Today on satellite I heard someone say Kharzai is a retired president. The reporter actually made it correct but I did not get the word. Perhaps "retired president" is not lexically correct, is it?

What do you usually call a president who is not going to be in power after the new election?

3 Answers 3


If a president did not step down yet, the term is outgoing president.

An outgoing politician is an elected or appointed politician that is serving at some point between the time of the election or appointment of his or her successor and the inauguration or date by which the successor assumes power. For heads of state, the terms used are outgoing president and outgoing prime minister, among other ones.

Once he steps down: retired president, ex-president, or former president.


The most common term for any officeholder facing departure from office is lame duck.

There is an article on Wikipedia which describes the origin of this term: a lame duck is one which is unable to keep up with its flock and therefore is singled out for attack by predators.

A lame duck politician loses considerable ‘clout’ because his ability to reward allies and penalize enemies will soon disappear.


To refer to an existing president as a "retired president" would not be correct.

If they wish to refer to a president that is leaving their post then it depends on what reason that is. If it is because of retirement, as you suggest, then this would more correctly be referred to as the "retiring president".

I've tried to think of a more generic term for a president coming to the end of their time in office but I can't think of one. (Edit - Outgoing, that was it).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .