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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 (Norwegian: 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 changed 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 leaders of the devolved governments of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. See


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



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