List of countries by date of uninterrupted peaceful transfer of power

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This is a list of countries by date of their first peacefulTemplate:Clarify, election-based transfer of political power (uninterrupted to the present) of the premierTemplate:Clarify from one political party to another.

Country Uninterrupted peaceful transfers of power since Notes
United Kingdom May 29, 1660[no citations needed here] Charles II is crowned King of England, Scotland and Ireland by Parliament after being deposed as King of Scotland in 1651. The Monarch's power and succession after this point is primarily controlled by an elected Parliament.
United States March 4, 1801 This is referred to as the Revolution of 1800.[1] Some regard the 1861 transfer of power following the 1860 election as an interruption in the peaceful transition of power, "leading as it did to a secession by half the country and four years of brutal civil war."[2]
Canada November 7, 1873[no citations needed here] Alexander Mackenzie takes office.
Switzerland December 17, 1891[no citations needed here] Josef Zemp takes office.
Australia April 29, 1910[no citations needed here] Andrew Fisher takes office.
New Zealand December 10, 1928[no citations needed here] Joseph Ward takes office.
Ireland March 9, 1932 Éamon de Valera replaces W.T. Cosgrave.
Italy June 2, 1946 A universal suffrage vote elects Alcide De Gasperi as first prime minister of the newborn Italian Republic.
France June 24, 1946 Georges Bidault takes office.
Japan May 24, 1947 Tetsu Katayama takes office.
Netherlands August 7, 1948 Willem Drees becomes the prime minister.
Belgium August 11, 1949 Gaston Eyskens replaces Paul-Henri Spaak.
Costa Rica May 8, 1953 Jose Figueres Ferrer replaces Otilio Ulate Blanco.
Colombia August 7, 1958 Alberto Lleras Camargo replaces the Junta Militar after Gustavo Rojas Pinilla's 4 year military dictatorship.
Norway October 12, 1965 First post-war non-Labour government
Germany October 21, 1969 This is the election of Willy Brandt. For East Germans, the first peaceful transfer of power was the election of Gerhard Schröder, who took office October 27, 1998.
Austria April 21, 1970 Bruno Kreisky takes office.
Luxembourg June 15, 1974 Gaston Thorn becomes prime minister.
India March 24, 1977 Morarji Desai is elected Prime Minister of India ending years of Indian National Congress rule, forming the first non congress government at the center
Israel June 21, 1977 The right-wing Likud party ends three decades of left-wing rule.
Dominican Republic August 16, 1978 Antonio Guzmán Fernández replaces Joaquín Balaguer.
Spain December 1, 1982 The Spanish general election of 1982 marks the first post-Franco peaceful transfer of power.
Portugal March 9, 1986 Mário Soares takes office.
El Salvador June 1, 1989 Alfredo Cristiani is elected.
Argentina July 8, 1989 Carlos Menem is elected.
Guatemala January 14, 1991 Jorge Serrano Elías replaces Vinicio Cerezo.
Turkey November 20, 1991 Süleyman Demirel replaces Mesut Yılmaz.
Brazil January 1, 1995 Fernando Henrique Cardoso takes office.
Poland December 23, 1995 Aleksander Kwaśniewski replaces Lech Walesa.
Taiwan May 20, 1996 Lee Teng-hui is the elected president of Taiwan presidential election, 1996.
South Korea February 25, 1998 Kim Dae-Jung is elected president.
Mexico December 1, 2000 Vicente Fox ends 71 years of uninterrupted rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
Ecuador January 15, 2007 Rafael Correa is elected.
Greenland June 12, 2009 Kuupik Kleist takes office.
Chile March 11, 2010 Concertacion candidates won every election from the 1990 end of military rule until the election of Sebastián Piñera.
Philippines June 30, 2010 Benigno Aquino III takes office.
Haiti May 14, 2011 Michel Martelly replaces Rene Preval.
Indonesia October 20, 2014 Joko Widodo takes office.

Countries without uninterrupted, election-based peaceful transfers of power

Country Last government change Notes
Bahrain 1783 The ruling Al Khalifa family begins its reign of uninterrupted control.
Saudi Arabia August 14, 1932 The King of Saudi Arabia takes power.
North Korea September 9, 1948 The Workers' Party of Korea under the Kim dynasty has maintained uninterrupted rule.
China October 1, 1949 The People's Republic of China is established.
Morocco March 2, 1956 Morocco achieves independence from France.
Malaysia August 31, 1957 Malaysian leaders have come from the same political party since the country's independence.
Cuba January 1, 1959 Fulgencio Batista is overthrown.
Algeria July 3, 1962 A succession of military leaders and puppets have ruled since the country has gained independence from France.
Syria March 12, 1971 The al-Assad family seizes power in a coup d'état.
Vietnam July 2, 1976 The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is founded.
Iran February 11, 1979 The Shah of Iran is overthrown and only two Supreme Leaders have ruled since.
Zimbabwe December 12, 1979 The Rhodesian Bush War ends and Robert Mugabe becomes president.
Cameroon November 6, 1982 Paul Biya takes control, as Ahmadou Ahidjo goes into exile.
Russia July 10, 1991 The Soviet Union falls, and Boris Yeltsin becomes president. A series of appointed successors have replaced him in succession.[no citations needed here]
Afghanistan December 22, 2001 The first peaceful transition of power took place when president Burhanuddin Rabbani transferred power to Hamid Karzai.
Iraq April 9, 2003 The United States removes Saddam Hussein from power.
Bolivia June 6, 2005 The Bolivian gas war culminates in the resignation of the president.
Honduras June 28, 2009 Manuel Zelaya is removed in a coup d'état.
Niger February 18, 2010 Mahamadou Issoufou becomes president after a coup d'état.
Tunisia January 14, 2011 The Tunisian revolution culminates in the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Libya August 23, 2011 The Libyan Civil War occurs in 2011.
Yemen February 27, 2012 Ali Abdullah Saleh is ousted.
Paraguay June 22, 2012 Fernando Lugo is replaced in a "parliamentary coup."
Egypt July 3, 2013 An Egyptian coup d'état removes President Mohamed Morsi.
Ukraine February 22, 2014 Viktor Yanukovych is ousted.
Thailand May 22, 2014 Thailand overthrows its leader.


  1. James E. Lewis Jr., "'What Is to Become of Our Government?' The Revolutionary Potential of the Election of 1800" in The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic (eds. James Horn, Jan Ellen Lewis & Pegter S. Onuf: University of Virginia Press, 2002:), pp. 3-4. "Historians and political scientists have ... frequently treated [the 1800 election] as the first instance—not just in American history but even in modern history—when control over a national government passed from the ruling party to the opposition party peacefully. One political scientists called it 'the first ... grand, democratic, peaceful transfer pf power in modern politics.' 'Violent resistance was never, at any time, discussed as a serious immediate possibility,' the historian Richard Hofstadter insisted; 'neither was disunion discussed as a serious immediate possibility.' The "peaceful and orderly fashion" in which this transfer of power took place has often been treated as evidence of 'the maturity of the nation's first system of political parties.'"
  2. Kevin Drum, Was 1861 Really a Peaceful Transition of Power?, Mother Jones (January 21, 2013).