Like father, like son: Political dynasties that made running the country a family business
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Is the new President of the Philippines and not without controversy. Bongbong, as he’s usually nicknamed, is the only son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the country from 1965 to 1986.
The Marcos clan, however, is hardly the only political dynasty to make running the country a family business in the modern era.
Pictured: Ferdinand Marcos and his son in 1986, shortly before being deposed.
Latin America is a continent with a long history of dictators. One of the most infamous was Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza, who ruled the Central American nation from 1937, until his assassination in 1956.
Somoza’s sons would succeed him in ruling the country directly or through puppet presidents. The US-backed Somoza dynasty would come to an end in 1979, with the ousting of Anastasio Somoza Debayle (pictured), who would be assassinated while in exile in Paraguay the following year.
Not all political families in region are as dramatic as the Somozas. Take for example Andrés Pastrana, President of Colombia between 1998 and 2002 and son of Misael Pastrana, who ruled the country between 1970 and 1974.
Of course, political dynasties aren’t limited to Latin America. North Korea, for example, has been ruled by the Kim family since the foundation of the country in 1948.
The Kim dynasty began with Kim Il-sung, who established North Korea as a Communist state in 1948 and ruled the nation with an iron grip until his death in 1994.
The elder Kim was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-il. The eccentric new leader, known for his extravagant tastes, led the country until his demise in 2011.
Since 2011, Kim Jong-un has continued his father’s position as Supreme Leader of North Korea. One has to wonder how many generations have to pass to officially become a monarchy.
Elsewhere in the Arab world, there’s the al-Assad family from Syria. Hafez al-Assad became ruler of Syria in 1970. He governed the country with a personality cult around himself until his death in 2000.
His son, Bashar al-Assad, has been President of Syria since the year 2000. Despite many years of civil war and a mass exodus, it doesn’t seem that the al-Assad family will be leaving the presidential palace any time soon.
It’s important to highlight that not all presidential parents and children are authoritarian. After all, George Bush was democratically-elected President in 1988 for one term and his son George Walker Bush for two terms in 2000 and 2004.
However, people still have some things to say about the Florida presidential election recount in 2000 and how it was decided by the Supreme Court.
Of course, the Bush family isn't the first to have two White House residents in the family tree. John Adams, the second US President, was the father of John Quincy Adams (pictured), the sixth President of the United States.
Up north in Canada, they don't have a president. Like many constitutional monarchies, the government is headed by a Prime Minister.
Between 1968 and 1979 that person was Pierre Trudeau, who would be PM again from 1980 to 1984. Prime Ministers in Canada, unlike most Presidents, don't have fixed terms.
Justin Trudeau took his father's mantle as head of the Canadian government in 2015.
Jawaharial Nehru was not only the first Prime Minister of independent India until his death in 1964,he was also the father of Indira Gandhi, one of the first female heads of government in the world.
Gandhi served as Prime Minister of India on two occasions: from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 to 1984. In 1999, she was named Woman of the Millennium in a BBC poll.
Sadly, India's first female prime minister was assassinated in 1984 by her two bodyguards. Her son, Rajiv Gandhi, succeeded her as PM until 1989.