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Australia
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South Africa
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National Leaders

Current Incumbents

Country Post Since Name Notes
Australia Prime Minister 2015 Click to show or hide the answer Successfully challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party in September 2015
Canada Prime Minister 2015 Click to show or hide the answer Son of Pierre Trudeau; replaced former UK–based (but Canadian–born) journalist Michael Ignatieff as leader of the Liberal Party in 2013, and led them to victory in the election of September 2015
China President 2013 Click to show or hide the answer Made a state visit to the UK in 2015, addressing both houses of Parliament
Cuba President 2008 Click to show or hide the answer As Vice–President (to his brother Fidel), succeeded in a temporary capacity in 2006 due to Fidel's ill health; the appointment was made permanent in 2008 after Fidel announced that he would not be standing for re–election
France President 2017 Click to show or hide the answer France's youngest–ever president (aged 39 years and 144 days, on taking office)
Prime Minister 2017 Click to show or hide the answer  
Republic of Ireland President 2011 Click to show or hide the answer First Irish president to make a state visit to the UK (April 2014)
Japan Prime Minister 2012 Click to show or hide the answer
New Zealand Prime Minister 2016 Click to show or hide the answer Former deputy to John Key, and Minister of Finance; became leader of the National Party (and so Prime Minister) in December 2016 following Key's resignation

Australia

The six self–governing colonies of Australia were federated in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

11901–3 Click to show or hide the answer Australia's first PM
121939–41
1949–66
Click to show or hide the answer Australia's longest–serving PM: 2 years 124 days, plus 16 years 28 days – 18 years 152 days in total
171966–7 Click to show or hide the answer Died in office – disappeared while swimming in the sea off Cheviot Beach, near Melbourne, in December 1967
211972–5 Click to show or hide the answer Controversially dismissed by Governor General Sir John Kerr for failing to call a general election after a crisis of confidence
221975–83 Click to show or hide the answer  
231983–91 Click to show or hide the answer Won a record 4th general election in 1990; nicknamed "the Silver Bodgie"
241991–6 Click to show or hide the answer Successfully challenged Bob Hawke for leadership of the Labor Party, at the second attempt; nicknamed 'The Lizard of Oz' after putting his arm around the Queen during her 1992 tour of Australia
251996–2007 Click to show or hide the answer Australia's second longest serving PM, after Menzies; accused of emulating Keating when photographed with his arm almost around the Queen – but denied that any contact was made
262007–10
Jun–Sep 2013
Click to show or hide the answer Apologised to indigenous Australians, soon after being elected, for the "stolen generations" (children removed from their families between around 1905 and 1969)
272010–13 Click to show or hide the answer Australia's first female PM
282013–15 Click to show or hide the answer Born in London 1957; British father, Australian mother; family moved to Sydney three years later
292015– Click to show or hide the answer Successfully challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party in September 2015

Canada

11867–73 Click to show or hide the answer
21873–8 Click to show or hide the answer  
11878–91 Click to show or hide the answer Served for 12 years 232 days – plus 6 years 127 days in his first period – in total, just 6 days short of 19 years
6May–Jul 1896 Click to show or hide the answer Canada's shortest–serving PM (69 days)
81911–20 Click to show or hide the answer Canada's PM throughout World War I; elected in 1911 as a Conservative, re–elected in 1917 as a Unionist
91920–1 Click to show or hide the answer  
101921–6 Click to show or hide the answer  
9Jun–Sep 1926 Click to show or hide the answer  
101926–30 Click to show or hide the answer  
111930–5 Click to show or hide the answer  
101935–48 Click to show or hide the answer Canada's longest–serving PM: 13 years 23 days, plus 4 years 181 days in his first period and 4 years 316 days in his second – total 22 years 155 days
121948–57 Click to show or hide the answer  
131957–63 Click to show or hide the answer Nicknamed 'the Prairie Lawyer'; won the greatest landslide in Canadian history in 1958; defeated over nuclear policy
141963–8 Click to show or hide the answer Foreign Minister 1948–57; Nobel Peace Prize winner 1957; Toronto's airport is named after him
151968–79 Click to show or hide the answer  
161979–80 Click to show or hide the answer Youngest Canadian PM (elected on the day before his 40th birthday); defeated 9 months later in a motion of no confidence on his first budget
151980–4 Click to show or hide the answer  
17Jun–Sep 1984 Click to show or hide the answer Dissolved Parliament immediately after being sworn in, then lost the election in a landslide
181984–93 Click to show or hide the answer  
19Jun–Nov 1993 Click to show or hide the answer Canada's first female PM – lost her seat in the disastrous 1993 election
201993–2003 Click to show or hide the answer  
212003–6 Click to show or hide the answer  
222006–15 Click to show or hide the answer  
232015– Click to show or hide the answer Son of Pierre Trudeau

China

China was ruled by an Emperor until 1912, when Henry Pu Yi (a.k.a. Puyi) abdicated and the Republic of China was established. This was replaced in 1945 by the (Communist) People's Republic of China, which was led by Mao Zedong until his death in 1976. Mao's official title was generally translated into English as Chairman (of the People's Republic of China). This post was abolished in 1975, after which the functions of head of state were performed by the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (but see Deng Xiaoping, below). The office of President was reinstated in 1982, but Deng continued to act as the effective head of state until his retirement in 1992. Since then, the President has been the effective head of state.

