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

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This list details national leaders since 1900 who ruled for 30 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 Image Name Country Title Term began Term ended Term length
1
Fidel Castro2.jpg
Fidel Castro  Cuba First Secretary
Prime Minister
President
16 February 1959[1] 19 April 2011[1] 52 years, 62 days
2
Kim Il Sung Portrait-2.jpg
Kim Il-sung  North Korea Chairman of the North Korea Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea
Chairman of the Provisional People's Committee
General Secretary
Premier
President [Note 1]
Generalissimo
17 December 1945 8 July 1994 48 years, 203 days
3
Jiang Jieshi2.jpg
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)

47 years, 149 days
(22 years, 114 days in Mainland China)
(25 years, 35 days on Taiwan)[Note 2]
4
Tsedenbal BundesArchiv.jpg
Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal Mongolian People's Republic General Secretary
Prime Minister
President
8 April 1940 23 August 1984 44 years, 137 days
5
Paul Biya with Obamas cropped.jpg
Paul Biya  Cameroon Prime Minister
President
30 June 1975 present 42 years, 72 days
6
Muammar al-Gaddafi at the AU summit.jpg
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
7
Omar Bongo cropped.jpg
Omar Bongo Gabon President 2 December 1967 6 May 2009 41 years, 155 days
8
HODŽA druhá míza.jpg
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, 2005.jpg
Mohamed Abdelaziz  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic General Secretary
President
30 August 1976 31 May 2016 39 years, 275 days
10
Franco0001.PNG
Francisco Franco Spanish State Generalísimo
Head of State
Caudillo
Prime Minister
1 October 1936 20 November 1975 39 years, 50 days
11
Teodoro Obiang detail, 1650FRP051.jpg
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo  Equatorial Guinea Chairman of the Supreme Military Council
President
3 August 1979 present 38 years, 38 days
12
José Eduardo dos Santos 2.jpg
José Eduardo dos Santos People's Republic of Angola
 Angola
Party President
State President
10 September 1979 present 38 years, 0 days
13
Éamon de Valera 03.jpg
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
14
Gnassingbe Eyadema detail1 DF-SC-84-10025.jpg
Gnassingbé Eyadéma Togo President 14 April 1967 5 February 2005 37 years, 297 days
15
Robert Mugabe May 2015 (cropped).jpg
Robert Mugabe  Zimbabwe Prime Minister
President
18 April 1980 present 37 years, 145 days
16
Josip Broz Tito uniform portrait.jpg
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
17
Antonio Salazar-1.jpg
António de Oliveira Salazar Second Portuguese Republic President of the Council of Ministers 5 July 1932 25 September 1968 36 years, 82 days
18
Ali Khamenei receives Heinz Fischer in his house (6).jpg
Ali Khamenei  Iran President
Supreme Leader
13 October 1981 present 35 years, 332 days
19
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0115-0010-066, Berlin, VI. SED-Parteitag, Warnke, Shiwkow - Zhivkov.jpg
Todor Zhivkov People's Republic of Bulgaria General Secretary
Prime Minister
4 March 1954 17 November 1989 35 years, 258 days
20
Alfredo Stroessner2.jpg
Alfredo Stroessner Paraguay President 15 August 1954 3 February 1989 34 years, 172 days
21
President Ali Abdullah Saleh.jpg
Ali Abdullah Saleh  North Yemen
 Yemen
Vice President
President
24 June 1978 25 February 2012 33 years, 246 days[Note 4]
22
Nursultan Nazarbayev 27092007.jpg
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 5] present 33 years, 172 days
(25 years, 268 days after independence)
23
Denis Sassou Nguesso 2014.png
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)

33 years, 160 days
24
Houphouet-Boigny.jpg
Félix Houphouët-Boigny Côte d'Ivoire Prime Minister
President
7 August 1960 7 December 1993 33 years, 122 days
25
Hun Sen.jpg
Hun Sen  People's Republic of Kampuchea
State of Cambodia
 Cambodia
Prime Minister 14 January 1985 present 32 years, 239 days
26
Dawda Jawara (1979).jpg
Dawda Jawara  The Gambia Prime Minister
President
12 June 1962 22 July 1994 32 years, 40 days
27
Phạm Văn Đồng 1972
Phạm Văn Đồng  North Vietnam
 Vietnam
Prime Minister 20 September 1955 18 June 1987 31 years, 271 days
28
Museveni July 2012 Cropped.jpg
Yoweri Museveni Uganda President 26 January 1986 present 31 years, 227 days
29
János Kádár (fototeca.iiccr.ro).jpg
János Kádár Hungarian People's Republic General Secretary
Prime Minister
25 October 1956 27 May 1988 31 years, 215 days
30
Bourguiba 1960.jpg
Habib Bourguiba Tunisia Prime Minister
President
11 April 1956 7 November 1987 31 years, 210 days
31
LeeKuanYew-WashingtonDC-20020502.jpg
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 6]
32
Mobutu.jpg
Mobutu Sese Seko Democratic Republic of the Congo
 Zaire
President 24 November 1965 16 May 1997 31 years, 173 days
33
Dr HK Banda, first president of Malawi.jpg
Hastings Kamuzu Banda Malaŵi Prime Minister
President
1 February 1963 21 May 1994 31 years, 109 days
34
Trujillo 1952.jpg
Rafael Trujillo  Dominican Republic President
Generalísimo
3 March 1930 30 May 1961 31 years, 88 days
35
President Suharto, 1993.jpg
Suharto Indonesia President 12 March 1967 21 May 1998 31 years, 70 days
36
Urho Kekkonen 1955.jpg
Urho Kekkonen  Finland Prime Minister
President

17 March 1950 (1st time)
20 October 1954 (2nd time)

17 November 1953 (1st time)
27 January 1982 (2nd time)

30 years, 342 days
37
CroppedStalin1943.jpg
Joseph Stalin Soviet Union General Secretary
Premier
Marshal
3 April 1922 5 March 1953 30 years, 336 days
38
Porfirio Diaz in uniform.jpg
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
39
Abdou Diouf.jpg
Abdou Diouf  Senegal Prime Minister
President
26 February 1970 1 April 2000 30 years, 35 days
40
Maumoon-Abdul-Gayoom.jpg
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Maldives President 11 November 1978 11 November 2008 30 years, 0 days

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The late Kim Il-sung has been designated "Eternal President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and the post of President has formally not been filled since his death on July 8, 1994. However, effectively his son Kim Jong-il and grandson Kim Jong-un have succeeded him as dictators.
  2. ^ 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.
  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. ^ Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi served as Acting President from 4 June 2011 – 23 September 2011 and again from 23 November 2011 – 27 February 2012.
  5. ^ Nazarbayev declared the independence of Kazakhstan from the Soviet Union on December 16, 1991.
  6. ^ 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