenland during World War II.)

Governments-in-exile in Asia

The Philippine Commonwealth (invaded 9 December 1941) established a government in exile in Australia and the United States.

While formed long before World War II, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea continued in exile in China until the end of the war.

At the fall of Java, and the surrender by the Dutch on behalf of Allied forces on 8 March 1942, many Dutch-Indies officials (including Dr van Mook and Dr Charles van der Plas) managed to flee to Australia in March 1942, and on 23 December 1943, the Royal Government (Dutch) decreed an official Netherlands East Indies Government-in-exile, with Dr van Mook as Acting Governor General, on Australian soil until Dutch rule was restored in the Indies. [47]

Axis-aligned "governments-in-exile"

Under the auspices of the Axis powers, Axis-aligned groups from some countries set up "governments-in-exile" in Axis territory, even though internationally recognized governments remained in place in their home countries.

NameExiled or created(*) sinceDefunct, reestablished,(*) or integrated(°) sinceState that controlled its claimed territoryNotesReferences
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgarian national government-in-exile 1944*1945 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Kingdom of Bulgaria (Fatherland Front)Based in Vienna, Austria
Flag of France.svg Sigmaringen Governmental Commission  [ fr ]1944*1945° Flag of France.svg Provisional Government of the French Republic Members of the collaborationist French cabinet at Vichy were relocated by the Germans to the Sigmaringen enclave in Germany, where they became a government-in-exile until April 1945. They were given formal governmental power over the city of Sigmaringen, and the three Axis governments - Germany, Italy and Japan - established there what were officially their Embassies to France. Pétain having refused to take part in this, it was headed by Fernand de Brinon. [48]
Flag of Azad Hind.svg Provisional Government of Free India 1943*1945 British Raj Red Ensign.svg British Raj Based in Rangoon and Singapore
Flag of the Philippines (1943-1945).svg  Second Philippine Republic 19451945° Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Philippine Commonwealth After the Allied forces liberated the Philippines from Japanese occupiers and the reestablishment of the Philippine Commonwealth in the archipelago after a few years in exile in the United States, the Second Philippine Republic became a nominal government-in-exile [49] from June 11, 1945 based in Nara / Tokyo. [50] The government was later dissolved in August 17, 1945. [51]

Persian Gulf War

Following the Ba'athist Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, during the Persian Gulf War, on August 2, 1990, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and senior members of his government fled to Saudi Arabia, where they set up a government-in-exile in Ta'if. [52] The Kuwaiti government in exile was far more affluent than most other such governments, having full disposal of the very considerable Kuwaiti assets in western banks—of which it made use to conduct a massive propaganda campaign denouncing the Ba'athist Iraqi occupation and mobilizing public opinion in the western hemisphere in favor of war with Ba'athist Iraq. In March 1991, following the defeat of Ba'athist Iraq at the hands of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War, the Sheikh and his government were able to return to Kuwait.

Municipal Councils in Exile

Following the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the displacement of many Greek Cypriots from North Cyprus, displaced inhabitants of several towns set up what are in effect Municipal Councils in Exile, headed by Mayors in Exile. The idea is the same as with a national Government in Exile – to assert a continuation of legitimate rule, even though having no control of the ground, and working towards restoration of such control. Meetings of the exiled Municipal Council of Lapithos took place in the homes of its members until the Exile Municipality was offered temporary offices at 37 Ammochostou Street, Nicosia. The current Exile Mayor of the town is Athos Eleftheriou. The same premises are shared with the Exile Municipal Council of Kythrea.

Also in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, the administration of the part retained by the Republic of Cyprus considers itself as a "District administration in exile", since the district's capital Famagusta had been under Turkish control since 1974.

See also


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