Founded the Chinese National People's Party, 1894; first (provisional) President of China – 1 Jan to 10 March 1912 – after playing a vital role in deposing the emperor; president of a breakaway government 1921–5; founder of Kuomintang Click to show or hide the answer
Emerged as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, soon after its foundation in 1921; organised the Long March (1934–6) and the war of liberation (1937–49); Chairman of the People's Republic of China, 1954–9; Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, and as such the political and national leader of China, from 1945 until his death in 1976 Click to show or hide the answer
Effective leader of China, 1978–92: leader of a powerful group of senior Communist party figures, known as the Eight Elders; often referred to as "paramount leader", but was never General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party or President Click to show or hide the answer
President of China, 1993–2003 (General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 2002); saw the return of Hong Kong from UK rule in 1997, and Macao from Portugal in 1999 Click to show or hide the answer
President, 2003–13 Click to show or hide the answer
President from 2013 – made a state visit to the UK in 2015, addressing both houses of Parliament Click to show or hide the answer

Egypt

Egypt was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. After the British successfully supported the Ottoman defeat of Napoleon's invasion of 1798–1801, power was seized in 1805 by Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian military commander of the Ottoman army, who then declared himself Khedive (roughly equivalent to the term Viceroy). His hereditary successors continued to use this title, and in 1867 it was officially recognised by the Ottomans.

At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Ottoman Empire took the side of the Central Powers. Britain then declared Egypt a protectorate, deposing Abbas II as khedive and appointing his uncle, Hussein Kamel, as sultan in his place (asserting his independence from the Ottoman sultans). In 1922 the UK government unilaterally declared Egypt independent, but retained control of foreign affairs, communications, and the military. In 1936 the UK agreed to withdraw all its troops from Egypt except those required to protect the Suez Canal. In 1952 there was a military coup, and in 1953 a Republic was declared, with General Muhammad Naguib as its first President. Naguib was overthrown less than 18 months later by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was the real architect of the 1952 coup.

First President (1953) and again in 1954; ousted by Nasser Click to show or hide the answer
1956–70: prompted the 1956 Suez crisis by nationalising the canal (after Eisenhower withdrew US financial support for the building of the Aswan Dam, which in turn was a response to Egypt's support for China in its dispute with Taiwan) Click to show or hide the answer
1970–81: assassinated by members of his own armed forces, during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal in 1973 (which started the Yom Kippur War) Click to show or hide the answer
1981–2011: stepped down amid mass protests; sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 on charges relating to corruption and abuse of power Click to show or hide the answer

France

Presidents

First President of France, 1848 (later Emperor) Click to show or hide the answer
First President of the Third French Republic (1873–9); previously led the French troops to victory at the Battle of Magenta (1859), created Duke of Magenta by Napoleon. His ancestors had emigrated from Ireland in the reign of James II to escape the Penal Laws Click to show or hide the answer
President who fell from the Orient Express on 24 May 1920 – was unhurt, but resigned 4 months later and died in 1922 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the Free French forces in World War II; founded the Fifth Republic 1958, and served as President 1959–69; survived 31 assassination attempts; twice vetoed the UK's application to join the EEC (under Macmillan in 1963 and Wilson in 1967) – on the first occasion famously speaking the single word "non" into the TV cameras, on the second asserting that Britain was too reliant on the USA Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded de Gaulle, 1969; died in office 1974 Click to show or hide the answer
1974–81: descended from Louis XV by one of his mistresses, and through her from Charlemagne Click to show or hide the answer
1981–95: the longest serving president in French history Click to show or hide the answer
1995–2007: previously Prime Minister, 1974–6 and 1986–8, and Mayor of Paris 1977–95. Click to show or hide the answer
2007–2012: married Italian–French singer–songwriter Carla Bruni at the Élysée Palace, in 2008 Click to show or hide the answer

Prime Ministers

Shortest serving, under the Fifth Republic (5 months and 4 days; appointed in December 2016 following Manuel Valls's resignation, but voted out with Francois Hollande in May 2017) Click to show or hide the answer
France's first woman prime minister (May 1991 to April 1992, under Mitterand) Click to show or hide the answer

