A government in exile is a political group which claims to be a country or semi-sovereign states legitimate government, but is unable to exercise legal power and instead resides in another state or foreign country. 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. 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 countrys west. A government in exile, in contrast, has lost all its territory.
Exiled governments tend to 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. On the other hand, the Provisional Government of Free India sought to use support from the invading Japanese to gain control of the country from what it viewed as British occupiers. A government in exile may also form from widespread belief in the illegitimacy of a ruling government. Due to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, for instance, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was formed by groups whose members sought to end the rule of the ruling Baath Party.
The effectiveness of a government in exile depends primarily on the amount of support it receives, either from foreign governments or from the population of its own country. Some exiled governments come to 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 the formal utilization 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 again at the Glorious Revolution see James Francis Edward Stuart § Court in exile. The House of Bourbon would be another example because it continued to be recognized by other countries at the time as the legitimate government of France after it was overthrown by the populace during the French Revolution. This continued to last through the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic Wars from 1803–04 to 1815. With the spread of constitutional monarchy, monarchical governments which were exiled 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:
retaining, or newly obtaining, diplomatic recognition from other states
amending or revising its own constitution
becoming a party to a bilateral or international treaty
issuing identity cards
maintaining military forces
allowing the formation of new political parties
In cases where a host country holds a large expatriate population from a government in exiles 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.
2. 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.
2.1. Current governments in exile 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.
2.2. Current governments in exile Current government regarded by some as a "government-in-exile"
Government of the Republic of China: The currently Taipei-based Republic of China government does not regard itself as a government-in-exile, but is claimed to be such by some participants in the debate on the political status of Taiwan. In addition to the island of Taiwan and some other islands it currently controls, the Republic of China formally maintains claims over territory now controlled by the Peoples Republic of China as well as some parts of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan. The usual formal reasoning on which this "government-in-exile" claim is based relies on an argument that the sovereignty of Taiwan was not legitimately handed to the Republic of China at the end of World War II, and on that basis the Republic of China is located in foreign territory, therefore effectively making it a government in exile. By contrast, this theory is not accepted by those who view the sovereignty of Taiwan as having been legitimately returned to the Republic of China at the end of the war. Both the Peoples Republic of China government and the Kuomintang in Republic of China Taiwan hold the latter view.
However, there are also some who do not accept that the sovereignty of Taiwan was legitimately returned to the Republic of China at the end of the war nor that the Republic of China is a government-in-exile, and Chinas territory does not include Taiwan. The current Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan is inclined to this view, and supports Taiwanese independence.
2.3. Current governments in exile Deposed governments of current subnational territories
These governments in exile claim legitimacy of autonomous territories of another state and have been created by deposed governments or rulers, who do not claim independence as a separate state.
2.4. Current governments in exile 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.
2.5. Current governments in exile 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.
2.6. Current governments in exile 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 groups 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.
From the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988 in exile in Algiers by the Palestine Liberation Organization, it has effectively functioned as the government in exile of the Palestinian State. In 1994, however the PLO established the Palestinian National Authority interim territorial administration as result of the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO, Israel, the United States, and Russia. Between 1994 and 2013, the PNA functioned as an autonomy, thus while the government was seated in the West Bank it was not sovereign. In 2013, Palestine was upgraded to a non-member state status in the UN.
All of the above created an ambiguous situation, in which there are two distinct entities: The Palestinian Authority, exercising a severely limited amount of control on the ground under the tutelage of an Israeli military occupation; and the State of Palestine, recognized by the United Nations and by numerous countries as a fully sovereign and independent state, but not able to exercise such sovereignty on the ground. Both are headed by the same person - as of February 2016, President Mahmud Abbas - but are judicially distinct. For example, a dissolution of The Palestinian Authority and resumption of full rule on the ground by Israel would not in itself affect the State of Palestine, which could continue to exist as a government-in-exile diplomatically recognized by the UN and by numerous countries.
