The world’s 7 longest-serving rulers

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    President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, delivers a speech attended by his Argentinian counterpart, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the White Hall of Casa Rosada (Government Palace) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, February 13 2008 [EPA/CEZARO DE LUCA]

    Vladimir Putin is expected to win Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, giving him a fourth term that would take him to nearly a quarter-century as a head of state or government.

    Other leaders who have been in power for more than a quarter of a century include Tajikistan’s Emomali Rakhmon, Cameroon’s Paul Biy and Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema

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    Here is the list of the world rulers who have held power the longest – excluding monarchs enthroned for life.

    Longest record

    • Cuba: Topping the list with 49 years in power is Cuba’s revolutionary hero Fidel Castro, who handed over to his brother Raul in 2008 when he was in his early 80s.

    • Taiwan‘s first president, Chiang Kai-shek, was in charge of the island and mainland China for a total of 47 years until his death in 1975.

    • North Korean founder Kim Il-sung ran the reclusive state for 46 years before dying in office in 1994. He is still revered as the “eternal leader”.

    • Albania‘s Enver Hoxha was in power for 40 years until his death in 1985.

    • Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya with an iron fist for almost 42 years before being killed in 2011 by rebels.

    • Gabon: Omar Bongo Ondimba governed oil-rich Gabon for more than 41 years until his death in 2009.

    • Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe rose to power in 1980, and resigned from Zimbabwe’s top post in 2017, after a 37-year rule.

    Still counting

    • Equatorial Guinea: Currently the world’s longest-serving president is Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema, with 38 years under his belt since he toppled his uncle in 1979.

    • Cameroon‘s President Paul Biya: 35 years.

    • Congo President Denis Sassou: 34 years, excluding a five-year pause.

    • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen: 33 years.

    • Uganda‘s President Yoweri Museveni: 32 years.

    • Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: 29 years.

    • Sudan‘s President Omar al-Bashir: 28 years.

    • Chad‘s President Idriss Deby: 27 years.

    • Kazakhstan‘s President Nursultan Nazarbayev: 28 years.

    • Tajikistan‘s President Emomali Rakhmon: 25 years, first rising to power in 1992 amid a bloody civil war.

    • Eritrea‘s President Isaias Afwerki: 24 years.

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