Germany

Chancellor of Germany, 1871–90: as Prussian Foreign Minister in the 1860s, engineered a series of wars that unified the German states (significantly and deliberately excluding Austria) into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership; forced to resign two years after the accession of Kaiser Wilhelm II Click to show or hide the answer
Controversial (anti–communist and by implication pro–fascist) first President of Germany, from 1919 until his death in 1925 Click to show or hide the answer
German Chief of General Staff (army) 1916–19, came out of retirement following Ebert's death to become the second President of Germany in 1925; ran again (successfully) in 1932, as the only candidate who could defeat Hitler, but appointed him as Chancellor; died in office in 1934, after which Hitler abolished the post of President and appointed himself "Fuhrer" Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Hitler on 1 May 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
Founder of the West German Christian Democratic Party, and first Chancellor (1949–63) Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of West Germany, 1969–74 Click to show or hide the answer
The last leader of East Germany, 1971–89; fled to Russia after unification, but extradited back to Germany; tried for high treason and war crimes, but released suffering from cancer; died in exile in Chile, 1994 Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of West Germany, 1974–82: died 2015 aged 97 Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of West Germany at the time of reunification (1990) – thus, the last chancellor of West Germany (1982–90) and the first chancellor of the re–united Germany (1990–98) Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of Germany, 1998–2005 (Social Democrat, leading a coalition with the Greens) Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000, and Chancellor from 2005: the first Chancellor of the reunited Germany to have been born in the East Click to show or hide the answer

Republic of Ireland

Presidents

11938–45 First President of the Republic of Ireland Click to show or hide the answer
31959–73 Founder of Fianna Fáil, after leaving Sinn Féin in 1926 due to its policy of abstentionism (standing for election but not taking up seats); previously President of the Executive Council (1932–37) and the first Taoiseach (1932–48, 1951–54, and 1957–59); often cited as the principal author of the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland Click to show or hide the answer
41973–74 Son of Robert Erskine Childers, a leading Irish republican and author of the espionage thriller The Riddle of the Sands, who was executed in 1922 by the authorities of the nascent Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War. Died of a heart attack, aged 68, 17 months after taking office Click to show or hide the answer
61976–90 Previously (1973–6) served as Ireland's first European Commissioner Click to show or hide the answer
71990–97 Ireland's first female President; resigned two months before the end of her term to become UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a post she held until 2002 Click to show or hide the answer
81997–2011 Born Belfast 1951; the first woman to succeed another woman as President of any country Click to show or hide the answer
92011– First Irish president to make a state visit to the UK (April 2014) Click to show or hide the answer

Taoiseachs

Served as Taoiseach between de Valera's three terms (1948–51 and 1954–7) Click to show or hide the answer
The Republic of Ireland's first openly gay government minister, and the first of Indian heritage; elected in June 2017 (following the retirement of Enda Kenny) as the youngest Taoiseach, and the first from a minority ethnic background Click to show or hide the answer

Israel

Israel has both a President and a Prime Minister. The President is largely a ceremonial figurehead role; executive power is effectively exercised by the prime minister.

First Prime Minister of Israel (1948–53) Click to show or hide the answer
Fourth Prime Minister of Israel, 1969–74: the world's third female prime minister, and the first with no family connection to any predecessor Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister 1996–9 and 2009–; Israel's youngest prime minister (40 in 1996) and the first to have been born in Israel after the establishment of the state; retired from politics after defeat to Ehud Barak in 1999, but returned in 2002 to serve as Foreign Minister under Ariel Sharon; re–appointed as leader of Likud in 2005 after Sharon left to form a new party (Kadima); became prime minister of a coalition govermnent in 2009; re–elected for a third term in 2013 Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister 2001–6: resigned as head of Likud in November 2005, and dissolved parliament to form a new centrist party called Kadima ("Forward"); suffered a stroke in January 2006, and remained in a permanent vegetative state until his death in January 2014 aged 85 Click to show or hide the answer
Replaced Ariel Sharon as de facto prime minister, following Sharon's stroke in January 2006; led Kadima (the party founded by Sharon in November 2005) to victory in the March 2006 election; officially declared Prime Minister in April 2006; resigned as Kadima leader in 2008 amid allegations of corruption, but remained as prime minister until April 2009 when Netyanyahu formed a new government (following a general election) Click to show or hide the answer
President, 2007–14: previously Prime Minister for 60 days in 1977 (acting), 1984–6 and November 1995 to June 1996 Click to show or hide the answer

New Zealand

New Zealand was established as a colony in its own right in 1841. Previously it had been part of the colony of New South Wales. In 1856 it was granted "responsible government" – meaning that the government was responsible to Parliament rather than the monarch. From this point the Colonial Secretary (a post created in 1840) was regarded as the head of government.

