Museveni officially joins the club of longest serving African leaders

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Following his re-election last Thursday for another five year term, President Museveni 76, who has ruled Uganda since January 1986, will be 40 years in power by the next General Election in 2026. He will be 81 years old.
In his inaugural speech at Parliament after capturing power in 1986 through guerrilla struggle, Mr Museveni condemned African leaders who overstay in power.

The re-election takes Mr Museveni to the group of longest serving leaders on the continent

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Other leaders

EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Teodoro Obiang – 41 years

Obiang, 78, seized power from his uncle in a coup. While opposition parties were legalised in 1992, Obiang’s Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea dominates. He has won over 90% of votes at every election, some of which the opposition boycotted.

CAMEROON – Paul Biya – 38 years

Biya, 87, took over in 1982 from President Ahmadou Ahidjo after serving as prime minister for seven years. Biya has won five multi-party elections since 1992. The opposition has called the results fraudulent. Two-term limits were abolished in 2008.

CONGO REPUBLIC – Denis Sassou Nguesso – 37 years

Sassou Nguesso, 77, assumed office in 1979 before losing the country’s first multi-party elections in 1992. He regained power in 1997 after a civil war and changed the constitution in 2015 to let himself stand for re-election the following year.

Yoweri Museveni – 35 years

Museveni, 76, became president when his forces seized the capital Kampala after a five-year guerrilla struggle. Museveni has won five elections since 1996. Parliament has twice changed the constitution to allow him to run, first removing a two-term limit in 2005 and then abolishing the age limit of 75 in 2017.

Paul Kagame – 20 years 8 months

Kagame, 63, was widely seen as the de facto leader of Rwanda after his rebel army ended the 1994 genocide. He was elected president by parliament in 2000. The constitution was changed in 2015 to let him seek a third seven-year term in 2017 and two more five-year terms, meaning he could stay in power until 2034.

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