Deputy prime minister
| Deputy prime minister |
|A government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent|
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. In Austria and Germany, the officeholder is known as vice-chancellor. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, as both positions are "number two" offices, but there are some differences.
A deputy prime minister traditionally serves as acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent or incapable of exercising 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 experienced ministers of the cabinet. The holder of this office may also be deputy leader of the governing party, or perhaps the leader of the junior party of a coalition government.