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Title: Government-in-Exile  
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Subject: List of Serbs
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"GiE" redirects here. For other uses, see GiE (disambiguation).

A government in exile is a political group which claims to be a country's legitimate government, but is unable to exercise legal power and instead resides in a foreign country.[1] Governments in exile usually plan to one day return to their native country and regain formal power. A government in exile differs from a rump state in the sense that a rump state controls at least part of its former territory.[2] For example, during World War I, nearly all of Belgium was occupied by Germany, but Belgium and its allies held on to a small slice in the country's west. A government in exile, conversely, has lost all its territory.

Governments in exile frequently occur during wartime occupation, or in the aftermath of a civil war, revolution, or military coup. For example, during German expansion in World War II, some European governments sought refuge in the United Kingdom, rather than face destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany. A government in exile may also form from widespread belief in the illegitimacy of a ruling government. For instance, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was formed as a result of the Syrian civil war, which sought to end the rule of the ruling Ba'ath Party.

The effectiveness of a government in exile depends primarily on the amount of support it can receive, either from foreign governments or from the population of its own country. Some governments in exile develop into a formidable force, posing a serious challenge to the incumbent regime of the country, while others are maintained chiefly as a symbolic gesture.

The phenomenon of a government in exile predates formal use of the term. In periods of monarchical government, exiled monarchs or dynasties sometimes set up exile courts—as the House of Stuart did when driven from their throne by Oliver Cromwell and at the Glorious Revolution, or the House of Bourbon did during the French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon. With the spread of constitutional monarchy, monarchical governments in exile started to include a prime minister, such as the Dutch government during World War II headed by Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy.


International law recognizes that governments in exile may undertake many types of actions in the conduct of their daily affairs. These actions include:

In cases where a host country holds a large expatriate population from a government in exile's home country, or an ethnic population from that country, the government in exile might come to exercise some administrative functions within such a population. For example, the WWII Provisional Government of Free India had such authority among the ethnically Indian population of British Malaya, with the consent of the then Japanese military authorities.

Current governments in exile

Governments in exile may have little or no recognition from other states. Some exiled governments have some characteristics in common with rump states. Such disputed or partially in exile cases are noted in the tables below.

Deposed governments of current states

These governments in exile were created by deposed governments or rulers who continue to claim legitimate authority of the state they once controlled.

Name Exile since State controlling its claimed territory (entirely or partially) Notes References
Belarus Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic 1920  Republic of Belarus The oldest current government (formally, a provisional parliament) in exile, currently led by Ivonka Survilla in Toronto; see also Belarusian Democratic Republic [3][4]
Qajar dynasty 1925  Islamic Republic of Iran The Qajar dynasty went into exile in 1923 and continue to claim the Iranian throne, which is currently claimed by Mohammad Hassan Mirza II who is based in Dallas, Texas
Pahlavi dynasty 1979  Islamic Republic of Iran The Pahlavi dynasty, led by Reza Pahlavi and living in Potomac, Maryland; see also Iranian Revolution
Laos Royal Lao Government in Exile 1975  Lao People's Democratic Republic The former government of the Kingdom of Laos; based in Paris
 Republic of China
(disputed due mainly to the controversial political status of Taiwan [5][6][7][8][9])

 Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
 Kingdom of Bhutan
 People's Republic of China
 Republic of China itself
 Republic of India
 Republic of the Union of Myanmar
 Islamic Republic of Pakistan
 Russian Federation
 Republic of Tajikistan

The Republic of China (ROC) is the state which governs Taiwan and some of its surrounding islands.[10] Its status as a government in exile is disputed.[5][6][7][8][9][11][12]

Proponents of this view argue that because Taiwan is not a part of the Republic of China,[13] the ROC is located in foreign territory, therefore effectively making it a government in exile.[14] Opponents claim that Taiwan is part of the ROC, and the government is still located in its own territory, qualifying it not as a government in exile but as a rump state. For further information, see Political status of Taiwan, Legal status of Taiwan, and Chinese Civil War.

Exiled governments of non-self-governing or occupied territories

These governments in exile are governments of non-self-governing or occupied territories. They claim legitimate authority over a territory they once controlled, or claim legitimacy of a post-decolonization authority. The claim may stem from an exiled group's election as a legitimate government.

The United Nations recognizes the right of self-determination for the population of these territories, including the possibility of establishing independent sovereign states.

