Who are the longest-serving presidents? Well, you may be curious after reading the title. Here I am going to write down about such presidents. The greatest power is not the power of money but political power. Yes, it is the oldest drug mankind can have. Ever wonder why these rulers suffer a lot, bear hardships but never easily give up on their kingdom. If you are really interested to get an answer then act upon my words. Just close your eyes and start imagining. You are a king or ruler of a country. So, you are the owner of black and white there. A population of millions is under your subordination.
Moreover, a strong and magnificent army with swords and horses is at your call. You make rules and laws but it didn’t apply over you. Doesn’t it give you goosebumps? If not, then open your eyes and welcome back to reality. Once a wise lady Cersei Lannister said, “Knowledge is not power, power is power”. I agree and what you think let me know in the comment section. But it’s the only one side of the picture. Behind their smiling faces, they are hiding much. They never trust their own shadow.
As a phrase is there, “It is very lonely at the top”. That is right for the rulers and the kings. To save their kingdom they can go beyond their limits. In ancient times, there used to be conspiracies even against the blood relations for power. Hence there is a series of longest-serving presidents and rulers.
Here we are going to discuss the top ten Presidents who ruled their country over the span of decades.
1. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Guinea
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is one of the longest-serving rulers of Guinea as well as in the world. He was born on 5 June 1942 Acoacn, Spanish Guinea. Moreover, he is the son of Santiago Nguema Enema and Maria Mbasogo Ngui. Initially, he joined the military and achieved the rank of lieutenant. Under his uncle Macia, Obiang held various positions, including the governor of Bioko and leader of the National Guard. Further, he had also served as head of the Black Beach Prison. While later he became the president of Equatorial Guinea in 1979. His political association is with the Democratic Party.
Moreover, Teodoro married Constancia Mangue in 1968 and has two children. In August 1979, he ousted his uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema with the help of military coup. Thus he took charge of the country as a president. All was going fine until Macias violated human rights. Moreover, he ordered to murder the members of the family. Macias also was to kill the mother of him. Hence they feared that the president has become insane. That’s why Teodoro conducted a bloody coup and removed his uncle. Later, he sentenced his uncle to death. Under Teodoro’s governance Guinea emerged as an important oil producer at the beginning of 1990s. He led the African Union as a chairperson from 2011 to 2012.
Moreover, Teodoro is one of the longest-serving presidents and current national leader in the world. Length of his tenure is 40 years and 225 days. Corruption and abuse of power are widely accused of Obiang’s reign. Obiang and his party Democratic Party of Guinea (PGDC) hold virtually all governing power. Their position in the nation is as strong as day first. Teodoro makes his government a legal dictatorship. For the purpose, he made laws to give himself to sweep power, including the right to rule by decree
2. Paul Biya, Cameroon
Paul Biya, the Cameroonian president, is among the longest-serving presidents. Hew was born on 13 February 1933 in Cameron. Moreover, Cameroon was previously famous as French Cameroons. Paul is serving as a president of Cameroon since November 1982. Also, he remained Prime Minister (1975-1982) before becoming president. Thus he is in power for 45 years. And of those 38 years as president and continue. Moreover, Paul is the longest non-royal ruling leader. Also, he is the oldest ruler in Africa.
Paul, in 1960, emerged as a bureaucrat. Under President Ahmdou Ahidjo, he grew very rapidly. Hence he served as the Secretary-General of the presidency from 1968-1975. While later he became Prime Minister and simultaneously president. He succeeded Ahmdou when he resigned surprisingly in 1982. Paul was then serving as a Prime Minister. He has almost eliminated all his rivals. Hence is ruling Cameroon all alone. Moreover, his regime has huge support from France.
