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The throne of Saudi Arabia Essay

The throne of Saudi Arabia fell vacant in 1982, following Khalid bin Abdul Aziz’s assassination in 1982. King Fahd took the reins and was the King of the Saudi kingdom until death in 2005. His half-brother, Abdullah officially came to power the same year, although he has been ruling the country since Fahd’s incapacitating stroke in 1996. Average lifespan of a Saudi ruler is approximately 78 years. The present ruler King Abdullah is the eldest, while King Khalid was the youngest. Women have never ruled Saudi Arabia; all of the Kings of Saudi Arabia have been sons of King Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia.

Inheritance has been the common way of ascendance to power, while natural death particularly due to heart attack has been the reason for leaders’ fall from power Algeria Chadli Bendjedid, President (Feb 9 1979 – Jan 11 1992) Mohamed Boudiaf, Chairman of the High Council of State (Jan 14 1992 – June 29 1992) Ali Kafi, Chairman of the High Council of State (June 29 1992 to Jan 31 1994) Liamine Zeroual, Head of State (Jan 31 1994 – Apr 27 1999) Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President (Since Apr 27 1999) Algeria in the 1980s was under the one-party rule of President Chadli Bendjedid.

Opposition from religious parties forced the country’s first multi-party elections in 1991. The military intervened to stop religious political parties from ruling the country and Mohamed Boudiaf was appointed the Chairman of the High Council of State in 1992. Following his assassination, Ali Kafi became his successor in the same year. In 1994, Liamine Zeroual took over as the Head of state and was in power till 1999. Civil unrest led to the Algerian Civil War followed by a military-backed government to ascend into power in 1999. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been the President of Algeria since 1999.

The average age of Algerian leaders is about 68 years, while Boudiaf was the eldest leader being 73 years when he died. Libya Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, Military Colonel (Since 2 Mar 1979) The power in Libya is controlled by Colonel Al-Gaddafi, the leader of the Revolutionary Command Council as well as the unconstitutional head of state. He established the General People’s Congress (GPC) to reform the political system, thereby vesting only theoretical control and retaining absolute control over Libya (El Fathaly and Palmer 529).

Al-Gaddafi is now 68 years old and his rose to power through a revolution governed by Islamic socialism. Egypt Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, President (Since 14 October 1981) The Republic of Egypt follows a multi-party presidential system. Mubarak has been elected as the President for the past five times in elections since 1981, since Egypt has conventionally practiced single-candidate elections. He is now 53 years old and has promised to reform the country’s election laws for the next election. Jordan Hussein bin Talal, King (11 Aug 1952 – 7 Feb 1999) Abdullah bin al Hussein, King (Since 7 Feb 1999)

Abdullah bin al Hussein inherited the throne of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1999, following the death of his father Hussein bin Talal. Abdullah is now 46 years of age, while his father was 64 years old when he passed away. Syria Hafez al-Assad, President (13 Nov March 1970- 10 June 2000) Bashar al-Assad (Since 10 July 2000) Hafez al-Assad was actually the Defense Minister in the Baath Regime. After the “Black September” incident, his popularity rose and he claimed power through a military coup to become president. He ruled Syria for 30 straight years until his death; Hafez was 70 years old when he died.

The minimum age in the constitution was amended to facilitate his son Bashar becoming the next President. Afghanistan Mohammad Najibullah (30 Nov1987 – 16 Apr 1992) Abdul Rahim Hatef (16 Apr 1992 – 28 Apr 1992) Sibghatullah Mojaddedi (28 Apr 1992 – 28 June 1992) Burhanuddin Rabbani (28 June 1992 – 27 Sep 1996) Mohammed Omar, Islamic Emirate President (27 Sept 1996 – 13 Nov 2001) Burhanuddin Rabbani, Islamic Transitional State President (27 Sep 1996 – 22 Dec 2001) Hamid Karzai, Islamic Transitional State Chairman and President (22 Dec 2001 – 7 Dec 2004) Hamid Karzai, Islamic Republic President (Since Dec 2004)

Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 caused them to back up former Afghan spy Najibullah as the President. However, after the breakup of USSR and withdrawal of support, the Taliban gradually rose to power and enforced religious fundamentalist rule. Following the World Trade Center bombing, America invaded Afghanistan and power was transferred back to the Mujahideen led by Rabbani. Elections were held in 2002 and Karzai was elected President. Iraq Saddam Hussein, President (1979 – 2003) Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, Interim President (9 April 2003 – 28 June 2004) Jalal Talabani (Since 6 April 2005)