Name Exile since State controlling its claimed territory (entirely or partially) Notes References
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic 1976  Kingdom of Morocco
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Republic itself
Headquartered in the Tindouf region of Algeria, controlling what it calls the Free Zone in the eastern part of Western Sahara; claims de jure sovereignty over the entire territory
 State of Palestine[15][16] 1988  State of Israel Unilaterally declared in exile in Algiers by the Palestine Liberation Organization that later established the Palestinian National Authority interim territorial administration as result of the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO, Israel, the United States, and Russia. Currently, ultimate control[17] over all of the territories is exercised by Israel,[18][19][20][21][22] but it allows the PNA to execute some functions there, depending on special area classification. The members of the institutions of the State of Palestine meet inside its claimed territory[23][24][25][26] without having sovereignty over any part of it.[27][28][29]

Deposed governments of subnational territories

These governments in exile claim legitimacy of autonomous territories of another state and have been created by deposed governments or rulers, who and do not claim independence as a separate state.

Name Exile Current control of claimed territory Notes References
since as by as
Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia 1993 autonomous republic Abkhazia Republic of Abkhazia independent state Georgian provincial government, led by Giorgi Baramia, whose territory is under the control of Abkhaz separatists
Azerbaijan Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh 1994 autonomous republic Nagorno-Karabakh Republic independent state Azerbaijan provisional government, led by Bayram Safarov, whose territory is under the control of Armenian separatists
Georgia (country) Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia 2008 provisional administrative entity South Ossetia Republic of South Ossetia independent state Georgian provincial administration, led by Dmitry Sanakoyev, whose territory is under the control of South Ossetian separatists

Alternative governments of current states

These governments have been created in exile by political organisations and opposition parties, aspire to become actual governing authorities or claim to be legal successors to previously deposed governments, and have been created as alternatives to incumbent governments.

Name Claimed exile Exile proclamation Government presently controlling claimed territory Notes References
Ethiopia Crown Council of Ethiopia 1974 1993  Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Led by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie and based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area
South Vietnam Federal Republic of Vietnam 1975 1995  Socialist Republic of Vietnam Based in Garden Grove, California and Missouri City, Texas United States; since 1995, has claimed to be a continuation of the South Vietnamese government [30]
Iran National Council of Resistance of Iran 1981  Islamic Republic of Iran Political umbrella coalition of five Iranian opposition political organizations, the largest organization being the People's Mujahedin of Iran led by Maryam and Massoud Rajavi; based in Paris [31]
Quetta Shura 2001  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Based in Quetta, Pakistan as a continuation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Equatorial Guinea Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea 2003  Republic of Equatorial Guinea Proclaimed Severo Moto President of Equatorial Guinea in Madrid [32]
Syria National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces / Syrian Interim Government 2012  Syrian Arab Republic Opposes the regime of President Bashir al-Assad; based in Istanbul; has ties to the Free Syrian Army. [33]

Alternative separatist governments of current subnational territories

These governments have been created in exile by political organisations, opposition parties, and separatist movements, and desire to become the governing authorities of their territories as independent states, or claim to be the successor to previously deposed governments, and have been created as alternatives to incumbent governments.

Name Claimed exile Exile proclamation Government presently controlling claimed territory Notes References
Free City of Danzig 1939 1947  Republic of Poland Based in Australia [34]

[35] [36] [37]

Republic of South Maluku 1950 1950  Republic of Indonesia Exiled in the Netherlands
West Papuan Government in Exile 1963 1969  Republic of Indonesia Campaigns for an independent West Papua; based in the Netherlands [38][39]
 Biafran Government in Exile 1970 2007  Federal Republic of Nigeria An arm of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, seeking to reestablish the Republic of Biafra; based in Washington, DC [40]
Republic of Cabinda 1975 1975  Republic of Angola Based in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo
 Chechen Republic of Ichkeria 2000 2000  Russian Federation Some members are fighting as rebels against the Russian Armed Forces; based in Western Europe and the United States, with its leaders in London.
There is a contested claim that it has been succeeded by the Caucasus Emirate.
Republic of Serbian Krajina Republic of Serbian Krajina 1996 2005  Republic of Croatia Reconstituted in 2005 in Belgrade, by the remains of the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, after Croatian forces pushed out the internationally unrecognized entity in 1995 during Operation Storm at the end of the Croatian War of Independence
Koma Civakên Kurdistan 1998  Republic of Turkey Aims to create a Kurdish state in Turkey; successor organization of Kurdish parliament in exile [42]
Republic of Ambazonia 1999  Republic of Cameroon Former British territory of Southern Cameroons; declared independence on December 31, 1999 [43]
Western Kurdistan Government in Exile 2004  Syrian Arab Republic Aims to create a Kurdish state in Syria; based in London [44]
Coptic Government In Exile 1992  Arab Republic of Egypt Aims to establish an independent state for the Coptic ethnic group [45]
Interim Government of Federated Shan States 2005  Republic of the Union of Myanmar Aims to establish an independent state for the Shan ethnic group [46]
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam 2009 2010  Sri Lanka Aims to establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam [47]

