Glossary of terms

This glossary provides definitions of the key terms used on this website and throughout the Indicators for Democratic Parliaments.

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Term Definition

In this publication, the term “official” refers primarily to office-holders or high representatives of the executive or parliament. In some countries, the term “official” is used for staff members.


In the parliamentary context, an ombudsperson ensures that public programmes and services are adequately supporting the citizens for whom they are intended. Ombudsperson offices can serve as a liaison between citizens and government services, programmes and agencies, ensuring that those resources are in compliance with regulatory frameworks and human rights standards. See also: National human rights institution (NHRI).


The parliamentary minority party or parties. In some systems, the “opposition” refers to the political party or parties in parliament that do not form the government. It is also possible that the party or parties that form the government do not have a majority in parliament. See also: Leader of the opposition.