The historic country "Yakthung Laje Limbuwan Kirat" had its own territory that fall on presently in the western part of the north-east India and eastern part of the Nepal. The ten Limbu Kings had ruled over long years in the territory then after, the Gorkha king had practiced to invade many more times but failed to overrun to it and the two countries made treaty in 1774 A.D. The treaty led to form the Nepal with the division of equal kingship and ruling occupation. No sooner than the treaty was violate by the Gorkha kings that led to devastate the Yakhung laje Limbuwan territory and misused the power over the contemporary Limbu Yakhung rulers that is why, the thirty two thousands of Limbus were fled away to be safe from the atrocities and torture made by the Gorkha kings. So, they had to left their motherland and exiled in different countries like Burma, Bhutan and India. As well as, the territory had divided into two countries because of the Sugoulee treaty that held in 1815 A.D. between Nepal and East India Company while the eastern part the Mechi river to Teesta river has given to the East India Company. The Yakthung rulers were not asked and for the historic tasks made by Gorkha King. Unfortunately, the Yakthung Limbus were divided into two nationals and lost their land original Yakthung Limbuwan nationality.
Now, the Yakthung Limbuwan nationalists claiming their land while it is remained as stateless nation for long time. The different movements and revolutions are being held for the Limbuwan land however, the unification of the divided nationalities and the territory were not much on loud sound till yet. But, Yakhung Laje Limbuwan National Council YLLNC has formed to unite the nationalities and to form the independent Yakhung Laje Limbuwan country in the presidency of Mr. Nir Kumar Sambahangphe Limbu in 2018. The council has proclaimed the independent and sovereign country "Yakhung Laje Limbuwan" but the two governments of India and Nepal has made deaf ear on the issues that would led to compel to form the government in exile for Yakthung Laje Limbuwan.
2.7. Current governments in exile Exiled governments with ambiguous status
These governments have ties to the areas they represent, but their claimed status and/or stated aims are sufficiently ambiguous that they could fit into other categories.
3.1. Past governments in exile 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 independent Republic of Malta.
3.2. Past governments in exile World War II
Many countries established a government in exile after loss of sovereignty in connection with World War II.
3.3. Past governments in exile Governments-in-exile in Asia
The Philippine Commonwealth invaded December 9, 1941 established a government in exile in Australia and the United States.
While formed long before World War II, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea continued in exile in China until the end of the war.
At the fall of Java, and the surrender by the Dutch on behalf of Allied forces on March 8, 1942, many Dutch-Indies officials including Dr van Mook and Dr Charles van der Plas managed to flee to Australia in March 1942, and on December 23, 1943, the Royal Government Dutch decreed an official Netherlands East Indies Government-in-exile, with Dr van Mook as Acting Governor General, on Australian soil until Dutch rule was restored in the Indies.
3.4. Past governments in exile Axis-aligned governments in exile
Under the auspices of the Axis powers, Axis-aligned groups from some countries set up "governments-in-exile" in Axis territory, even though internationally recognized governments were in place in their home countries. The main purpose of these was to recruit and organize military units composed of their nationals in the host country.
3.5. Past governments in exile Persian Gulf War
Following the Baathist 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 Taif. 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 Baathist Iraqi occupation and mobilizing public opinion in the Western world in favor of war with Baathist Iraq. In March 1991, following the defeat of Baathist Iraq at the hands of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War, the Sheikh and his government were able to return to Kuwait.
3.6. Past governments in exile Municipal councils in exile
Following the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the displacement of many Greek Cypriots 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.
Also in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, the administration of the part retained by the Republic of Cyprus considers itself as a "District administration in exile", since the districts capital Famagusta had been under Turkish control since 1974.
4. Fictional governments in exile
Works of alternate history as well as science fictional depictions of the future sometimes include fictional governments in exile.
Algis Budrys The Falling Torch is set in a future time when Earth was conquered and occupied by extra-terrestrial humanoid invaders. Many years later, the Earth government in exile, located at a human colony planet orbiting Alpha Centauri, is holding a regular meeting in an atmosphere of dejection and futility – its hosts being indifferent to Earths plight and unwilling to offer any real help. The Exile Prime Minister is shown more involved with his successful career as the chef of a luxury hotel than with the seemingly non-existent hope of liberating Earth. This depiction might have drawn on the writers actual experience as a member of the exile Lithuanian community in the 1950s US, at the time seeing little hope of shaking the Soviet hold of its homeland.
In If Israel Lost the War by Robert Littell, Richard Z. Chesnoff and Edward Klein, Israel is defeated in the 1967 Six-Day War and its territory occupied by Arab armies. Thereupon, David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir set up an Israeli government in exile in America.
In Len Deightons SS-GB, Britain is defeated and occupied by Nazi Germany. A British government in exile is formed, but finds it far from easy to secure international recognition. Specifically, Deighton refers to this government in exile needing to go to the American courts and wage a prolonged struggle against the London-based Nazi-collaborating government, before securing possession of the British Embassy in Washington.