The access of ordinary citizens to power has been thwarted by leaders staying in power for a long time. Various ways have been used, including changing the constitution to permit more terms, interfering with elections, and other types of political control.
List of current longest ruling non-royal national leaders Wikipedia December 11, 2017
Caption: Paul Biya has been President of Cameroon for 42 years (since 1975) and is the longest ruling national leader. Credit: Executive Office of the President of the United States