Modi set to extend record as longest-serving G20 leader after Putin, Xi Jinping

Despite Narendra Modi's high popularity, his Bharatiya Janata Party had a poorer showing than expected in the just-concluded national election. While the party will be the single biggest in the Lok Sabha, it will need support from allies to govern. (AFP)
Despite Narendra Modi's high popularity, his Bharatiya Janata Party had a poorer showing than expected in the just-concluded national election. While the party will be the single biggest in the Lok Sabha, it will need support from allies to govern. (AFP)

Summary

  • As of 6 June 2024, Modi had served 3,664 days in office since being sworn in as India's prime minister on 26 May 2014. Only the Russian and Chinese presidents are ahead among G20 leaders.

With the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance winning a third consecutive term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to remain the longest-serving G20 leader after Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping for five more years.

As of 6 June 2024, Modi had served 3,664 days in office since being sworn in as India's prime minister on 26 May 2014. He is already the third-longest serving G20 leader, and will extend his record. He is likely to be sworn in for his third term later this week.

The next longest serving head of state or government after Modi is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Türkiye, who has spent 3,570 days in power.

Also read: How an INDIA undercurrent tamed the Modi wave in the 2024 election, in 3 charts

Vladimir Putin has been in power in Russia since 1999, both as president and prime minister. He has been president since May 2012, making him the longest-serving G20 leader (4,413 days). Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, comes next, at 4,102 days.

Both Russia and China have amended their constitutions to extend the tenure of their presidents.

The analysis looked at the heads of government in most cases, but in the case of countries whose heads of state lead their G20 delegations, the latter were chosen.

Javier Milei from Argentina, who assumed office in December 2023, is the newest member of the club, but is set to be replaced by Mexican president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum when she gets sworn in. Sheinbaum got elected earlier this week, and will succeed Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been in power since 2018.

Also read: Lok Sabha Election 2024: How the verdict unfolded, in 11 charts

The Group of Twenty (G20) is an intergovernmental organization for economic cooperation formed in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis. G20 comprises 19 of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies and the European Union (EU). Presently it is one of the most important intergovernmental organizations, consisting of 65% of the global population, 85% of global GDP and 75% of world trade.

The democracy score in several G20 countries is, however, declining. The richest G20 economies are showing a decline in the democracy index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Last released in February 2024, the index classifies India as a ‘flawed democracy’ and Russia and China as ‘authoritarian’ regimes. The index defines flawed democracies as those that ‘at least allow for a possibility of change’ through elections; however, it says, their incumbent leaders ‘are likely to win’.

Narendra Modi was recently ranked as the world’s most popular leader with an approval rating of 74% in a survey conducted by Morning Consult, a US-based consulting firm. The second and third positions were secured by Argentina’s Milei and Mexico’s Obrador, respectively. The survey, released in May 2024, did not include ratings for Russia and China.

Despite his high popularity, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party had a poorer showing than expected in the just-concluded national election. While the party will be the single biggest in the Lok Sabha, it will need support from allies to govern.

The year 2024 is a super election year globally, with at least 64 countries, and the EU, going for polls, consisting of almost half of the world’s population, according to a count by TIME magazine. India saw its second-longest election ever conducted in seven phases over a course of 44 days, with the results declared on 4 June.

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