the highest executive body of a state. Sometimes called the council of ministers or cabinet of ministers, governments are headed by a prime minister, a chancellor, or by the chairman of the council of ministers or cabinet of ministers. In some countries the government is headed by the head of state—in the USA, for example, by the president. Such members of the government as ministers, secretaries, and secretaries of state direct state administrative departments. Governments may be composed of one or of several parties. Federal states have a central or federal government as well as governments of the political units, for example, states or provinces, that form the federation.
In capitalist countries governments are formed by a parliament or are appointed by the monarch or president. In the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, and Japan the head of state appoints as premier or chancellor a person elected by parliament. In