Concept

Party chair

Résumé
In politics, a party chair (often party chairperson/-man/-woman or party president) is the presiding officer of a political party. The nature and importance of the position differs from country to country, and also between political parties. The role of a party chairman is often quite different from that of a party leader. The duties of the chairman are typically concerned with the party membership as a whole, and the activities of the party organization. Chairmen often play important roles in strategies to recruit and retain members, in campaign fundraising, and in internal party governance, where they may serve as a member of, or even preside over, a governing board or council. They often also have influence in candidate selections, and sometimes in the development and promulgation of party policy. When describing the position within the American Democratic Party, PBS NewsHour described it as "part cheerleader, part fundraiser, part organizer and recruiter, part public messenger". Throughout the years Party Chairman roles have changed as candidates create their own fundraising committees. In Belgium, the top position of a political party is typically called its chairman (voorzitter/président), but its role is rather that of a party leader or even a combination of both. The party chairman/leader is the mightiest person within the party, controlling appointments etc. After the Prime Minister of Belgium the party chairmen are the most important figures in Belgian politics, sometimes characterized as a particracy. Following parliamentary elections, the party chairmen are the chief negotiators of the coalition agreement, and subsequently the chairman of the largest governing party typically becomes the Prime Minister and resigns as party chairman; he is replaced by a different chairman, usually interim. For example, PS chairman Elio Di Rupo became Prime Minister of the Di Rupo Government in 2011 and resumed the chairmanship in 2014 at the end of the government. He was replaced by Thierry Giet and Paul Magnette during this period.
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