This chronology contains the lists of the ruling parties of the countries in the world as well as the periods when they were in power. The regimes included in this chronology are confined to those which adopted a constitution or a modernised form of government. All ancient regimes and the few modern regimes with no constitution are excluded.
The "Ruling Parties" listed in this chronology refer to the political parties of the chiefs of state holding real powers. This may mean different posts under different political systems. Under the "Presidential System" (of which USA is a typical example) and in those countries where the President is vested with real political power (such as the Fifth French Republic), this refers to the President. Under the "Parliamentary Cabinet System" (of which Germany and Britain are typical examples), this refers to the Prime Minister, Premier or Chancellor. For those countries with a constitutional monarchical system, although the supreme power is still vested in the Monarch rather than the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister is an important figure in the political system. In some countries there also emerge party cabinets. For this reason, the political parties of the Prime Ministers of these countries are also listed. Finally, for those countries that do not belong to any of the aforesaid political systems or that are undergoing political changes, the ruling parties are identified according to the particular situation.
There were often the cases when political parties formed coalition government. In this case, only the political party of the chief of state holding real powers is regarded as the ruling party. However, under particular situation when the coalition became an institution or a consensus of the whole nation, then the coalition will be regarded as the ruling party. In addition, there were also many cases in which the monarch, a royal member, an army officer or other non-party figures assumed the post of chief of state, or people from different parties acted as collective chiefs or chiefs of very short terms of office (less than a year). In these cases where it is difficult to identify the ruling party, the period concerned will be omitted from this chronology.
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