In 1869 the title of Colonial Secretary was officially changed to Premier. It was in 1901, when New Zealand declared itself independent of the Federation of Australia, that Premier Richard Seddon began using the title Prime Minister; and since 1907, when New Zealand was granted the status of a Dominion within the British Empire, its head of government has been formally known as the Prime Minister.

17–20 May 1856 Click to show or hide the answer Colonial Secretary of New Zealand on the granting of "responsible government" – considered by some as the first Premier
2May–June 1856
1861–2
1869–72
Mar–Apr 1873
Click to show or hide the answer Served two brief terms as Colonial Secretary (20 May to 2 June 1856, and 12 July 1861 to 6 August 1862) and two as Premier (June 1969 to September 1872, and March–April 1873. Listed in Wikipedia as the first Premier
31856–61
1865–9
Click to show or hide the answer Colonial Secretary for a total of just under nine years between 1856 and 1869. In the other four years there were six different incumbents, including Sewell and Fox (twice).
151893–1906 Click to show or hide the answer Referred to himself as Prime Minister from 1901, when New Zealand declared itself independent of the Federation of Australia
16Jun–Aug 1906 Click to show or hide the answer Served for 46 days, after Seddon and before Ward
171906–12 Click to show or hide the answer Premier at the time when Dominion status was granted; first to be officially styled Prime Minister
231935–40 Click to show or hide the answer New Zealand's first Labour PM. In office at the outbreak of World War II; died in office, from cancer
241940–49 Click to show or hide the answer PM for most of World War II
311975–84 Click to show or hide the answer Controversially allowed the South African rugby team (the Springboks) to tour New Zealand in 1981. Wrote an article entitled Why we Stand by our Mother Country, justifying his support of the UK in the Falklands War, which was published in The Times. Lost the "schnapps election" in 1984 after he was described as "visibly drunk" when calling it
321984–89 Click to show or hide the answer Established New Zealand as a "Nuclear Free Zone"
351990–97 Click to show or hide the answer Won the biggest ever majority in the New Zealand Parliament (67 seats to Labour's 29)
361997–99 Click to show or hide the answer Ousted Bolger as leader of the National Party, to become New Zealand's first female PM
371999–2008 Click to show or hide the answer New Zealand's second female PM, and the first to win an election
382008– Click to show or hide the answer Formerly Head of Foreign Exchange at Merrill Lynch; estimated to be worth NZ$50 million at time of election

South Africa

Became President of the Transvaal during the First Boer War (December 1880); went into self–imposed exile during the Second; died in Switzerland in 1904 and was buried in Pretoria. Has a coin and a National Park named after him Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
First Prime Minister of South Africa (1910–19) Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister 1919–24 and 1939–48; fought for the Boers in the Boer War, later worked for Anglo–Boer reconciliation, and served the Allies during both world wars Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister 1966–78, including the time of the Rhodesian UDI Click to show or hide the answer
South Africa's last Prime Minister (1978–84), and first President after the 1983 constitution merged the two roles Click to show or hide the answer
President of South Africa 1989–94: engineered the end of apartheid Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Nelson Mandela as President in 1999 Click to show or hide the answer

Soviet Union

In the Soviet Union, power lay in theory with the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, which succeeded the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Congress of Soviets in 1938. The chairman of either of these bodies was therefore regarded as the head of state.

The head of Government in the Soviet Union, also known as the Premier, was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (known until 1946 as the Council of People's Commisars). The Council of Ministers was dissolved in 1991 and the post of Prime Minister was created, but by this time the Soviet Union had effectively become an irrelevance. 

Founding fathers

Effectively established the Soviet Union in 1922; previously leader of the Social Democratic Labour Party through the Russian Revolution; went into semi–retirement in May 1922, after suffering a stroke while recovering from surgery to remove a bullet that had lodged in his neck as a result of a failed assassination attempt in August 1918; suffered a second stroke in December 1922, and a third in March 1923, leaving him completely incapacitated; but remained officially leader of the Communist Party until his death in January 1924 Click to show or hide the answer
The Soviet Union's first head of state (1922–46): Chairman of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Congress of Soviets (1922–38), and of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1938–46) Click to show or hide the answer

Party Secretary

For most of its existence however, the most powerful office in the Soviet Union – and the one whose incumbent we should probably refer to as 'soviet Leader' seems to have been General Secretary of the Communist Party's Central Committee – a.k.a. Party Secretary. This is the post that Joseph Stalin held, from the foundation of the Soviet Union in 1922 until just prior to his death in 1953.

