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A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet.



The term Minister is a Middle English phrase, stemming from the Old French word ministre, originally minister in Latin, meaning 'servant' [1]. In some countries and territories (such as Hong Kong, the Philippines, the UK, and the US), such a person can instead be known as a secretary. The term was and is still also used in diplomacy for second level diplomats (heads of legations).


In many parliamentary systems of government, especially those using the Westminster system, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, ministers must be selected from the legislature. In presidential systems of government such as the United States and Mexico, ministers are formally titled secretaries (because the term minister carries royalist connotations considered inappropriate in republics) and are appointed by the president, not drawn from the legislature.

Types of ministers

See also




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