First Minister

First Minister

The term First Minister refers to the leader of a cabinet.


In Canada, "First Ministers" is a collective term that refers to all Canadian first ministers of the Crown, otherwise known as heads of government, including the Prime Minister of Canada and the provincial and territorial premiers. It is used in such formulae as "first ministers' meetings."

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Inuit self-governing region of Nunatsiavut provides for a First Minister responsible to the Nunatsiavut Assembly.


The head of government of Norway was called First Minister ( _no. førstestatsråd) between 1814 and 1873, while it was in personal union with Sweden. In 1893, 12 years prior to the dissolution of the union, it was upgraded to Prime Minister ("statsminister").

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the term First Minister was once used interchangeably with Prime Minister, as in Winston Churchill's famous line: "I did not become Her Majesty's First Minister so that I might oversee the liquidation of the British Empire!"

Nowadays, the term is used to describe the leader of the devolved governments of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. See

*First Minister of Wales
*First Minister of Scotland
*First Minister of Northern Ireland


The title First Minister may be used to refer to the political leader of a subnational entity or a dependent territory. George Price held the office of First Minister of Belize between 1961 and 1964, when the title was changed to Premier. In Germany, the first minister in the federal states is known as the Minister-Präsident.

See also

* Chief Minister
* First Secretary

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • First Minister — noun The title given to the leader of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales • • • Main Entry: ↑first * * * ˌfirst ˈminister 7 [first minister] (also First Minister) nou …   Useful english dictionary

  • First Minister — the most important minister in the Scottish Parliament, similar to the Prime Minister in the UK parliament. The minister is elected by the members of the Scottish Parliament, but would normally be the leader of the largest political party …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • First Minister — First Ministers N COUNT: usu the N; N TITLE; N VOC In the Scottish Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly, the First Minister is the leader of the ruling party …   English dictionary

  • First Minister — the leader of the Scottish Executive in the Scottish Parliament and of the leader of the executive in the Northern Ireland Assembly. See also Good Friday Agreement. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • First Minister — the leader of one of the regional governments in the United Kingdom: the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly. The First Minister is chosen by the Parliament or Assembly, and is usually the leader of the party… …   Universalium

  • First Minister —    The chief executive branch in a parliamentary system is often called the Prime Minister, sometimes the Chancellor, in Ireland the Taoiseach and in Scotland and Wales the First Minister. In all cases, their power is based upon their leadership… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • First Minister — El título First Minister es un término inglés que se refiere al jefe de gobierno elegido en las regiones administrativas de Escocia, Gales, e Irlanda del Norte en el Reino Unido. Es diferente de un primer ministro, que es el jefe de gobierno para …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • First Minister — First′ Min′ister n. can. 1) the prime minister of Canada 2) any of the provincial premiers …   From formal English to slang

  • first minister — noun a) The leader of the devolved governments of Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. A first ministers meeting is used to discuss inter governmental affairs b) Any of the ten provincial premiers or the prime minister of …   Wiktionary

  • First Minister and deputy First Minister — Incumbent Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness since 5 June 2008 and 8 May 2007 (respectively) Appointer …   Wikipedia

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