France has many economic and financial benefits in Cameroon. They supply weapons and train their forces. Also, France is the leading investor in Cameroon. There are over 105 key subsidiaries of France in Cameroon. Moreover, Paul introduced political reforms in 1980. According to those reforms, there was a one-party system. However, in 1990, he has to accept multi-party system under pressure. He has won a series of elections. He won the election in 1992 with 40% margin. Later he also swept in 1997, 2004, 2011 and 2018. Although his 1992 election is doubtful. There is evidence that elections were rampant with fraud.
3. Denis Sassou Nguesso, Congo
Denis Sassou is another one of the longest-serving presidents in the world. Sassou who born on 23 November 1943 in Edou is a Congolese politician. Formerly French Equatorial Africa is now Congo-Brazzaville. Since 1997 he has been serving as the president of the Republic of the Congo. Moreover, he also remained president earlier from 1979 to 1992. Hence the total presidency period of Denis is 36 years.
Further, he married Antoinette Sassou Nguesso and has 11 children. Denis, Roman Catholic by religion has political affiliation with the Congolese Party of Labour since 1969. His first reign as a president was from 1979 to 1992. In this period he headed the single-party regime of the Congolese Party of Labour(PCT). However, he introduced multiparty politics in 1990. He had to do this under the pressure of international sources. But this action stripped of executive powers by the 1991 National Conference. However, he remained in office as a ceremonial head of state.
In 1992’s presidential election, he participated and ran his campaign. But he could not win and stood in third place. During the Second Civil War (1997-1999) Denis Served as an opposition leader. However, after almost five years, he returned to power. Denis won the 2002 presidential election following a transitional period. Also, in 2009 he secured his position again as a president. In 2015, the referendum also passed a new constitution. This empowers Sassou to stand for another term. In the 2016 presidential election, Sassou re-elected with a majority in the first round. Sassou is the President of the PCT Central Committee and also one of the longest-serving presidents.
4. Idriss Deby, Chad
General Idriss Deby Itno was born on June 18, 1952, Berdoba now Chad. He is also one of the longest-serving leaders in the world. Deby’s father was a poor herder and labourer. Because he used to belong to the Bidayat clan of the Zaghawa community. He has completed his Quranic school as well as a bachelor’s degree in Science. Initially, Deby’d interest was in Aviation. So, he earned his professional pilot certificate from France in 1976. Moreover, Deby was one of the chief Chadian warlords of Hissene Habre.
In 1982, when Habre became President, Deby was commander-in-chief of the army. On 1st April 1989, a rift emerged between Deby and the president. The rift was over the increasing powers of the Presidential Guard. Deby was not satisfied with the widespread killings, systematic torture and thousands of arbitrary arrests. Habre accused Deby and many of his officers as a threat to his rule. Hence in December 1990, he led a rebellion group against President Hissene Habre and took power. He married to Hinda in 2005 and has two children.
However, Deby has also faced many rebellions against his own rule. But he survived successfully. He has a political association with the Patriotic Salvation Movement since the beginning. Also, he leads the Patriotic Salvation Movement. As a politician, he has won presidential elections in 1996 and 2001 and again in 2006, 2011 and 2016. In January 2006, he added “Itno” to his surname. The president is also a graduate of Muammar Gaddafi’s World Revolutionary Center. Deby’s length of tenure is 29 years and 104 days. Further, during his first presidency tenure, he restored the economic situation gradually. He had successful agreements with the IMF and World Bank to get monetary assist.
5. Yoweri Museveni, Uganda
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was born on 15 September 1944 Ntungamo, Uganda. He is one of the longest-serving presidents in the world. Moreover, he has been enjoying the presidency since 1986. His father was a cattle herder and mother was a housewife. However, they both were illiterate. He got his education from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Moreover, he studied economics and political science. At this time he involves himself in radical pan-African politics. Yoweri was very active in the University’s federation. He formed the University Students’ African Revolutionary Front. In the leadership of Yoweri, a student activist group gets guerrilla training in Portuguese Mozambique.
