World leaders with the shortest serving tenure

Liz Truss

Liz Truss earned the ignominy of becoming the shortest-serving prime minister in British history after being in office for 45 days. “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party” was her words leaving the top post after a disastrous time in Downing Street.

George Canning

Before Liz Truss, Tory statesman George Canning held the distinction of being Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister. He was in office for 119 days before dying of tuberculosis on 8 August 1827.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

In India, Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee has the distinction of serving as prime minister for 16 days — from 16 May to 1 June 1996, who then stepped down ahead of a trust vote.

Siaka Stevens

The leader of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Siaka Stevens served as prime minister only for an hour after winning a closely contested election in 1967. In addition to being the shortest-serving head of state, he also served as the longest — 17 years — after reclaiming power in a counter coup.

William Henry

US President William Henry died on the 32nd day of his office. His doctors cite “pneumonia of the lower lobe of the right lung, complicated by congestion of the liver,” as the reason. He was the first American president to die in office.

King Louis XIX

The monarchs also have seen short tenures. France’s King Louis XIX was ruler for 20 minutes! He took office in 1830 after his father’s abdication. But soon stepped down.

Lady Jane Gray

An English noblewoman Lady Jane Gray claimed the throne of England, Wales and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553. She came to be known as ‘Nine Days Queen’.

Michael II

Another short period on the throne was that of Michael II, who lasted about 18 hours in Russia after the abdication of his brother Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917. He was later thrown in prison and murdered after the revolution.

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