Exiled Governments with ambiguous status

These governments have ties to the area(s) they represent, but their claimed status and/or stated aims are sufficiently ambiguous that they could fit into other categories.

Name Exile Current control of claimed territory Notes References
Tibet Central Tibetan Administration 1959  People's Republic of China Founded by the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India with cooperation of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; see also Tibetan sovereignty debate and Tibetan independence movement
East Turkestan East Turkistan Government in Exile 1949  People's Republic of China Seeking independence for Xinjiang as "East Turkestan"; based in Washington, DC [49]
Afghanistan Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 2001 Afghanistan Islamic Republic of Afghanistan The Taliban gained control over most of Afghanistan in the Afghan civil war, but were removed from power in the current Afghan war. ,[50][51][52]

Past governments in exile

Name Exiled or created(*) since Defunct, reestablished,(*) or integrated(°) since State that controlled its claimed territory Notes References
England Privy Council of England 1649 1660* Commonwealth of England (1649—1653)
Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland (1653—1659)
Commonwealth of England (1659—1660)
Based for most of the Interregnum in the Spanish Netherlands and headed by Charles II; actively supported Charles' claim to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland
Bangladesh Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh 1971* 1972°  Pakistan Based in Calcutta; led by Tajuddin Ahmad, the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
South Korea Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea 1919* 1948°  Empire of Japan Based in Shanghai, and later in Chongqing; after Japan’s defeat in World War II, President Syngman Rhee became the first president of the First Republic of South Korea
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovak government-in-exile 1939 1945°  Czechoslovakia Based in Paris and later in London, during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. After the defeat of Germany, it took control of Czechoslovakia.
Template:Country data Azad Hind Azad Hind 1943 1943°  British Raj Based in Rangoon and later in Port Blair. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the leader of the government and the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government in Exile. This government was disestablished in 1945 following the lost of axis powers in World War II
Algeria Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic 1958* 1962* France French Algeria (France) Established during the latter part of the Algerian War of Independence; after the war, a compromise agreement with the Armée de Libération Nationale dissolved it but allowed most of its members to enter the post-independence government
Revolutionary Government of Angola in Exile 1962* 1992° Angola Republic of Angola Based in Kinshasa; its military branch, the National Liberation Front of Angola, was recognized as a political party in 1992 and holds three seats in Angola’s parliament
Namibia Namibian Government in Exile 1966* 1989°  South Africa Formed after opposition to the apartheid South African administration over South-West Africa, which had been ruled as illegal by the United Nations; in 1990, Namibia achieved independence. [53]
Cambodia Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea 1982* 1993° People's Republic of Kampuchea Established with UN recognition in opposition to the Vietnamese-backed government. Elections in 1993 brought the reintegration of the exiled government into the newly reconstituted Kingdom of Cambodia.
Poland Polish government-in-exile 1939* 1990° Occupied Poland Based in Paris, Angers, and London, it opposed German occupied Poland and the Soviet satellite state, the People's Republic of Poland; disbanded following the fall of communism in Poland
Estonia Estonian Government in Exile 1953* 1992 Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic Established in Sweden by several members of Otto Tief's government; did not achieve any international recognizion. In fact, it was not recognized even by Estonian diplomatic legations that were seen by western countries as legal representatives of the annexed state.

A rival government was created by another group of Estonian exiles in the same year in Munich but it was short lived.

