- Commonwealth initiatives
There are 32 countries with a prime minister as head of government in the Commonwealth. Sixteen are Commonwealth realms with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, five are national (local) monarchies and 11 are republics. Prime ministers, who head governments, are in most cases elected by parliament and normally the leaders of the party or coalition with most seats in parliament. Exceptions include Brunei where the Sultan is prime minister, Swaziland where the prime minister is chosen by the King, and Cameroon where the selection is made by the president. In seven Commonwealth countries Guyana, Namibia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania the prime minister is not head of government. This brings the total number of prime ministers in the Commonwealth to 39.
Prime ministers attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). CHOGM which takes place every two years, allows Commonwealth leaders to meet and discuss global and Commonwealth issues and to agree on collective policies and initiatives. The summits which provide a unique forum for consultation at the highest level of government are organised by the host nation in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat.