Caretaker government is a type of government that rules temporarily. A caretaker government is often set up following a war until stable democratic rule can be restored, or installed, in which case it is often referred to as a provisional government. In some countries (including Australia and New Zealand) the term is used to describe the government that operates in the interim period between the normal dissolution of parliament for the purpose of holding an election and the formation of a new government after the election results are known.
Caretaker governments may also be put in place when a government in a parliamentary system is defeated in a motion of no confidence, or in the case when the house to which the government is responsible is dissolved, to rule the country for an interim period until an election is held and a new government is formed. This type of caretaker government is adopted in Bangladesh where an advisor council led by the former chief judge rules the country for three months before an elected government takes over. In systems where coalition governments are frequent a caretaker government may be installed temporarily while negotiations to form a new coalition take place. This usually occurs either immediately after an election in which there is no clear victor or if one coalition government collapses and a new one must be negotiated. Caretaker governments are expected to handle daily issues and prepare budgets for discussion, but are not expected to produce a government platform or introduce controversial bills.
Caretakers, similarly, are individuals who fill seats in government temporarily without ambitions to continue to hold office on their own. This is particularly true with regard to United States Senators who are appointed to office by the Governor of their state following a vacancy created by the death or resignation of a sitting senator. Sometimes governors wish to run for the seat themselves in the next election but do not want to be accused of unfairness by appointing themselves in the interim. Also, sometimes they do not wish to be seen as taking sides within a group of party factions or prejudicing of a primary election by picking someone who is apt to become an active candidate for the position. At one time, widows of politicians were often selected as caretakers to succeed their late husbands; this custom is rarely exercised today, as it could be viewed by some as nepotism.
In a similar vein, Nelson Rockefeller was said to be a caretaker Vice President of the United States (1974–1977). He was nominated for the office by President Gerald Ford, who had succeeded the resigned President Richard Nixon. Rockefeller made it apparent that he had no further presidential ambitions of his own (unlike many Vice Presidents), despite having run for the office three times in the past, and he had no intention of even running for a full term in the vice presidential office. He kept his intention when Ford's running mate in the 1976 presidential election was Senator Bob Dole.
Caretaker Government is very popular in Bangladesh although it is a contradiction with constitution. Recently Pakistan and Greece have accepted this model to hold elections and overcome political stalemate.
List of caretaker individuals and governments
The following is a list of individuals who have been considered caretakers for government offices:
- José Linhares (Brazil)
- Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli (Brazil)
- Alain Poher (France, especially second term)
- Émile Jonassaint (Haiti)
- Eduardo Rodríguez (Bolivia)
- Eduardo Duhalde (Argentina)
- Kgalema Motlanthe (South Africa)
- Wasim Sajjad (Pakistan)
- Muhammad Mian Soomro ( Pakistan)
- Hashim Thaci (Kosovo, first term)
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (United Kingdom, second term)
- Vincent Auriol (France)
- Waldemar Pawlak (Poland, first term)
- Malik Meraj Khalid (Pakistan)
- Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi (Pakistan)
- Balakh Sher Mazari (Pakistan)
- Malcolm Fraser (Australia)
- Jean Kambanda (Rwanda)
- Mehdi Bazargan (Iran)
- Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani (Iran)
- Muhammad Mian Soomro (Pakistan)
- Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi (Pakistan)
- Yves Leterme (Belgium)
- Madhav Kumar Nepal (Nepal)
- Caretaker government of Australia
- Caretaker government of Bangladesh
- Demissionary cabinet, a Dutch care taker cabinet.
- Interim Government of Iran (1979)
- Interim Government of Iran (1981)
- General Ne Win served as interim prime minister of Burma in the caretaker government from October 28, 1958 to April 4, 1960.
- National Transitional Council of Libya
- Caretaker Government of Madagascar led by Andry Rajoelina
- Banglapedia: Caretaker Government
- Motlanthe: South Africa's safe hands BBC News, 25 September 2008
- "Profile of Mr. Wasim Sajjad". Story of Pakistan. 1 June 2003. http://storyofpakistan.com/wasim-sajjad/. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Soomro takes over as Pak President". Press Trust of India. 18 August 2008. http://www.ptinews.com/pti%5Cptisite.nsf/0/2E820D79C90748E0652574A90051AEA4?OpenDocument. Retrieved 16 January 2013.