Politics & Superpowers Guinness World Records

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    Politics & Superpowers

    Franklin D Roosevelt is the only US president to have served four terms (1933-45). The United States Constitution now limits all US presidents to two terms only.

    FEMALE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT

    Women appointed or elected as head of a government:

    Germany:

    Angela Merkel

    A LARGEST ILLEGAL RELEASE OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS

    In Apr 2016, a collection of documents from the internal database of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca was released, revealing the secret offshore holdings of 140 politicians, public officials and athletes. The leak, which had more than 11 million records dating back 40 years, is roughly 1,500 times as big as the data dumped in 2010 by WikiLeaks.

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    First political hacktivism

    “Hacktivism” describes protests that use

    computer networks to try to achieve a political goal. The first recorded instance of this occurred in Oct 1989, when computers owned by NASA and _ the US Department of Energy were . ;£■ penetrated by the “Worms Against I Nuclear Killers” cyber worm.

    Most sentences commuted by a US president

    By the time he left office on 20 Jan 2017, Barack Obama had granted clemency to 1,715 prisoners. He commuted 330 federal inmates on his final full day in office, 19 Jan 2017. Obama tweeted: “America is a nation of second chances, and 1,715 people deserved that shot.”

    Most expensive presidential inauguration

    President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee raised $90 m (£73.19 m) to cover the costs of his inauguration on 20 Jan 2017 – more than double that raised by President Obama in 2013. Donations included $1 m (£813,445) from Boeing, Dow Chemical and the Bank of America.

    Longest-serving non-royal head of state (ever)

    On 25 Nov 2016, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, aka Fidel Castro (CUB, b. 13 Aug 1926), died. He held the top political position in Cuba, first as prime minister (1959-76) and then as president (1976-2008), for 49 years 3 days.

    In 2006, Fabian Escalante, a bodyguard assigned to protect Fidel Castro, announced that there had been 638 attempts on Castro’s life – the most failed assassinations.

    Longest time in power for a political party

    Founded in 1929, and elected that year, Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) remained in power until 2000 – a period of 71 years. It was originally called the National Revolutionary Party before changing to the Party of the Mexican Revolution in 1938, and again in 1946 to its current name.

    Shortest presidency

    Pedro Lascurain ruled Mexico for 1 hr on 19 Feb 1913. Lascurain was the legal successor to President Madero, who was deposed and later murdered. The vice president of Mexico was under arrest at the time, so Lascurain was sworn in, appointed General Victoriano Huerta as his successor, then resigned.

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    Richest prime minister

    According to Forbes, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy had an estimated fortune of $11 bn (£6 bn) in 2005. It is rumoured that Vladimir Putin, the former prime minister and current president of Russia, has an estimated net worth of $70 bn (£56.9 bn), but Forbes has been unable to substantiate this.

    Largest parliament (legislative body)

    China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) has 2,987 members, who meet annually in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Members are elected for five-year terms by municipal, regional and provincial “people’s congresses”, as well as by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

    Tallest world leader

    Filip Vujanovic became president of Montenegro in May 2003. At 6 ft 5 in (196 cm), he was the tallest president as of 2016. Formerly prime minister of Montenegro, he was elected president when the country gained its independence.

    He was re-elected in 2008 and 2013.

    The shortest world leader was Benito Juarez, who served as president of Mexico from 1858 to 1872 and stood 4 ft 6 in (137 cm) tall.

    YOUNGEST…

    “Baby of the House”

    The term “Baby of the House” is the unofficial title given to the youngest member of a parliamentary body. In 2010, Anton Abele (SWE, b. 10 Jan 1992) was elected to stand for Stockholm county aged 18 years 277 days.

    Head of state (current)

    Kim Jong-un became leader of North Korea on 17 Dec 2011, following the death of his father Kim Jong-il. Jong-un’s exact age has never been confirmed, but he is thought to have been 27 years old at the time of his succession.

    Reigning monarch

    Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, aka King Oyo (b. 16 Apr 1992), was three years old when he came to power in the Ugandan kingdom of Toro in 1995. He now rules over 3% of Uganda’s 33-million-strong population. His influence is largely symbolic, as the country is governed by an elected president.

