AFRICAN leaders lock out the first four positions in the list of current longest ruling non-royal national leaders in the world.
Of the top 15, nine are from Africa.
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya is perched at the top with 41 years, followed by Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has logged 37 years.
Close on his heels and just 38 days shy, is Angola’s José Eduardo dos Santos.
Zimbabwe’s ever-headline-making Robert Mugabe, who at 92 years is also the world’s oldest executive head of state, next makes an entrance with 36 years.
None of the nine leaders makes the list of top 15 democratic leaders on the continent.
Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2016 report lists the majority of the countries they lead as “Not free” and a few as “Partly free”. None of them is considered “Free”.
The continent has also seen the continuation of the lifting of presidential term limits, where they existed.
Last year violence broke out in Burundi, after President Pierre Nkurunziza bidded for a third term. In Rwanda, a referendum lifted term limits, allowing President Paul Kagame to run and potentially be in office until 2034.
In the Republic of Congo, President Denis Sassou Nguesso pushed through a constitutional amendment to abolish the upper age limit of 70 for presidential candidates, allowing him to stand again and win a derided victory.
Controversial cartoonist Gado (above) weighs in with two cartoons on the subject, and also looks at possible new entrants into the strongman club.