Saddam ascended to power by either arresting or murdering his rival leaders. He was 66 years old when has captured. After that, the Coalition Provisional Authority nominated Ghazi as the interim president, after which Talabani was elected president. Iran Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader (3 Dec 1979 – 3 June 1989) Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader (Since 4 June 1989) The Islamic Republic of Iran was formed in 1979 following the Islamic revolution; Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, being highest ranking religious and political authority, became the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Ruhollah Khomeini was 87 years old when he died, and Ali Khamenei was elected as the next Supreme by the Assembly of Experts. Israel Yitzhak Navon (19 April 1978 – 5 May 1983) Chaim Herzog (5 May 1983 – 13 May 1993) Ezer Weizman (13 May 1993 – 13 July 2000) Moshe Katsav (1 August 2000 – 1 July 2007) Shimon Peres (Since 15 July 2007) In Israel, the President is elected by either an absolute or simple majority in the parliament. Yitzhak Navon is now 84 years old and the oldest surviving Israeli President. Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh (22 May 1990)

He has been the first President of unified Yemen since 1990 and is 60 years old now. Kuwait Emir Jaber III Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (31 Dec 1977 – 15 Jan 2006) Emir Saad I Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah (15 Jan 2006 – 24 Jan 2006) Emir Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Since 29 Jan 2006) Lebanon Bachir Gemayel (23 August 1982 – 14 September 1982) Amine Gemayel (23 September 1982 – 22 September 1988) Prime Minister Michel Aoun (22 September 1988 – 13 October 1990) Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss (22 September 1988 – 5 November 1989) Rene Moawad (5 November – 22 November 1989)

Elias Hrawi (24 November 1989 – 24 November 1998) Emile Lahoud (24 November 1998 – 23 November 2007) Fouad Siniora (Since 24 November 2007) Mauritania Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly, Head of State (June 1979 – 4 Jan 1980) Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, Head of State (4 Jan 1980 to 12 Dec 1984) Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya, Head of State (12 Dec 1984 to 18 Apr 1992) Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya, Head of State (18 Apr 1992 to 3 Aug 2005) Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, Chairman (3 Aug 2005 to 19 Apr 2007) Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, President (Since 19 April 2007) UAE

Sheikh Zayid ibn Sultan Al Nuhayyan (2 Dec 1971 – 2 Nov 2004) Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid Al Maktum (2 Nov 2004 – 3 Nov 2004) Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zayid Al Nuhayyan (Since 3 Nov 2004) Sudan Gaafar Nimeiry, Head of State (25 May 1969 – 6 April 1985) Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab, Head of State (6 April 1985 – 6 May 1986) Ahmad al-Mirghani, Head of State (6 May 1986 – 30 June 1989) Omar al-Bashir, President (30 June 1989 – 16 Oct 1993) Tunisia Habib Bourguiba (25 July 1957 – 7 Nov 1987) Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Since 7 Nov 1987) Turkey Kenan Evren (9 Nov 1982 – 9 Nov 1989)

Turgut Ozal (9 Nov 1989 – 17 April 1993) Suleyman Demirel (16 May 1993 – 16 May 2000) Ahmet Necdet Sezer (16 May 2000 – 28 Aug 2007) Abdullah Gul (Since 28 Aug 2007) Morocco King Hassan II (1961–1999) King Mohammed VI (Since 1999) Oman Qaboos ibn Sa’id (Since 23 July 1970) Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (16 Sep 1978 – 17 Aug 1988) Ghulam Ishaq Khan (17 Aug 1988 -18 July 1993) Wasim Sajjad (18 July 1993 – 14 Nov 1993) Farooq Leghari (14 Nov 1993 – 2 Dec 1997) Wasim Sajjad (2 Dec 1997 – 1 Jan 1998) Muhammad Rafiq Tarar (1 Jan 1998 – 20 June 2001) Pervez Musharraf (Since 20 June 2001)

The trend in rising to power in most of the countries mentioned above is through brute force, inheritance, revolution or religious fundamentalism. The concept of real democracy is seldom prevalent in these countries; people of these countries have very little control over their future. The leaders are usually old and past their physical and mental prime. Unlike the Western world, women are usually not considered for such higher positions.

Works Cited Page El Fathaly, Omar, and Palmer, Monte. “Political Development and Social Change in Libya”. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 75, No. 2 (Jun. , 1981), pp. 529-530.


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