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    Like Father, Like Son: Political Dynasties Around the World

    © AP Photo / JOHN MOTTERN
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    The children of politicians and world leaders are often more than willing to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

    Despite the fact that such tendencies are often labeled as 'nepotism' and frowned upon, the so called political 'dynasties' are not as uncommon as one may think.

    The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is probably the first person who comes to mind. While his two elder brothers, Kim Jong-nam and Kim Jong-chul, were apparently deemed by Kim Jong-il as too depraved to lead the country (the former even managed to embarrass himself by attempting to enter Japan using a fake passport in order to visit Tokyo Disneyland), Kim Jong-un spent much of his youth attending a closed elite school in Switzerland and appeared unwilling to repeat his brothers’ shenanigans.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on a snow-covered top of Mount Paektu in North Korea
    © AFP 2019 / Rodong Sinmun
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on a snow-covered top of Mount Paektu in North Korea

    It should also be noted that the current leader of South Korea, President Park Geun-hye, can also be considered a member of political dynasty as she is the daughter of Park Chung-hee – a controversial authoritarian leader who stewarded the country for 18 years, turning it into an economic power to be reckoned with but at the same time often achieving his goals at the expense of democracy and human rights.

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye
    © Flickr / Republic of Korea
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye

    When Bassel Assad, the eldest son of former Syrian President Hafez Assad, was killed in a car accident, many doubted that his younger brother, a quiet ophthalmologist named Bashar Assad, would be able to replace him as 'heir apparent'. However, the current Syrian leader turned out to be a determined and tenacious politician as he continues to lead his country with considerable popular support despite the ongoing civil war and machinations of powerful foreign nations bent on toppling him.

    A kid takes a selfie with President Assad
    Facebook.com
    A kid takes a selfie with President Assad

    In the meantime, another US political 'dynasty' isn’t faring all that well, as John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, son of the 41st US President George H.W. Bush and brother of the 43rd US president George W. Bush, was unable to secure a party nomination during the ongoing presidential election campaign.

    George W. Bush (L) looks on as his brother Jeb Bush speaks.
    © AFP 2019 / JIM WATSON
    George W. Bush (L) looks on as his brother Jeb Bush speaks.

    At the same time, Marine Le Pen, the current leader of the French far-right political party National Front and daughter of the organization’s founder Jean-Mari Le Pen, was not only able to successfully replace her father as the party’s head, but even managed to steer the movement in a slightly different direction despite the former leader’s wishes. In fact, after making a number of controversial statements, Jean-Mari Le Pen ended up expelled from the party he once helped establish.

    French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in Lyon, central France.
    © AP Photo / Laurent Cipriani
    French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in Lyon, central France.

    All in all, these so called 'dynasties' remain a rather controversial thing. While some politician’s children prove to be capable administrators and sometimes even manage to surpass their parents in terms of aptitude, the concept of ‘inheriting’ political positions, no matter how elaborately obfuscated it is, does not sit well with many cultures and nations.

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    Tags:
    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), dynasty, leaders, politicians, children, Bashar al-Assad, Park Geun-hye, George H.W. Bush, Marine Le Pen, Kim Jong-un, George Bush, Syria, United States, France, South Korea
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