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A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship is a state ruled by one dictator or by a polity. The word originated as the title of a Roman dictator elected by the Roman Senate to rule the republic in times of emergency. Like the term tyrant, and to a lesser degree autocrat, dictator came to be used almost exclusively as a non-titular term for oppressive rule. In modern usage the term dictator is generally used to describe a leader who holds or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power. Dictatorships are often characterised by some of the following: suspension of elections and civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency; rule by decree; repression of political opponents; not abiding by the procedures of the rule of law; and the existence of a cult of personality centered on the leader. Dictatorships are often one-party or dominant-party states. A wide variety of leaders coming to power in different kinds of regimes, such as one-party or dominant-party states and civilian governments under a personal rule, have been described as dictators. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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