Responsible Secretary of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party, 1921–2 Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party by Lenin, in April 1922; succeeded in the power struggle that followed Lenin's death to become head of government, despite Lenin's recommendation (in 'Lenin's Testament', 1923) that he should be dismissed; Chairman of the Council from 1941 (renaming it the Council of Ministers in 1946); led the Soviet Union through World War II (known there as the Great Patriotic War); died in March 1953 of a stroke Click to show or hide the answer
Party Secretary 1954–63, Premier 1958–64; denounced Stalin 1956; personal feud with Mao led to a breach in soviet relations with China 1960; took off his shoe and banged it on the desk in the UN General Assembly, 1960, to demonstrate his anger over accusations (by a Filipino delegate) of Soviet hypocrisy in condemning imperialism while depriving the people of Eastern Europe of their civil rights; led the Soviet Union through the Cuban missile crisis (October 1962), but was compelled to resign in its aftermath (1964) Click to show or hide the answer
Chairman of the Presidium, 1960–64 and 1977–82: succeeded Kruschev as Party Secretary, 1964; died in office in 1982 Click to show or hide the answer
Party Secretary from November 1982; elected Chairman of the Presidium June 1983; died February 1984 Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed Party Secretary and Chairman of the Presidium in February 1984, following the death of Andropov; died in office March 1985 Click to show or hide the answer
Party Secretary 1985–91; Chairman of the Presidium, Oct 1988 (following Gromyko's resignation) to May 1989; Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, May 1989 to March 1990; President of the Soviet Union, March 1990 to December 1991; resigned on Christmas Day 1991; the Soviet Union was formally dissolved next day, Yeltsin becoming President of Russia Click to show or hide the answer

In 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies (created in 1989 as part of Gorbachev's reform agenda) voted effectively to strip the Communist Party of its position of supreme power in the Soviet Union, and the powers of the General Secretary were drastically curtailed. For the rest of his tenure, Gorbachev ruled as President of the Soviet Union.

Chairman of the Council (head of government, a.k.a Premier)

Premier 1930–41 (replaced by Stalin), Foreign Minister 1939–49 and 1953–6, First Deputy Premier 1942–57: sacked in 1957 after failing in an attempt to remove Khrushchev as Party Secretary Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Stalin as Premier in 1953; sacked by Khrushchev (Party Secretary) in 1955 Click to show or hide the answer
Premier, 1955–8; initially an ally of Khrushchev, who arranged his dismissal in favour of himself after he began to question Krushchev's policies Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Khrushchev as Premier in 1964: resigned in October 1980 due to ill health, and died two months later Click to show or hide the answer

Chairman of the Presidium (head of state)

