Deputy prime minister

A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different even though both positions are "number two" offices. The position of deputy prime minister should not be confused with the Canadian Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister of Canada, a nonpolitical civil servant position. Also, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada does not act as a "number two".

The states of Australia and provinces of Canada each have the analogous office of deputy premier. In the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, an analogous position is that of the deputy first minister but the position in Northern Ireland has the same powers as the First Minister.

A deputy prime minister traditionally serves as acting prime minister when the real prime minister is temporarily absent or incapable of exercising his/her power. The deputy prime minister is often asked to succeed to the prime minister's office following the prime minister's sudden death or unexpected resignation, but that is not necessarily mandated by the constitution. This government position is often a job that is held simultaneously with another ministry, and is usually given to one of the most senior or fairly experienced ministers of the cabinet. The holder of this office may also be deputy leader of the governing party, or perhaps even as leader of the junior party of a coalition government.

Little scholarly attention has focused on deputy prime ministers due to their nature as being less involved in the political power plays of government and more focus on the work at hand. A 2009 study in Political Science identified nine 'qualities' of deputy prime ministership: temperament; relationships with their Cabinet and caucus; relationships with their party; popularity with the public; media skills; achievements as deputy prime minister; relationship with the prime minister; leadership ambition; and method of succession.[1]

By contrast, the structure of the Government of Russia [2] and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine foresees the positions of several deputy prime ministers or vice prime ministers.[3] In the case of the Russian government, the Prime Minister is responsible for defining the scope of the duties for each of his or her deputies,[4] who also may head a specific ministry - e.g. the former Minister of Finance of Russia, Alexey Kudrin also serves as one of the deputies of the prime ministers or vice-premiers. One or two of these deputy prime ministers may hold the title of a First Deputy Prime Minister. The Russian federal law indicates that in accordance with the order established in advance, one of the deputy prime ministers may temporarily substitute for the Prime Minister in his or her absence. Customarily, however, it is to one of the "First" Deputy Prime Ministers that the prime-ministerial duties may be delegated. At the same time, in the case of Prime Minister's resignation, the law allows the President of Russia to choose any of the current vice-premiers to serve as an acting Prime Minister until the confirmation of the new government.[5]

Lists of deputy prime ministers

CountryTitleNameOffice dateNotes
 MauritiusDeputy Prime Minister of Mauritius
Vice Prime Minister of Mauritius
Ivan Collendavelloo (DPM)
Showkutally Soodhun (VPM)
17 December 2014
17 December 2014
Vice Prime Minister is an honorary title.
 BahamasDeputy Prime Minister of the BahamasHubert Minnis11 May 2017
 CanadaDeputy Prime Minister of CanadaVacant6 February 2006position not currently in use (since 2006)
 ChinaVice Premier of the People's Republic of ChinaZhang Gaoli15 March 2013
 IndiaDeputy Prime Minister of IndiaVacant22 May 2004position not currently in use (since 2004)
 IsraelDesignated Acting Prime Minister of Israel
Deputy Prime Minister of Israel
Vice Prime Minister of Israel
??Vice Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are honorary titles.
 JapanDeputy Prime Minister of JapanTarō Asō26 December 2012
 LebanonDeputy Prime Minister of Lebanon??
 MalaysiaDeputy Prime Minister of MalaysiaWan Azizah Wan Ismail9 May 2018
 PakistanDeputy Prime Minister of PakistanVacant25 June 2012
 SingaporeDeputy Prime Minister of SingaporeTeo Chee Hean
Tharman Shanmugaratnam
1 April 2009
21 May 2011
 South KoreaDeputy Prime Minister of South Korea (ko:대한민국의 부총리)Kim Dong-yeon
Kim Sang-gon
9 June 2017
 TaiwanVice Premier of the Republic of ChinaShih Jun-ji8 September 2017
 ThailandDeputy Prime Minister of Thailand??
 VietnamDeputy Prime Minister of Vietnam??
 Armenia Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan

Tigran Avinyan

Mher Grigoryan

11 May 2018
 AustriaVice-Chancellor of AustriaHeinz-Christian Strache17 May 2017
 CroatiaDeputy Prime Minister of CroatiaDamir Krstičević

Predrag Štromar

Marija Pejčinović Burić
Tomislav Tolušić
19 October 2016
9 June 2017
19 June 2017
25 May 2018
Article 109 of the Constitution mandates that there be at least one Deputy Prime Minister in every cabinet. The position is usually held by senior government ministers or leaders of junior parties in a coalition government.

The title First Deputy Prime Minister is occasionally used when the position is occupied either by the chair of a junior coalition party which has significant parliamentary representation, and may be key in maintaining a majority, or by a high-official within the larger party in a coalition (as was the case in the Orešković cabinet).

 FinlandDeputy Prime Minister of FinlandPetteri Orpo28 June 2017
 GermanyVice-Chancellor of GermanyOlaf Scholz14 March 2018
 GreeceDeputy Prime Minister of GreeceYannis Dragasakis23 September 2013
 IrelandTánaiste (Deputy prime minister of Ireland)Frances Fitzgerald6 May 2016
 LuxembourgDeputy Prime Minister of LuxembourgEtienne Schneider4 December 2013Traditionally the leader of the second biggest party in a government coalition
 MaltaDeputy Prime Minister of MaltaChris Fearne17 July 2017
 MontenegroDeputy Prime Minister of MontenegroIgor Lukšić
Duško Marković
Rafet Husović
Azra Jasavić
4 December 2012
29 December 2010
4 December 2012
2 June 2016
 NetherlandsDeputy Prime Minister of the NetherlandsHugo de Jonge
Kajsa Ollongren
Carola Schouten
26 October 2017
 PolandDeputy Prime Minister of PolandPiotr Gliński
Jarosław Gowin
Beata Szydło
16 November 2015

11 December 2017

 PortugalDeputy Prime Minister of PortugalVacant?position not currently in use (since 2015)
 RussiaDeputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation??
 SerbiaDeputy Prime Minister of SerbiaRasim Ljajić
Ivica Dačić
Zorana Mihajlović
Nebojša Stefanović
27 July 2012
27 April 2014
27 April 2014
11 August 2016
 Slovenia Deputy Prime Minister of Slovenia Karl Viktor Erjavec

Dejan Židan

20 March 2013
 SpainDeputy Prime Minister of SpainSoraya Sáenz de Santamaría22 December 2011
 SwedenDeputy Prime Minister of SwedenMargot Wallström
Isabella Lövin
25 May 2016
 TurkeyDeputy Prime Minister of Turkey??
 United KingdomDeputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
First Secretary of State (de facto)
Vacant (DPM)
Vacant (FSS)
 AustraliaDeputy Prime Minister of AustraliaVacant27 October 2017
 New ZealandDeputy Prime Minister of New ZealandWinston Peters26 October 2017

Former countries


  1. Steven Barnes, 'What About Me? Deputy Prime Ministership in New Zealand', Political Science, Vol. 61, No. 1, 2009, pp. 33-49
  2. Article 110.2 of the Constitution of Russian Federation
  3. Article 114 of the Constitution of Ukraine
  4. "Article 25 of the Federal Constitutional Law "On the Government of Russian Federation" from December 17, 1997". Retrieved 2012-07-25.
  5. "Article 8 of the Federal Constitutional Law "On the Government of Russian Federation". Retrieved 2012-07-25.
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