Yoweri wrote a university thesis which was crucial yet very important. He wrote on the applicability of Frantz Fanon’s ideas on revolutionary violence to post-colonial Africa. Also, he remained involved in rebellion attacks. The attacks toppled notorious Ugandan leaders Idi Amin and Milton Obote. His political party is the National Resistance Movement. Yoweri married Janet Kainembabazi in 1973. They both have 5 children. In The era of 1990, Museveni was considered as part of a new generation of African leaders. The best things about Museveni’s presidency was Uganda’s relative peace. Also, he battled with significant success against HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, Uganda also suffers from many issues. There was high-level corruption, unemployment and poverty. Yoweri’s length of tenure is 34 years and 52 days.
6. Isaias Afwerki, Eritrea
Isaias Afwerki, another name in the longest-serving presidents, is a leader of Eritrea. He was born on 2 February 1946 in Asmara, Eritrea. The area was under British Military Administration. Isaias got his education from the College of Engineering at Haile Selassie University. In The early 1960s, he joined the nationalist Eritrean student movement. Eritrea was occupied by the British army but the people fought for independence. During the war, he also met Saba Haile, his wife. She was also a freedom fighter. Also, both were struggling to liberate Eritrea in 1981.
Isaias led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in war. The passion for freedom brings a miracle for the people of Eritrea. In May 1991, Eritrea got the victory after the years. As a result, Eritrea became an independent country. Isaias held the position of president in 1993. Moreover, he is the first and current president of the country. The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice leader is ruling for 27 years. Though he criticised the other leaders for a long stay in power. But h himself is enjoying the position from 1993. Also, the UNO and Amnesty International cited him for human rights violations.
It also seems the media and press have restrictions by President Isaias as Eritrea. Because Eritrea stands last in the press-freedom index. During the first few years of presidency, Isaias took some good steps. He focused on the administration, the institutions of governance and local judicial system. Also, he did the expansion of the educational system. He took into as many regions as possible. However, then-US President Bill Clinton named him as a “Renaissance African Leader”. In 2018 Isaias has ended the long-standing border war between the Eritrea and Ethiopia. The newly elected Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also played a great role to end it.
7. Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko is the president of Belarus. He is also among the longest-serving presidents. Alexander was born on 30 August 1954 in Kopys, Byelorussian SSR Soviet Union. Lukashenko’s childhood was not so happy as he was brought up without a father. His school mates used to taunt him for having an unmarried mother. Also, his mother used to work as a milkmaid. However, in 1975, He graduated from the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute. He has served at many positions. Lukashenko served in the Border Guard and also as the instructor of the political department in the Soviet Army.
Moreover, in 1975, he married his high school sweetheart Galina Zhelnerovich. Now they are parents of two happy sons. Although they are still legally married but no more together. Galina has been estranged from her husband shortly after he became president. However, he is the President of Belarus since the office was created on 20 July 1994. He has no such political party but is independent from 1992 to present. Alex was also the winner of the international premium of Andrey Pervozvanny “For Faith and Loyalty” in 1995.
Moreover, Alex’s rival used to call him “the last dictator of Europe”. Because he possesses a domineering personality. Also, his long tenure earned him this title. Moreover, he has been serving as a president for 26 years. Apart from politics, he is a very good ice hockey player. He plays the rule of forward in the game. Alex mostly plays exhibition games alongside international players. He still holds great popularity among people and they agree that Alexander Lukashenko’s policies lead the country in the right direction. Also, Lukashenko considered himself as an “Orthodox atheist”. He believes that a president should be an orthodox and old method. Hence he says no to the use of any iPhone or iPad.
8. Ismail Omer Guelleh, Djibouti
Ismail Omer Guelleh was born on 27 November 1947 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. However, he presides Djibouti. He has been in the office since 1999 and is the current president of Djibouti. Though he was born in Ethiopia yet he migrated to Djibouti for a better future. He joined the police and became a junior non-commissioned officer. When Djibouti got independence he became head of the secret police. And later became chief of the cabinet in the government of his uncle Hassan Gouled Aptidon. Moreover, Ismail’s political association is with the People’s Rally for Progress.
