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A parliamentary leader is a political title or a descriptive term used in various countries to the person leading a caucus in a legislative body, whether it be the countries' respective parliaments or provincial/state legislatures.
In many countries, the position of leader of a political party and leader of a parliamentary group are separate positions, and while they are often held by the same person, this is not always or automatically the case. If the party leader is a member of the government, holds a different political office outside the parliament in question, or no political office at all, the position of parliamentary leader is frequently held by a different person.
The parliamentary leader has the supreme responsibility for coordinating the work of the MPs representing his or her party.
In Germany, leaders of the major parties have often been heads of government of the various states rather than members of the national parliament. Hence, the position of parliamentary leader in the national parliament (Germany also has 16 state parliaments) is often occupied by a different person. Even when the party leader is a member of the national parliament, the parliamentary leader can be a different person (Friedrich Merz was parliamentary leader while Angela Merkel was party leader for some years and their party in opposition). If the party leader is the Chancellor or a member of the government, another person always is the parliamentary leader.
Each of the 16 states of Germany also have their own governments, parliaments, state parties and parliamentary leaders, resembling the situation at the federal level.
They serve as interim legislative leaders, when a party leader either has no seat in the legislative body, during a transition period preceding, or following a leadership contest.
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