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Parliament may refer to the original legislative assembly of England, Scotland, or Ireland and successively of Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Legislative assemblies in some former British colonies may also be named parliaments. Legislative assemblies in general may also be referred to as parliaments, especially if part of a "parliamentary system".

A "presidential system" is typically one where the chief executive is directly elected and combines the role of head of state and head of government. A "parliamentary system" separates the roles, with a prime minister being head of government, while the more ceremonial head of state typically being a non-hereditary president or a hereditary monarch.

Parliamentarianism is the dominant form of government in Europe, the Caribbean, and Oceania. Elsewhere in the world, parliamentary countries are less common, but they are distributed through all continents, most often in former colonies of the British Empire that subscribe to a particular brand of parliamentarianism known as the "Westminster system", sometimes contrasted with a "Consensus system" used in most Western European countries.

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Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.