Other

Afghanistan President of Afghanistan, 2004– (previously Acting President, 2001–4); controversially re–elected in 2009 Click to show or hide the answer
Argentina "Los descamidos" (the shirtless) was a term, originally derogatory but later used with pride, for the followers of Click to show or hide the answer
Juan Peron's third wife – became the world's first woman president, and South America's youngest head of state, on his death in 1974 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the Argentine junta, who ordered the Falklands invasion 1982; removed from power within days of the British victory while democracy was restored Click to show or hide the answer
President of Argentina, 2007–; wife of the previous president (Nestor Kirchner) who died in 2010 Click to show or hide the answer
Austria President of Austria, 1986–92: former United Nations Secretary–General (1972–81); did not seek re–election following revelations about his activities as a Nazi intelligence officer in World War II; died 2007 aged 88 Click to show or hide the answer
Botswana Last prime minister of Bechuanaland (1965), and first president (from 1966 until his death in 1980) of Botswana; studied law in London, and renounced chieftainship of the Bamangwato tribe in 1956 after marrying an English woman (Ruth Williams) Click to show or hide the answer
Brazil Brazilian President who committed suicide in 1954 Click to show or hide the answer
Brazil's first female President, 2011–16: impeached and removed from office in 2016, found guilty of breaking budgetary laws (moving funds between government budgets, in an attempt to plug deficit holes in popular social programmes to boost her chances of re–election in 2014) Click to show or hide the answer
Cambodia Ruler of Cambodia, overthrown in 1970 in a military coup; restored to the throne in 1991, abdicated owing to ill health in 2004 Click to show or hide the answer
Tyrannical leader of the Communist Khmer Rouge, 1970s reign of terror in Cambodia, taking power in 1975 when his forces captured Phnom Penh. Fled to the jungle following a Vietnamese invasion and the collapse of his government in 1979; died in 1998 while under house arrest by a faction of the Khmer Rouge. Real name Saloth Sar Click to show or hide the answer
Central African Republic Self–proclaimed President of the Central African Republic, 1966–76, and Emperor of the Central African Empire until overthrown in 1979 Click to show or hide the answer
Chile Liberator and first President of Chile (1817) – of mixed Irish and Basque descent Click to show or hide the answer
President of Chile, 1970–3: the world's first democratically elected Marxist head of state; assassinated in Pinochet's CIA–backed coup Click to show or hide the answer
Became President of Chile 1973 after overthrowing Allende in a CIA–backed coup; voted out in a general election in 1989. Died in Santiago in 2006, aged 91, with charges relating to human rights abuses, tax evasion (etc.) pending Click to show or hide the answer
Cuba Dictator of Cuba, 1933–44 and 1952–9, overthrown by Castro in 1959 Click to show or hide the answer
Had a trial as a pitcher for New York Giants Click to show or hide the answer
Allegedly (according to a Channel 4 documentary in 2006) the target of 638 assassination attempts (or planned attempts) by the CIA, including an exploding cigar
Cyprus First president of the Republic of Cyprus, from 1960 until his sudden death in 1977 (with a 5–month break following the Greek invasion of July 1974 – restored Dec 1974 after the Greek junta collapsed); exiled to the Seychelles by the British colonial government, 1956–9 Click to show or hide the answer
Czechoslovakia Founder and first president (1918–35) of Czechoslovakia Click to show or hide the answer
Czech Communist Party Secretary, January 1968 to April 1969, whose reforms (the 'Prague Spring') prompted the Soviet invasion of 1968 Click to show or hide the answer
Falkland Islands Governor of the Falklands in 1982 (at the time of the Argentine invasion) Click to show or hide the answer
Ghana First Prime Minister of Ghana, following independence in 1957; overthrown in 1966 by a military coup Click to show or hide the answer
Head of State from June to September 1979 (following a coup that he led), and 1981–93; President 1993–2001 Click to show or hide the answer
Grenada Self–appointed Prime Minister of Grenada, 1979–83; his deposition and assassination (by firing squad) in 1983 led to the controversial US invasion Click to show or hide the answer
Haiti Former slave, led a revolt against the French 1791, proclaimed King of Haiti 1811 Click to show or hide the answer
Dictator of Haiti until his death in 1971 – nicknamed Papa Doc Click to show or hide the answer
President of Haiti 1971–86, nicknamed Baby Doc – son of Papa Doc Click to show or hide the answer
President of Haiti, 1991, 1994–6, 2001–4; Haiti's first democratically elected leader (Feb 1991); deposed by a military coup (Sep 1991); restored to power by a US invasion, 1994; overthrown again February 2004 Click to show or hide the answer
Hungary Prime Minister of Hungary, 1953–5 and for 11 days in Oct–Nov 1956; took Hungary out of the Warsaw Pact, 1 Nov 1956; brought down by the Soviet invasion 3 days later, executed in 1958 Click to show or hide the answer
India First Prime Minister of India, 1947–64; father of Indira Gandhi Click to show or hide the answer
India's second Prime Minister (1964–6 – after Nehru, before Mrs. Gandhi); died in office aged 63; the Test cricket ground in Hyderabad is named after him Click to show or hide the answer
Founded the Janata Party, in opposition to Indira Gandhi; Prime Minister 1977–9 Click to show or hide the answer
Indonesia First president of Indonesia, 1945–67; collaborated with the Japanese during World War II Click to show or hide the answer
Ousted Sukarno as president of Indonesia in 1967; re–elected five times, but forced to stand down in 1998 Click to show or hide the answer
Iran Elected President of Iran, 2005 – the first non–cleric to hold the positon Click to show or hide the answer
