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As Yahya Jammeh finally stepped down, here's a list of 7 Africa's current longest-serving leaders


The past two weeks have placed the African continent on the world map for the wrong reasons. Ex- Gambian President Yahya Jammeh held on to power forcing the newly elected Adama Barrow to be sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Senegal.
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He has been in power for more than 22 years, but other current African leaders have ruled longer. Below is a list of Seven other African leaders who have led for more than 30 years...

Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) -- 36 years

Age: 92

In power since: April 1980, when his country gained independence after he coordinated a guerrilla war against white colonial rulers. He first was prime minister, then took the presidency in 1987 -- elected by the national assembly -- when a new constitution created the office to replace the prime minister's office.

Current election rules: Five-year terms, no term limits. He has claimed victory in popular votes -- sometimes highly controversially -- in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2013. He is the last living African leader who's been in power continuously since his country's independence.



King Mswati III (Swaziland) -- 30 years
Age: 48

In power since: April 1986, upon turning 18, nearly four years after the death of his father, the previous king.

No popular election for the king: Swaziland is Africa's last remaining absolute monarchy, which is hereditary. The country has an elected Parliament, and Mswati chooses a prime minster from among the elected members.


Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (Equatorial Guinea) -- 37 years
Age: 74

In power since: August 3, 1979, when he toppled his uncle in a military coup.
Current election rules: The president is elected in a majority popular vote for seven-year terms. This leader last claimed victory in an April 2016 election, reportedly with 93.7% of the vote. Opposition members and human rights groups have questioned the elections' fairness.



Denis Sassou-Nguesso (Republic of Congo) -- 33 years, nonconsecutive
Age: 73

In power since: It's complicated. He first was president from 1979 to 1992, when he was defeated in an election. He returned to power in 1997 during a civil war, eventually standing for and winning a presidential election in 2002.

Current election rules: Majority popular vote. Up to three five-year terms, though a 2015 constitutional referendum allowed Sassou-Nguesso to forgo the limits, according to Freedom House, a US nonprofit that promotes democracy. The last election was in March 2016.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos (Angola) -- 37 years
Age: 74

In power since: September 1979, when he was elected the ruling party's leader upon the previous president's death.
Current election rules: Under terms of a constitution approved in 2010, the leader of the party that wins a popular parliamentary vote is president for five years. Dos Santos' party won elections in 2012, so under the new rules, he started the first of a possible two terms. The election was Angola's third since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975, as it was often wracked by civil war.



Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) -- 31 years

Age: 72

In power since: January 1986, when Museveni, a guerrilla leader and former defense minister, ousted a military regime.

Current election rules: Majority popular vote for five-year terms, with no term limits. Museveni held the presidency for 10 years before he was chosen in the country's first direct presidential election in 1996. After his re-election in 2001, Parliament removed presidential term limits in 2005. He was elected for a fifth term in February 2016.

Paul Biya (Cameroon) -- 34 years
Age: 83

In power since: November 1982, when the then-prime minister succeeded a president who resigned.

Current election rules: Majority popular vote for seven-year terms. Last elected in October 2012. No term limits.

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