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A vice president is an officer in government or business who is next in rank below a president. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning in place of. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president.
The wife of a vice president may be known as a Second Lady, veepess or veepa.
Vice presidents in government
In politics, a vice president is a politician whose primary function is to replace the president on the event of his or her death or resignation.
Vice Presidents are often elected jointly with the president as his or her running mate, elected separately, or appointed independently after the president's election.
Governments with vice presidents generally have only one person holding this role and generally if the president is not present, dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to fulfill his job, the vice president will serve as a president. In many presidential systems, the vice president does not wield much day to day political power, but is still considered an important member of the cabinet. Many Vice Presidents in the Americas hold the symbolic position of President of the Senate.
The vice president can sometimes assume some of the symbolic and less important functions of president, such as some ceremonial functions and events that the actual president may be too busy to attend; the Vice President of the United States, for example often attends funerals of world leaders on behalf of the president. In this capacity the vice president may thus assume the role of a de facto symbolic Head of State, a position which is lacking in a system of government where the powers of head of state and government are fused.
In parliamentary systems, most states do not have a vice president but instead name another office-holder, often the chairperson or president of the upper house of parliament or even the prime minister to act as effective vice president. In the Republic of Ireland, a collective vice presidency exists called the Presidential Commission, made up of chairmen of House of Representatives and the Senate, along with the Irish Chief Justice. In Germany, the de facto vice president is the president of the Bundesrat (parliament) and in France it is the speaker of the Senate.
Some notable Vice Presidents from history have included:
- Vice President Li Tsung-jen of the Republic of China
- Vice President Harry Truman of the United States
- Vice President Al Gore of the United States
- Vice President Saddam Hussein of Iraq
- Deputy President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa
Corporate vice presidents
In business, vice-president refers to a rank in senior or middle management. Most companies that use this title generally have large numbers of persons with the title of vice president with different types of vice president (i.e. vice president for finance).
A corporate vice-president is rarely "second in line" to succeed the corporate president following death or resignation. Such decisions are usually left up to the board of directors.
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