Second Spanish Republic Spanish Republican government in exile 1939 1977  Spanish State Created after Francisco Franco's coup d'état; based in Mexico City from 1939 to 1946, when it was moved to Paris, where it lasted until Franco's death
Government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in Exile 1921 1954 Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic Formed after the Soviet invasion of Georgia of 1921; based in Leuville-sur-Orge, France
Ukrainian People's Republic 1920 1992 Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Poland Second Polish Republic
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovak Republic
 Kingdom of Romania
Organized after the Soviet occupation of Ukraine
Aceh Aceh 1976* 2005 Indonesia Republic of Indonesia Headquartered in Sweden; surrendered its separatist intentions and dissolved its armed wing following the 2005 peace agreement with the Indonesian government
Gabon Bongo Doit Partir 1998 2009  Gabon Founded by Daniel Mengara in opposition to president Omar Bongo; after Bongo's death in June 2009, Mengara returned to Gabon in order to participate in the country's elections [55][56]
Confederate government of Missouri 1861 1865  United States of America (Union) Missouri had both Union and Confederate governments, but the Confederate government was exiled, eventually governing out of Marshall, Texas. [57]
Kentucky Confederate government of Kentucky 1861 1865  United States of America (Union) Kentucky had both Union and Confederate governments. The Confederate government was soon forced out of the state, and was an exiled government traveling with the Confederate Army of Tennessee, except for during a short return when the Confederate army briefly occupied Frankfort.
Hawaii Kingdom of Hawaii 1893 1895 Hawaii Republic of Hawaii Formed by members of the deposed government of Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii; a failed insurgency in 1895 forced the queen to formally disband the kingdom
Belgium Kingdom of Belgium in exile (1914–1918) 1914 1918 German Empire German Empire Formed in 1915 by the Government of Belgium following the German invasion during World War I. It was disbanded following the restoration of Belgian sovereignty with the Armistice with Germany.
Burma National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma 1990 2012  Republic of the Union of Myanmar Led by Sein Win and composed of members of parliament elected in 1990 but not allowed by the military to take office; based in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S. [58][59]

Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta may be considered a case of a government in exile, since it is without territory but recognised as a sovereign government by numerous sovereign countries. However, it does not claim to be a sovereign state, rather a "sovereign subject" of international law. In addition, it no longer claims jurisdiction over Malta, and recognises and maintains diplomatic relations with the Republic of Malta.

World War II

Many countries established a government in exile after loss of sovereignty in connection with World War II. The Philippine Commonwealth (invaded 9 December 1941) established a government in exile.

The Provisional Government of Free India (1943–45) was established by Indian nationalists in exile during the war; unlike most other governments in exile in this war, it was affiliated to the Axis and claimed power over an Allied (specifically, British) territory. A Bulgarian government in exile and Vichy France were also allied with the Axis.

Governments in London

Template:Governments in exile Other exiled leaders in Britain in this time included King Zog of Albania and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

The Danish exception

The Occupation of Denmark (9 April 1940) was administered mainly by the German Foreign Office, contrary to other occupied lands that were under military or civilian administration. Denmark did not establish a government in exile, although there was an Association of Free Danes established in London. King Christian X and his government remained in Denmark, and functioned comparatively independently for the first three years of German occupation. Meanwhile, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands were occupied by the Allies, and effectively separated from the Danish crown. (See British occupation of the Faroe Islands, Iceland during World War II, and History of Greenland during World War II.)

Persian Gulf War

Following the Ba'athist Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, during the Persian Gulf War, on August 2, 1990, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and senior members of his government fled to Saudi Arabia, where they set up a government-in-exile in Dhahran. The Kuwaiti government in exile was far more affluent than most other such governments, having full disposal of the very considerable Kuwaiti assets in western banks—of which it made use to conduct a massive propaganda campaign denouncing the Ba'athist Iraqi occupation and mobilizing public opinion in the western hemisphere in favor of war with Ba'athist Iraq. In March 1991, following the defeat of Ba'athist Iraq at the hands of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War, the Sheikh and his government were able to return to Kuwait.

Municipal Councils in Exile

Following the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the displacement of many Greek Cypriotes from North Cyprus, displaced inhabitants of several towns set up what are in effect Municipal Councils in Exile, headed by Mayors in Exile. The idea is the same as with a national Government in Exile - to assert a continuation of legitimate rule, even though having no control of the ground, and working towards restoration of such control. Meetings of the exiled Municipal Council of Lapithos took place in the homes of its members until the Exile Municipality was offered temporary offices at 37 Ammochostou Street, Nicosia. The current Exile Mayor of the town is Athos Eleftheriou. The same premises are shared with the Exile Municipal Council of Kythrea.

See also



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