On Sept. 29, 2010, Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s celebrated his 74th birthday. To mark the occasion, lets take a look at some of the world’s other aging potentates. Starting from #10;
#10 Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz al-Saud
Position: King of Saudi Arabia
Time in Power: 5 years
Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz al-Saud is head of the House of Saud, the dynasty that gave their name to Saudi Arabia. The king has four wives, seven sons and fifteen daughters. He is also Prime Minister and Commander of the Saudi National Guard. He presides over one of the world’s wealthiest petro-states, which has had strong ties with the West, particularly the U.S. But it’s also in the vanguard of Sunni Muslim states and the incubator of a number of the more ultra-orthodox strains of Islam. Abdullah subsequently refused to support the US-led attack of Iraq. He was responsible for the “Peace of Culture,” an initiative which brought together Muslim and non-Muslim nations at the United Nations General Assembly in order to soften tensions and perceptions surrounding Islam and terrorism.
#9 Robert Mugabe
Position: President of Zimbabwe
Time in Power: 30 years
The son of a village carpenter, Mugabe’s mug has been among the most frequently seen faces on the nightly international news. During the Rhodesian — now Zimbabwe — civil war he was joint leader of the Patriotic Front, the group opposing the oft-discriminatory rule of the white government. At the end of the war, Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, won a landslide victory in the British-supervised parliamentary elections in February 1980. However, Mugabe, who is often described as a Marxist, eventually established one-party rule in his country, becoming executive president of Zimbabwe in 1987; his rule would garner notoriety for its repressive violence. Poverty and unemployment led to increased support for Morgan Tsvangirai and his opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, which in late 2008 agreed to share power with the Mugabe regime.