List of longest-ruling non-royal national leaders since 1900

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This list details national leaders since 1900 who ruled for 20 years or more, and were not self-described royalty. It also combines all national leader level offices held concurrently or consecutively by each individual.

Rank Name Country Title Term began Term ended Term length
1 Fidel Castro  Cuba First Secretary
Prime Minister
President
Maximum Leader
16 February 1959[1] 19 April 2011[1] 52 years, 62 days
2 Chiang Kai-shek  Republic of China
(1912–1949)

 Republic of China on Taiwan
(1949–present)
Chairman of the National Government
Premier of the Republic/Director-General of the Kuomintang
Generalissimo
President

9 July 1926 (1st time)
6 March 1932 (2nd time)
1 March 1950 (3rd time)

15 December 1931 (1st time)
21 January 1949 (2nd time)
5 April 1975 (3rd time)

48 years, 270 days
(22 years, 196 days in Mainland China)
(25 years, 35 days on Taiwan)[Note 1]
3 Kim Il-sung  North Korea General Secretary
Premier
President [Note 2]
Generalissimo
9 September 1948 8 July 1994 45 years, 302 days
4 Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal Mongolian People's Republic General Secretary
Prime Minister
President
8 April 1940 23 August 1984 44 years, 137 days
5 Muammar Gaddafi Libyan Arab Republic
 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council
Secretary General of the General People's Congress
Prime Minister
1 September 1969 20 October 2011[Note 3] 42 years, 49 days
6 Paul Biya  Cameroon Prime Minister
President
30 June 1975 present 41 years, 164 days
7 Omar Bongo Gabon President 2 December 1967 6 May 2009 41 years, 155 days
8 Enver Hoxha People's Republic of Albania
People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Prime Minister
First Secretary
22 October 1944 11 April 1985 40 years, 171 days
9 Mohamed Abdelaziz  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic General Secretary
President
30 August 1976 31 May 2016 39 years, 275 days
10 Francisco Franco Spanish State Generalísimo
Head of State
Caudillo
Prime Minister
1 October 1936 20 November 1975 39 years, 50 days
11 Éamon de Valera Irish Republic
Irish Free State
 Ireland
President of Dáil Éireann
President of the Republic
President of the Executive Council
Taoiseach
President

1 April 1919 (1st time)
9 March 1932 (2nd time)
13 June 1951 (3rd time)
20 March 1957 (4th time)
25 June 1959 (5th time)

9 January 1922 (1st time)
18 February 1948 (2nd time)
2 June 1954 (3rd time)
23 June 1959 (4th time)
24 June 1973 (5th time)

37 years, 347 days
12 Gnassingbé Eyadéma Togo President 14 April 1967 5 February 2005 37 years, 297 days
13 Kaisôn Phomvihān Sam Neua, Kingdom of Laos
Lao People's Democratic Republic
General Secretary/Party Chairman
Prime Minister
President
22 March 1955[Note 4] 21 November 1992 37 years, 244 days
(16 years, 355 days after the
establishment of LPDR)
14 Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo  Equatorial Guinea Chairman of the Supreme Military Council
President
3 August 1979 present 37 years, 130 days
15 José Eduardo dos Santos People's Republic of Angola
 Angola
Party President
State President
10 September 1979 present 37 years, 92 days
16 Robert Mugabe  Zimbabwe Prime Minister
President
18 April 1980 present 36 years, 237 days
17 Josip Broz Tito Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
General Secretary/President of the Presidency of
the Central Committee

Prime Minister
President
Marshal
29 November 1943 4 May 1980 36 years, 157 days
18 António de Oliveira Salazar Second Portuguese Republic President of the Council of Ministers 5 July 1932 25 September 1968 36 years, 82 days
19 Todor Zhivkov People's Republic of Bulgaria General Secretary
Prime Minister
4 March 1954 17 November 1989 35 years, 258 days
20 Ali Khamenei  Iran President
Supreme Leader
13 October 1981 present 35 years, 59 days
21 Alfredo Stroessner Paraguay President 15 August 1954 3 February 1989 34 years, 172 days
22 Ali Abdullah Saleh  North Yemen
 Yemen
President 18 July 1978 25 February 2012 33 years, 222 days
23 Mao Zedong Shaan-Gan-Ning, Republic of China
People's Republic of China
Party Chairman
State Chairman
Paramount Leader
20 March 1943[Note 5] 9 September 1976 33 years, 173 days
(26 years, 344 days after the
establishment of PRC)
24 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Côte d'Ivoire Prime Minister
President
7 August 1960 7 December 1993 33 years, 122 days
25 Nursultan Nazarbayev Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
 Kazakhstan
Prime Minister of the Kazakh SSR
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the
Kazakh SSR

Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the
Kazakh SSR
/President of the Kazakh SSR

President
22 March 1984[Note 6] present 32 years, 264 days
(24 years, 361 days after independence)
26 Denis Sassou Nguesso  People's Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
President of the Central Committee
State President

8 February 1979 (1st time)
25 October 1997 (2nd time)

31 August 1992 (1st time)
present (2nd time)

32 years, 252 days
27 Dawda Jawara  The Gambia Prime Minister
President
12 June 1962 22 July 1994 32 years, 40 days
28 Hun Sen  People's Republic of Kampuchea
State of Cambodia
 Cambodia
Prime Minister 14 January 1985 present 31 years, 332 days
29 Phạm Văn Đồng  North Vietnam
 Vietnam
Prime Minister 20 September 1955 18 June 1987 31 years, 271 days
30 János Kádár Hungarian People's Republic General Secretary
Prime Minister
25 October 1956 27 May 1988 31 years, 215 days
32 Lee Kuan Yew  Singapore Prime Minister 5 June 1959 28 November 1990 31 years, 176 days
(as Prime Minister)
(51 years, 350 days as a Member
of the Cabinet)[Note 7]
33 Mobutu Sese Seko Democratic Republic of the Congo
 Zaire
President 24 November 1965 16 May 1997 31 years, 173 days
34 Hastings Kamuzu Banda Malaŵi Prime Minister
President
1 February 1963 21 May 1994 31 years, 109 days
35 Rafael Trujillo  Dominican Republic President
Generalísimo
3 March 1930 30 May 1961 31 years, 88 days
36 Suharto Indonesia President 12 March 1967 21 May 1998 31 years, 70 days
37 Joseph Stalin Soviet Union General Secretary
Premier
Marshal
3 April 1922 5 March 1953 30 years, 336 days
38 Yoweri Museveni Uganda President 26 January 1986 present 30 years, 320 days
39 Porfirio Díaz Mexico President

28 November 1876 (1st time)
17 February 1877 (2nd time)
1 December 1884 (3rd time)

6 December 1876 (1st time)
1 December 1880 (2nd time)
25 May 1911 (3rd time)

30 years, 106 days
40 Abdou Diouf  Senegal Prime Minister
President
26 February 1970 1 April 2000 30 years, 35 days
41 Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Maldives President 11 November 1978 11 November 2008 30 years, 0 days
42 Juan Vicente Gómez Flag of Venezuela (1863-1905).svg United States of Venezuela President of the United States of Venezuela 19 December 1908 17 December 1935 26 years, 313 days

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ After the first time Chiang Kai-shek stepped down in December 1931, his power was shared by Hu Hanmin, Wang Jingwei, and Lin Sen among others. After the second time he left his state position in January 1949, Chiang was succeed by then Vice President Li Zongren. However, Chiang was still the de facto leader of Mainland China until he and the Kuomintang moved to Taiwan in December 1949.
  2. ^ The late Kim Il-sung has been designated "Eternal President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and the post of President has not been filled since his death on July 8, 1994.
  3. ^ For purposes of this article, 20 October 2011 is considered to be the date that Gaddafi left office. Other dates might have been chosen.
    • On 15 July 2011, at a meeting in Istanbul, more than 30 governments, including the United States, withdrew recognition from Gaddafi's government and recognised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government of Libya.
    • On 23 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli, Gaddafi lost effective political and military control of Tripoli after his compound was captured by rebel forces.
    • On 25 August 2011, the Arab League proclaimed the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council to be "the legitimate representative of the Libyan state".
    • On 20 October 2011, Gaddafi was captured and killed near his hometown of Sirte.
    • In a ceremony on 23 October 2011, officials of the interim National Transitional Council declared, "We declare to the whole world that we have liberated our beloved country, with its cities, villages, hill-tops, mountains, deserts and skies."
  4. ^ Phomvihān established the Lao People's Democratic Republic on December 2, 1975.
  5. ^ Mao established the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.
  6. ^ Nazarbayev declared the independence of Kazakhstan from the Soviet Union on December 16, 1991.
  7. ^ After leaving office as Prime Minister, Lee was given the emeritus positions of Senior Minister (1990–2004) and Minister Mentor (2004–2011). Lee still had effective influence in the Cabinet until 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Depalma, Anthony (2011-08-03). "Fidel Castro News". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 

External links[edit]

  • Rulers.org List of rulers throughout time and places