Supreme leader

A supreme leader typically refers to the person among a number of leaders of a state, organization or other such group who has been given or is able to exercise the most – or complete – authority over it. In a religion, this role is usually satisfied by a person deemed to be the representative or manifestation of a god or gods on Earth. In politics, a supreme leader usually has a cult of personality associated with them, such as below:

There have been many dictators and political party leaders who have assumed such personal and/or political titles to evoke their supreme authority. World War II, for example, saw many fascist and other far right figures model their rule on Hitler's Führer or Mussolini's Duce personae. On the far left, several communist leaders[example needed] adopted "Supreme"-styled titles and/ or followed Stalin's Vozhd example.

List of titles

Listed by date of establishment.

1920s and earlier

World War II

Cold War era

Post–Cold War era

  • Franjo Tuðman, the first President of Croatia, was given the title of Vrhovnik ("The Supreme One") by the Croatian Parliament in 1995.
  • Alija Izetbegovic, the first Bosniak President of the Presidency of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (now Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina) ("Predsjednik") in wartime and post-Bosnian war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Hugo Chavez, former President of Venezuela, was called El Comandante (The Commander) by the people during his reign.
  • Nursultan Nazarbayev, since 1991 the President of Kazakhstan, was granted the title Елбасы (translit. Elbasy - "Leader of the Nation") by a parliamentary decision in 2010.
  • Saparmurat Niyazov, president-for-life and dictator of Turkmenistan, gave himself the title Türkmenbaşy ("Leader of all Turkmens") and Serdar ("The Leader").
  • Kim Jong-Il is officially referred to by the North Korean government as 친애하는 지도자 (translit. ch'inaehanŭn chidoja - "Honorable Leader") and "The Leader" (his father Kim Il Sung after death stayed as "Great Leader").
  • Kim Jong-Un was made "Supreme Guide" after his father Kim Jong-Il died in 2011.
  • Nawaz Sharif, ex-prime minister of Pakistan, was made the Supreme Leader of his political party PML-N after the Pakistan Supreme Court ruled that as he was disqualified[2] under the constitution for dishonesty, he can no longer serve as the head of a political party.

In fiction


  1. ^ William C. Kirby (ed.), Realms of Freedom in Modern China, p. 121
  2. ^ Bhatti, Haseeb (2018-02-21). "Nawaz Sharif removed as PML-N head after SC rules disqualified person cannot lead a party". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2018-03-01.