    Bangladesh:

    ‘ Sheikh Hasina

    Norway:

    Erna Solberg

    Myanmar:

    Aung San Suu Kyi

    UK:

    Theresa May

    FEMALE HEADS OF STATE

    Women appointed or elected as head of state in a presidential system:

    Switzerland:

    Doris Leuthard

    Chile:

    Michelle Bachelet

    Malta:

    Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

    Croatia:

    Kolinda

    Grabar-Kitarovic

    Nepal:

    Bidhya Devi Bhandari

    < LONGEST-REIGNING LIVING MONARCH

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne of Great Britain on 6 Feb 1952 and had reigned uninterrupted for 65 years 57 days as of 4 Apr 2017. The Queen’s role is nominal and ceremonial, exercising no political powers.

    Alongside the UK, more than 139 million people in 15 Commonwealth states, including Australia and Canada, recognize the Queen as their monarch – the most countries governed by the same head of state simultaneously.

    Chinese Taipei:

    ‘ Tsai Ing-wen

    Estonia:

    Kersti Kaljulaid

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    A LONGEST-SERVING PRESIDENT (CURRENT)

    Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (b. 5 Jun 1942) has been president of Equatorial Guinea since 1979, when he ousted his uncle and took control of the oil-rich Central African nation. Mbasogo (pictured inset on a 1982 visit to Spain) has maintained power through elections that opponents claim are controlled. On 24 Apr 2016, he extended his

    37-year rule after securing 90% of the vote in an election.

    A MOST FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER FOR A POLITICIAN

    As of 25 Jan 2017, former US president Barack Obama (USA, @BarackObama) had 83,313,483 followers on the social media platform. Obama ranked third on Twitter overall, behind pop stars Katy Perry (95 million followers) and Justin Bieber (91 million).

    A LARGEST POLITICAL PARTY MEMBERSHIP

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India claimed 100 million members as of Jul 2015. It was established as a political party in 1980, arising from the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (founded in 1951). Under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi, the right-wing political party has outgrown the Chinese Communist Party, which claimed around 86 million members as of the same date.

    A COUNTRYRANKED MOSTATPEACE

    According to the 2016 Global Peace Index, Iceland was the country most at peace, with a score of 1.192, ahead of Denmark with 1.246. Iceland retained the top spot, which it has held every year since 2011. The index takes into account factors such as domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarization.

    ▲ MOST WOMEN PRIME MINISTERS

    Including acting officials, Norway has had three female Prime Ministers: Gro Harlem Brundtland held the title three times (4 Feb 1981-4 Oct 1981, 9 May 1986-16 Oct 1989, and 3 Nov 1990-25 Oct 1996). Anne Enger Lahnstein was appointed acting PM to cover Kjell Magne Bondevik’s sick leave (30 Aug 1998-23 Sep 1998). And Erna Solberg (pictured) was elected on 16 Oct 2013 and remains the PM as of 8 May 2017.

    A YOUNGEST CURRENT UK MP

    Mhairi Black (UK, b. 12 Sep 1994) was elected as Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire South in 2015, aged 20 years 237 days. Representing the Scottish National Party, Black received 23,548 votes – a +32.9% swing in a seat that had previously been held by Labour.

    A MOST APPLICATIONS RECEIVED FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM BY ONE COUNTRY

    According to the Pew Research Center (USA), Germany received 442,000 applications for asylum in 2015. The number of asylum seekers applying to the 28-member European Union was 1.3 million. Around half of all refugees could trace their origins to one of three countries – Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq – where external and civil wars (see right) have displaced thousands of people from their homes.

    A YOUNGEST CABINET MEMBER

    At the age of 22, Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui was appointed as the UAE’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs in Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s new cabinet, announced in Feb 2016. She also holds the role of President of the Youth Council. Sheikh Mohammed tweeted: “Youth represents some half of our Arab societies, so it is only logical to give them a voice and role in governing the nation.”

    A MOST TIME MAGAZINE COVERS (FEMALE)

    Hillary Clinton had appeared on a total of 23 covers of Time magazine as of Dec 2016. The former First Lady and Democratic presidential candidate made her first appearance on the issue dated 14 Sep 1992, and her most recent on 15 Feb 2016 (above right).

    Since its first publication on 3 Mar 1923, the most Time magazine covers is 55 – a record held by the 37th president of the USA, Richard Milhous Nixon (above left).

    TCOUNTRY RANKED LEAST AT PEACE

    According to the Global Peace Index 2016, published by the Institute for Economics and ‘ Peace, the country least at peace is Syria, with a score of 3.806. The Middle East country has been engulfed in civil war since 2011, leading to the devastation of cities such as Aleppo (inset). The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that 313,000 people had died in the war as of Jan 2017.

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