National parliaments, as the main forum for political debate and the expression and confrontation of views, could not hold orderly and meaningful discussions unless there is a regulatory authority to act as arbitrator and guarantee its smooth functioning. This is why the Presidency of parliament has been in existence for as long as parliament itself.
The term "Presidency" covers several different situations. Notwithstanding, in most countries, the President of parliament ranks very high in the State hierarchy and is invested with important authority under national constitutions. Details of the specificities of each parliamentary chamber can be found in the Presidency module in PARLINE.
Even today, only a small proportion of presidents of parliament are women. Austria was the only State to have elected a woman to the presidency of one of the parliament's chambers (the Bundesrat) before the Second World War. More information on the number of women parliamentarians is available on a separate page. More details and a statistical archive can be found in the section on Women in national parliaments.
Note: Some parliamentary chambers have more than one president. The total number of presidents is therefore higher than the number of existing parliamentary chambers. Vacancies have been classified under "Others" in the graph below.
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Export details (help)
The "Export details" feature includes the names and gender of presidents of parliament. More options for exporting data from PARLINE are available in the Toolbox. See the "How to ..." section for help on exporting data.