Italy First prime minister of Italy (March–June 1861): formerly (1860–1) prime minister of Piedmont–Sardinia, in which role he had ceded Savoy and Nice to Napoleon's France, in exchange for Tuscany and Emilia, which set Garibaldi (who was bon in Nice) against him Click to show or hide the answer
Victim of an assassination attempt by Violet Gibson, daughter of the former Lord Chancellor of Ireland, 1926 (shot in the nose; only slightly wounded) Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister of Italy, 1994–5, 2001–6, 2008–11; convicted in 2013, but acquitted in 2014 on appeal, of paying 17–year–old Moroccan prostitute Karima El Mahroug, (a.k.a. Ruby Rubacuori – Italian for 'Ruby the Heartstealer') for sexual services in 2010 Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister of Italy, 1996–8 and 2006–8 Click to show or hide the answer
Jamaica Founder of the People's National Party of Jamaica; Prime Minister 1959–62; Kingston airport is named after him Click to show or hide the answer
Charismatic prime minister of Jamaica, 1972–80 and 1989–92 – son of Norman Manley Click to show or hide the answer
Japan Born on Christmas Day 1926; became a God on 10 Nov 1928, but became mortal again in 1946; died of cancer in 1989, aged 62 Click to show or hide the answer
Japan's youngest post–war prime minister, and the first to be born after World War II; elected in 2006, but resigned exactly one year later; returned to office in 2012 after regaining the presidency of the Liberal Democratic Party Click to show or hide the answer
Kenya First Prime Minister of Kenya following independence in 1963, and President from 1964 until his death in 1978; Nairobi airport is named after him Click to show or hide the answer
Libya 1969–2011: unofficially known as 'Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution' (he claimed to be merely a symbolic figurehead of the country's official governance structure); published his political philosophy in 1975, in 'the Green Book' – in imitation of Mao Zedong's Little Red Book Click to show or hide the answer
Malawi De facto prime minister of Nyasaland from 1961, officially from 1963; led the country to independence as Malawi in 1964, and made himself President for life in 1971. His one–party state was ended by a referendum in 1993, his life–term presidency was ended and he was stripped of most of his powers Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
MalaysiaFirst Prime Minister of Malaya (1957–63) and Malaysia (1963–70) Click to show or hide the answer
Malta Prime Minister of Malta, 1955–8 and 1971–81; as Foreign Minister, led negotiations with the British government over the closure of the British military base on the island, 1971–2 (the closure actually took place in 1979) Click to show or hide the answer
Netherlands Prime Minister of the Netherlands, 1994–2002: a former trade union leader, noted for his 'third way' policies and his success in leading 'purple' coalitions (not to mention his funny name) Click to show or hide the answer
Nicaragua President of Nicaragua, 1967–72 and 1974–9: overthrown by the Sandinistas in 1979 and assassinated in Paraguay in 1980 Click to show or hide the answer
Left–wing President of Nicaragua, 1985–90 and 2007–(17); previously one of the leaders of the Sandanista National Liberation Front (in opposition to Somoza) Click to show or hide the answer
Nigeria Led Nigeria through the civil war with Biafra (1966–70) Click to show or hide the answer
President of Nigeria, 2010–15 Click to show or hide the answer
North Korea Dictator of North Korea, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994 Click to show or hide the answer
Son of Kim Il–sung: succeeded him in 1994 as supreme leader of North Korea, ruling until his death in 2011 Click to show or hide the answer
Son of Kim Jong–il: succeeded him in 2011 as supreme leader of North Korea Click to show or hide the answer
Northern Ireland Last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Click to show or hide the answer
Norway Puppet prime minister of Norway under Nazi occupation; shot as a traitor in 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
Pakistan Led the All India Muslim League, prior to partition; founded Pakistan and served as its first Governor General (1947–8) Click to show or hide the answer
President of Pakistan 1978–88, after declaring martial law in 1977; had his predecessor Zulfikar Ali Bhutto hanged in 1979; died (assassinated) in a plane crash in August 1988 Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister of Pakistan, 1988–90 and 1993–6: daughter of a previous president and prime minister hanged in 1979 (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto); the first woman to head a nation with a Muslim majority, and the only one to do so twice; assassinated in 2007 in a suicide bombing Click to show or hide the answer
Took power in Pakistan in 1999, in a non–violent military coup; authority validated by the Supreme Court, 2000; resigned in 2008 under threat of impeachment on charges of corruption Click to show or hide the answer
Panama Dictator of Panama, 1983–9: removed from power by US forces, convicted on drugs charges in the USA, released from prison 2007; subsequently convicted of money laundering in France, 2010. Nicknamed "Pineapple Face" by his unwilling subjects Click to show or hide the answer
ParaguayPresident of Paraguay, 1954–89; died in 2006 Click to show or hide the answer
Philippines President of the Philippines, 1965–86; declared martial law in 1972; ousted by a revolution after being accused of involvement in the murder of his opponent Benigno Aquino Click to show or hide the answer
President of the Philippines, 1986–92 – widow of Marcos's opponent, in whose assassination he (Marcos) was accused of being involved Click to show or hide the answer
16th President, elected in 2016 after promising to reduce crime by killing tens of thousands of criminals Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Poland Concert pianist who served as Poland's third Prime Minister, also Foreign Minister (Jan–Dec 1919); represented Poland at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference Click to show or hide the answer
