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The youngest leaders in the world

20 December 2021   |   4:23 pm
As Gabriel Boric becomes Chile's youngest-ever president at 35, we look at the world's youngest leaders.

Chilean president-elect Gabriel Boric waves at supporters after delivering a speech, in Santiago, on December 19, 2021. – The streets of Santiago exploded in celebration Sunday after leftist millennial Gabriel Boric was declared Chile’s new president with an unexpectedly large victory over his far-right rival in a polarizing race. Boric, 35, garnered nearly 56 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for ultra-conservative Jose Antonio Kast, who congratulated the “president-elect” on Twitter even before the final result was known. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP)

As Gabriel Boric becomes Chile’s youngest-ever president at 35, we look at the world’s youngest leaders.

The leftwinger is far from the youngest person heading a government.

That title is presently held by 26-year-old Giacomo Simoncini, one of the Captains Regent of San Marino, the tiny independent state in northern Italy.

Here is our list of other youthful leaders in power:

– Finland: Premier Sanna Marin, who got into hot water last week for going to a disco despite being in contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid, is 36. She got the top job in 2019 aged 34.

– Kosovo: Another woman leader, Vjosa Osmani, was elected president in April aged 38.

– Georgia: Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili was the same age when he came to power in February.

– El Salvador: Controversial populist President Nayib Bukele is 40, having been elected at 37.

– Andorra: Former justice minister Xavier Espot Zamora became the head of government of the small territory between France and Spain in May 2019 aged 39.

– Costa Rica: Carlos Alvarado, a journalist and former labour minister won elections to become president in May 2018 aged 38.

– New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern was 37 years old when she was sworn in as prime minister in October 2017.

– Ireland: Leo Varadkar became Ireland’s youngest prime minister in June 2017 aged 38. He now shares power as deputy leader of a coalition government and is due to be premier again next year.

– France: The investment banker Emmanuel Macron became France’s youngest president in May 2017 at 39.

As well as democratically elected governments, other notable young leaders include North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, 37; Chad’s Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, also 37, who took over after the death of his father in April; and the leader of the military junta in Mali, Assimi Goita, 38.

Of young monarchs, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, is 41 as is Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. He rose to the throne in 2006 when he was just 26.