But there are some world leaders who are far from ugly. Some that you might even consider very good-looking. But who is the best? Here are some candidates...
(I cover female world leaders here.)
He's not the most popular guy in Thailand right now, if the red-shirt riots are anything to go by. But that just goes to show there's more to popularity than looks, which the dashing Abhisit is not short of. Interestingly, the 45 year-old was actually born in Newcastle in England and educated at Oxford. And his wife has the awesome name Pimpen.
Something about 46 year-old Borut Pahor just says "movie star" to me. Maybe it's the startling blue eyes, or that look in the second photo that just says "You know you want to vote for me."
GORDON BAJNAI (Prime Minister of Hungary)
Speaking of striking blue eyes, this guy's got quite a pair. The 42 year-old Bajnai has the sort of reassuring good-looks that obviously make him a seductive option at the Hungarian polls.
His full name is Henri Albert Gabriel Felix Marie Guillaume. But you can call him Henri. The 55 year-old Grand Duke sports the kind of look that would be at home on Days of Our Lives.
BARACK OBAMA (President of the USA)
Big ears or not, the 48 year-old part-Kenyan Obama is quite the looker. And he's got an undeniable sense of style and cool about him that few politicians ever have. I mean, he's not necessarily cool by most standards, but by politician standards, he's wayyy cool.
Thaci is the 42 year-old leader of the world's newest nation (although its nation status is still widely disputed). I think he is not an amazing looking guy generally, but when he smiles, as in the first photo, what a great set of gnashers!
For some reason I feel like the 51 year-old Stoltenberg should be playing a doctor in some British drama series. He also vaguely reminds me of the Fonz.
He may look like a Hong Kong teen film idol, but the 28 year-old Oxford-educated Khesar presides over the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
JOSEPH KABILA (President of the Democratic Republic of Congo)
The 39-year-old former guerilla fighter assumed the Presidency of the war-torn Congo after the murder of his father Laurent Kabila in 2001, making him one of the youngest-ever world leaders at age 29. His birth name is actually Hippolyte Kanombe Kazemberembe. Hippolyte is not exactly the sexiest name a bloke can have, but try to look past it. I included the second picture because I know some of you folks love a man in uniform.
JOSE SOCRATES (Prime Minister of Portugal)
I feel like there's a little bit of George Clooney and a little bit of Dustin Hoffman in the 52 year-old Portuguese PM, whose actual name is Jose Socrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa. Nice hairstyle too.
MOHAMED NASHEED (Prime Minister of the Maldives)
The 43 year-old PM of the Maldives is widely regarded as a champion of environmental causes, and is the only world leader I know of to stage a sitting of parliament under water, an in attempt to raise awareness of the plight of his tiny island nation in the face of rising sea levels. Most politicians look a bit geeky, but Mr Nasheed has got the hot-nerd thing going for him; he kind of looks like a handsome accountant.
VLADIMIR PUTIN (Prime Minister of Russia)
There are few world leaders who love to be photographed topless as much as Mr Putin, who still cuts a fine figure at age 57. The fact that he is a former KGB operative who could probably kill you as soon as look at you is either creepy or sexy, depending on your perspective.
RAFAEL CORREA (President of Ecuador)
47-year-old Correa is one of the new wave of democratic socialist leaders reigning in South America. Apart from his obvious ability to rock a party (see the first picture above), my favourite thing about him is this quote from Wikipedia:
"In response to Chávez's comparison of US President George W. Bush with Satan, Correa said it was unfair to the devil."
XANANA GUSMAO (Prime Minister of East Timor)
He may be 63 years old now, but Jose Alexandre (Xanana) Gusmao still looks the goods, just as he did as a young man (second picture). Those are some great eyes. Plus he is a former freedom fighter who spent 6 years in jail for his struggle. Which is kinda hot, I guess.
So now over to you - who is the hottest? You can vote for more than one if you like, but please don't vote for any candidate more than once.
Remember that this is a purely superficial poll and is not about the leader's policies or ideology. It's strictly about the looks here.
If you think I've missed anyone, leave a comment and let me know!
You may also like:
Who are the hottest players at the World Cup?