Difference between President and Prime Minister

Main Difference

The difference between a president and prime minister depends upon the government system of a country. In some countries both designation exists having specified authorities and powers while in some countries any one designation exists to cover both designation according to relevant law of the country. However, what are the general meanings of these terms? And what are the differences between them? Covered in this article.


presidentPresident is the common title for the head of state in republics. In democratic or representative form of government, whether presidential republics, semi-presidential republics or parliamentary republics, president is elected by the members of the parliament for a specified period of time. In some countries, president has substantive powers such as appointment or dismissal of prime ministers or cabinets while in some countries president duties are largely of ceremonial nature. In many countries, president is also the head of “National Finance Commission” and “Commander-in-Chief” of the country’s armed forces.

Prime Minister

prime-ministerIn parliamentary government system, prime minster is the most senior minister of the cabinet. In many countries, he is allowed to dismiss any members of the cabinet and allocate posts to public members of the parliament. In modern democracy, prime minister is the head of the government and head of the cabinet or executive branch. Mostly, it is required to contest in general election and become the member of parliament to be a prime minister. Like other members or parliamentarian, prime minster also take part in the voting of a bill.

Key Differences

  • To be a prime minister, it is mandatory in some countries to be a member of the parliament. While president is not required to contest in the general election in the same countries.
  • President is announced as “His Excellency” in foreign countries while prime minister is announced as “Mr. Prime Minister” or “The Honorable”.
  • In parliamentary government, president is the head of state while prime minister is the head of government.
  • President is the head of Commander-in-Chief and prime minister is the head of cabinet and head of ministers.