The world's longest ruling national leaders may make you thankful for term limits
The results of the 2016 election have elicited strong reactions from Americans who fall on either sides of the political aisle. Whether you were disappointed or elated, one of the beautiful things about America is that we have term limits. Michelle Obama recently told Vogue that eight years 'is enough.'
"It's important to have one foot in reality when you have access to this kind of power," the first lady affirmed.
But for some, eight years in office can feel like abiding by a leader you may not always agree with.
While it is difficult to define a dictatorship due to dubious 'democratic' voting systems, many of current longest ruling non-royal heads of states coincided with the least free countries in the world.
Freedom House released its 2016 Freedom in the World report, and of the world's 25 long-ruling leaders, 21 of their countries fell into the 'not free' category. Only Zimbabwe, Samoa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Turkey fell into the 'free' or 'partially free' categories.
Although the 'African Strongman' comes to mind when discussing long-term political leaders (Cameroon's President Paul Biya has been in power since 1982), it is certainly not a continent-specific issue. Europe, the Caribbean and Africa all have leaders in office over 13 years as well.
It is also worth noting that the long ruling national leaders are not necessarily the country's most powerful. For example, Kim Yong-nam has been the nominal president of North Korea, but Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader and chairman.
So, if you are already looking ahead to 2020 for a change in government, then at least consider yourself lucky that our nation's leader can't stay in power for 41 years.
Click below to see the longest ruling non-royal national leaders: