Staying Power: Who Are The World's Oldest Leaders?

Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad has handed in his resignation amid growing political turmoil in the country.

Mahathir, who held the prime minister's office during two separate terms, once between 1981-2003 and then again from 2018-2020, also held the title for being the oldest-serving world leader at age 94.



Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Sends Resignation Letter To King

Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad unexpectedly resigned as prime minister on Monday, leaving the Southeast Asian country in political turmoil.

With his resignation on Monday, that title is now reserved for Queen Elizabeth, who remains the monarch of the United Kingdom at the age of 93.

The Queen is now only one of two remaining world leaders who are still serving in their 90s.

Image: Getty

At 90 years of age, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait is the second nonagenarian world leader.

Al-Sabah, who was sworn in in 2006, also served as the nation's foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attends the extraordinary Arab summit held at al-Safa Royal Palace in Mecca on May 31, 2019. Image: Getty

A number of world leaders are also still serving their nations in their 80s.

Sir Colville Young

At 87 years of age, Sir Colville Young is still serving as the Governor-General of Belize, a role he was appointed to in 1993.

The Queen and Sir Colville Young during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Image: Getty

He received a knightship the following year.

Paul Biya 

Also 87 is Cameroon's President Paul Biya.

He has been serving as president of the central African country since 1982. He previously held the position of Secretary-General and later Prime Minister.

Paul Biya answers journalists' questions during the fundraising day at the sixth World Fund Conference in  France in  2019. Image: Getty

Michel Aoun

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has been in office since 2016.

Michel Aoun arrives to attend the first cabinet meeting of the newly formed government at the Baabda presidential palace. Image: Getty

But the 85-year-old nearly had his presidency toppled last year after massive protests saw millions rally in Lebanon and around the world calling for his resignation, among a list of other demands.

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas is the President of the state of Palestine and the Palestinian National Authority.

Image: Getty

He was elected to the role in 2005 and had previously served as the Prime Minister for a few months in 2003.

He is 84.

Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has been Prime Minister of Bahrain since 1971 and has served since the country's independence.

Bahraini Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa pictured in 2010. Image: Getty.

He is 84.

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Also at 84, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been the King and the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia since 2015.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia during talks with former UK Prime Minister Theresa May in 2019. Image: Getty

His son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is considered the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has been the head of the Catholic church since 2013.

Image: Getty

The Argentenian-born leader is 83, just two years young than his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI was when he resigned.