Head of the Polish government in exile in England, killed in a plane crash in 1943 Click to show or hide the answer
The last Communist leader of Poland (1981–90) Click to show or hide the answer
President of Poland, 1990–5; Nobel peace laureate 1983 Click to show or hide the answer
President of Poland 2005–10: killed along with many other national figures in a plane crash in April 2010 (his twin brother Jaroslaw was Prime Minister 2006–7) Click to show or hide the answer
Former Solidarity activist: Prime Minister of Poland 2007–14, and President of the European Council 2014–17 Click to show or hide the answer
Portugal Dictator of Portugal, from 1932 until his retirement in 1968; established the Estado Novo (or Second Republic), which survived until 1974 Click to show or hide the answer
Replaced Salazar as prime minister (dictator) of Portugal, in 1968; overthrown in the Carnation Revolution of 1974 Click to show or hide the answer
Three times Prime Minister of Portugal, 1976–86, and President 1986–96 Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister of Portugal, 1995–2002; UN Secretary General from 2017 Click to show or hide the answer
Rhodesia Prime Minister of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1956 to 1964 Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia 1964–5, and Rhodesia 1965–79 (following his unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) on 11 Nov 1965) Click to show or hide the answer
RomaniaDictator of Romania 1965–89, executed with his wife Elena on Christmas Day 1989 Click to show or hide the answer
Russia President of the Russian Federation, from its formation in 1991 – the first democratically elected head of state in Russia's history; resigned on 31 December 1999 Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed Prime Minister of the Russian Federation by Yeltsin, August 1999; became acting President on Yeltsin's resignation, on 31 December 1999, and was duly elected in March 2000; obliged to step down in 2008 after two terms in office; returned in 2012 for a six–year term Click to show or hide the answer
Elected in 2008 to succeed Vladimir Putin as President; stepped down in 2012, after one four–year term, to allow Putin to return Click to show or hide the answer
Singapore First prime minister of the Republic of Singapore (1959–90) Click to show or hide the answer
Spain President of Spain, 1939–73: full name Francisco Franco Bahamonde (in the Spanish fashion, he took the surnames of both his father and his mother) Click to show or hide the answer
SpainPresident of Spain, 1982–97 Click to show or hide the answer
Sri Lanka Fourth prime minister of Ceylon (1956–9) – assassinated by a Buddhist monk Click to show or hide the answer
The World's first woman prime minister (Ceylon 1960–5, Sri Lanka 1970–7 and 1994–2000) – widow of Solomon Bandaranaike Click to show or hide the answer
Tanzania First president of Tanzania (1964–85); also president of Tanganyika, 1962–4 Click to show or hide the answer
Turkey First president of the Turkish Republic (1923) – name adopted by Mustafa Kemal Pasha Click to show or hide the answer
Elected in 2014 as the president of Turkey, in its first ever popular vote for head of state Click to show or hide the answer
Uganda President of Uganda, 1966–71: deposed by Idi Amin in 1971; returned to office in 1980 following Amin's overthrow by Tanzanian forces in 1979; deposed again in 1985 in an army coup; died in exile in South Africa, 2005 Click to show or hide the answer
President of Uganda 1971–9, self–styled 'Conqueror of the British Empire'; sentenced British teacher and writer Dennis Hills to death, 1974, for calling him a 'village tyrant'; subject of the book and film The Last King of Scotland Click to show or hide the answer
Ukraine Became president of the Ukraine in January 2005 after a second vote (the first was widely believed to have been fixed by the authorities in favour of his opponent Viktor Yanukovych, resulting in the so–called Orange Revolution) Click to show or hide the answer
VenezuelaSocialist president of Venezuela, 1998– Click to show or hide the answer
Vietnam President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), from 1945 until his death in 1969; also Prime Minister, 1946–55 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Yugoslavia Leader of Yugoslavia, from 1945 until his death in 1980; the first Communist head of state to visit Britain (1953) Click to show or hide the answer
President of Serbia, 1989–97, and of Yugoslavia 1997–2000; resigned 2000, arrested (surrendered to Serbian special police) 2001, died in 2006 in custody in The Hague, while on trial for alleged war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo Click to show or hide the answer
Defeated Milosevic in the Yugoslavian Presidential election, 2000 Click to show or hide the answer
Zaire First prime minister of Zaire, 1960; deposed in 1960, murdered in 1961 Click to show or hide the answer
Zambia Ruled Zambia from independence in 1964 until ousted by the first multi–party elections in 1991 Click to show or hide the answer
Zimbabwe Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia (1978–9), under the Internal Settlement with Ian Smith Click to show or hide the answer
Became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (1979–80), after leading his UANC party to victory in the 1979 election (the first in which black people had been entitled to vote)
Defeated by Robert Mugabe's ZANU–PF party in the 1980 election
Methodist minister, first President of Zimbabwe (1980–7); replaced by Robert Mugabe as Executive President in 1987, after the position of Prime Minister was abolished Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, 1980–7; assumed the new office of Executive President in 1987, after the position of Prime Minister was abolished Click to show or hide the answer

Cipriano Castro was President, from 1899 to 1908, of Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017