- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The votes are in and Forbes has the tally: Topping its list of World’s Most Powerful People this year is Russia President Vladimir Putin — not President Obama.

Mr. Obama has fallen to second place, just a slot above China’s General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping.

Part of the reason for Mr. Putin’s leading spot is due to his growing presence on the world stage, especially with his role in brokering the deal that saw Syrian President Bashar Assad transfer his chemical weapons cache to international powers. Still, the list is largely opinion-based.

Forbes’ judges use four criteria to determine the top leaders: How many they govern; how much money they oversee; how many spheres of influence they tout; and how actively they use their powers to influence and change the world, Sky News reported.

Mr. Putin’s population is 142 million, Sky News said. Mr. Obama’s: 314 million.

Rounding out the list, in order: Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, and coming in tenth, Walmart CEO Michael Duke.

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