In 1999, he became the president while his uncle. His uncle Hassan Gouled Aptodin had been ruling Djibouti since independence in 1977. After taking charge as a president, he showed good performance. Also, he became very popular among the public due to his policies. Therefore, Guellah was re-elected in 2005,2011 and again in 2016. Though after winning the election of 2005, Guelleh said that it would be his last term. However, he could not keep his words and stood for the third term. His decision caused a large protest in 2010 similar to the larger movement for democracy in the Arab countries. But the protests were quickly put down.
As a protest, opposition parties did not participate in the election. There was only one a less-known candidate to compete with Guelleh. Therefore, he won the election easily. Then again he made a statement that this would be his last term. But in 2016, he again took part in the election and won with about 87% of the popular vote. Guelleh faced criticism as a dictator and his rule over the violation of human rights. However, he was awarded India’s second-highest civilization award “Padma Vibhushan” on 25 January 2019. He received this award as he evacuated Indian citizens safely from Yemen. Length of his tenure is almost 21 years so he counts in the longest-serving presidents.
9. Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Syria
Bashar al Asad was born on 11 September 1965 in Damascus, Syria. He is also one among the longest-serving presidents in the world. His political affiliation is with the Syrian Ba’ath Party. Moreover, his father, Hafez al-Assad, was also the president of Syria. He ruled from 1971 to 2000. The powers transferred to Asad after his father died. Asad has been the President of Syria since 17 July 2000. Apart from the president, He is the commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces. Also, he is the Regional Secretary of the Ba’ath Party’s branch in Syria.
Asad married to Asma al Asad in 2000. The couple has three children together. Asad got his education from the medical school of Damascus University. In 1988, he got his degree in the medical. After that, he joined the Syrian Army as a doctor. Later In 1998, Asad took charge of Syrian military presence in Lebanon. After his father’s death in his office, Asad took charge as president in July 2000. Moreover, the Asad family is often considered as a dictator. Because they have ruled Syrian politics long. Also, Asad won many presidential terms. There were non-competitive and non-democratic presidential elections. All this scenario is not acceptable by political and democratic fields.
On Arab Spring protests, Asad ordered lockdowns and military sieges. Over this, the UNO accused him of war crimes. Also, there is an accusation of chemical weapons attacks against civilians. However, Assad has rejected allegations of war crimes. He criticised the American role in Syria for attempting Islamic regime change. His government called himself a secular. But opponents did not seem to agree. They claimed that the government exploits sectarian tensions. He has ruled Syria for 20 years.
10. Faure Gnassingbe, Togo
Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe Eyadema is the president of Togo. He is also one of the longest-serving presidents. Faure who born on 6 June 1966 is president since 2005. He holds a degree in financial business management from Paris. Also, had done an MBA from The George Washington University, USA. He is a Togolese politician and considered as a dictator. Before the presidency, Faure has served as Minister of Equipment and Mines. Also, he has led Posts and Telecommunications from 2003 to 2005. During these duties, his father was the president.
In 2005, after his father’s death, Faure was immediately selected as president with the support of the army. But had to face heavy pressure and criticism and resigned on 25 February. On 24 April 2005 after winning a controversial presidential election, he became the President again. Faure had won the presidential election of 2010, 2015, and 2020. Now he is ready to serve Togo for the fourth term. Faure’s opponents accused him as a dictator, Because of the law of Togo is also amended for his selection. He was the permanent part of the official functions and he was intended as his father’s successor.
Political power is real power. The feelings to rule a country is something beyond imaginations. Therefore, many leaders in the world have ruled for long. Even there are the presidents who are ruling fro 40 years. Some of those are dictators as well. They are ruling with power and military support. After all, power is an addiction and difficult to give up.
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