What Countries Have a Parliamentary Government?

By Tatyana Ivanov
Italy has a parliamentary government.
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Compared with federal republics, parliamentary governments have little separation between the executive and legislative branches. These government systems have a prime minister who serves as the head of the parliament or legislative body, as well as a president. The president has levels of executive power depending on the country she leads.


The largest concentration of parliamentary governments is in Eastern Europe. Countries with parliamentary governments in this part of the world include Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Other countries in Europe that have parliamentary governments include Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Malta and Portugal. Many of these European parliamentary republics are also unitary states -- the government functions as one large central government that delegates lesser powers to administrative branches. Italy, Greece, Malta and Moldova are all unitary parliamentary republics.

Asia and the Middle East

Two countries with parliamentary governments are in Southeast Asia: East Timor and Bangladesh. Additionally, the Himalayan nation of Nepal is also a parliamentary government. India, the second most populous country in the world, after China, is also a parliamentary government. The Middle East is also home to a number of countries with parliamentary governments, including Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Pakistan. Many of the parliaments in the Middle East function in different ways. For instance, Lebanon blends parliamentary government with Confessionalism, a system designed to distribute power among Lebanon's various religious groups.


Africa is home to three countries with parliamentary governments. Ethiopia, on the horn of Africa, is the only country in mainland Africa considered a parliamentary republic. Two island nations off the African coast have parliaments: Cape Verde and Mauritius. Cape Verde, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of western Africa, has been a parliamentary republic since 1980. Mauritius is in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa and has been a parliamentary government since attaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.

The South Pacific and Caribbean

Though other regions of the world also have parliamentary governments, they are not as in a high concentration as throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The South Pacific has two parliamentary republics: Samoa, which includes the island of Polynesia, and Vanuatu, a small South Pacific island nation about 500 miles from Fiji. Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago, both in the Caribbean Sea, are also parliamentary governments. Both countries became parliamentary republics in the late 1970s, with Dominica instituting reform in 1979, and Trinidad and Tobago gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1976.