NEW YORK (AFP) - Mr Vladimir Putin was the world's most powerful person for a fourth straight year in 2016, with US president-elect Donald Trump in second place, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday (Dec 14) in its annual rankings.
"Russia's President has exerted his country's influence in nearly every corner of the globe," the US business magazine wrote.
"From the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants," Forbes said, adding that the 64-year old Russian leader is "unconstrained by conventional global norms (and) his reach has magnified in recent years".
The magazine wrote that at No. 2, Mr Trump, who takes over the US presidency in a little more than a month, "has a seeming immunity to scandal, both houses of Congress on his side, and a personal net worth in the billions".
Mr Trump, who was elected US president last month, was listed 72nd in Forbes' 2015 power rankings.
Third place this year went to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been at the helm of Europe's economic powerhouse for 11 years and announced plans to run for re-election next year.
Mr Barack Obama, who placed second in 2015, plummeted to 48th place this year as he waits out the final weeks of his United States presidency, with his Democratic Party ousted from the White House after Mr Trump's shock election win and out of power in Congress.
Fourth place went to China's President Xi Jinping, while the fifth spot on the list went to Pope Francis.
Forbes said it assesses the influence of "hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe" as it compiles its annual list, which this year has on it 74 powerful movers and shakers.
For the full list, complete methodology and associated features, click here.