Prime Minister for a Few Minutes
Sierra Leonean politician Siaka Stevens (1905 – 1988), who ruled as both prime minister and president, might have had the shortest stint of power in recorded history. Born in the then British Protectorate of Sierra Leone, Stevens worked as a policeman, mine worker, and railway station manager, and union organizer before he became a career politician. In 1943 he founded the United Mineworkers Union, studied labor relations in Oxford University a few years later, and in 1952, became minister of lands, mines, and labor.
Stevens continued his rise up the political rungs after Sierra Leone gained its independence, and on March 17th, 1967, his party won elections by a narrow margin. Stevens became prime minister, but his rule lasted for just a few minutes, before he was arrested in a military coup. Exiled to Guinea, he returned to Sierra Leone thirteen months later, after another military coup, and resumed his office as prime minister on April 26th, 1968. His second stint in power lasted longer than his first, and he ruled the country, first as prime minister and then as president, from 1968 until 1985.