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In a governmental system, a party leader acts as the official representative of their political party, either to a legislature or to the electorate. Depending on the country, the individual colloquially referred to as the "leader" of a political party may officially be party chair, secretary, or the highest political office.
|Part of the Politics series
The party leader is often responsible for managing the party's relationship with the general public and leading the competition against political rivals, similar to the role of a party spokesperson. As such, they will take a leading role in developing and communicating party platforms to the electorate.
In many representative democracies, party leaders compete directly for high political office. It is thus typical in such states (notably in the Westminster system) for the party leader to seek election to the legislature and, if elected, to simultaneously serve as the party's parliamentary leader. In several countries utilizing the parliamentary system, if the party leader's political party emerges with a majority of seats in parliament after a general election, is the leading party in a coalition government, or (in some instances) is the largest party in a minority parliament, that party's leader often serves as the prime minister. Thus, in the politics of several countries utilizing the parliamentary system, a political party's leader is treated as a de facto candidate for prime minister by the media and the general public, even if said office is technically not directly elected.
Party Head or leader of a political party, subject to party's constitutional document need not be elected member of legislature and is therefore different from leader of parliamentary committee of a party.
This is much harder to do in presidential and semi-presidential systems, where the chief executive is a president who can only be removed by a special impeachment (typically involving a legislative supermajority, an investigation by a constitutional court, or both), and removal entails either a snap election or automatic succession to office by a vice president; therefore, the party's de jure internal leader either takes a background role (such as the Chairs of the Democratic, and Republican parties in the United States, who serve more so as the chief administrative officers of their respective political parties), or the leadership may be automatically bestowed on an incumbent president who belongs to the party (such as the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan). In countries using the Westminster system, the leader of the largest political party not within the government serves as the leader of the opposition.
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