Monarchs can lead till they are in their death beds because there is no fixed tenure for Kings and Queens. But how long can a state head hold onto power?
Even though in a democracy a state leader leading for more than 10 years is an anomaly, but in other state systems, this scene is prevalent especially in authoritarian regimes.
The individuals on the list are not always the most powerful figure in their country's national government. Some are or have been at one time the most powerful figures in their country's national government. Some of them have held more than one national leadership-level office: presidency, prime minister-ship, or some other title implying or widely believed to confer national leadership.
1. Paul Biya
The 87-year-old is the current President of Cameroon. Paul Biya came to power as the Prime Minister of the country on 30 June 1975, then he became President in 1982. He has been in power for 45 years, 133 days.
2. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is an Equatoguinean politician who has been the 2nd President of Equatorial Guinea since 3 August 1979. The 78-year-old has been in power for 41 years, 99 days.
3. Ali Khamenei
Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a Twelver Shia Marja' and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989. The 81-year-old came into power as the President of Iran on 13 October 1981. Khamenei has been ruling for 39 years, 28 days.
4. Hun Sen
Hun Sen is a Cambodian politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Cambodia since 26 December 1984. The 68-year-old has held the position for 35 years, 320 days.
5. Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is a Ugandan politician who has been President of Uganda since 26 January 1986. The 76-year-old has been in power for 34 years, 289 days.
6. Idriss Déby
Marshal Idriss Déby Itno is a Chadian politician who has been the President of Chad since 2 December 1990. The 68-year-old is in power for 29 years, 344 days.
7. Nursultan Nazarbayev
Nursultan Ábishuly Nazarbayev is a Kazakh politician currently serving as the Chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan who previously served as the first President of Kazakhstan, in office from 16 December 1991 until his formal resignation on 19 March 2019. The 80-year-old has been serving the country for 28 years, 330 days.
8. Emomali Rahmon
Emomali Rahmon is a Tajik politician who has served as President of Tajikistan since 19 November 1992. He was the De facto Head of State of Tajikistan and then became the President. The 68-year-old has been in power for 27 years, 357 days.
9. Isaias Afwerki
Isaias Afwerki is an Eritrean politician who has been the first and current president of Eritrea. He came into power on 24 May 1993 after the Eritrean War of Independence. The 74-year-old has held power for 27 years, 170 days.
10. Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is a Rwandan politician and former military leader. He is the 6th and current President of Rwanda, having taken office in 2000. Previously, he was the Acting Head of State, in office from 19 July 1994. The 63-year-old has been in power for 26 years, 114 days.