43.Sonia Gandhi – $19.2 billion
Sonia Gandhi ranks as the wealthiest politician in India.
Don’t let the name fool. Sonia is not related to the leader of the Indian independence movement Mahatma Gandhi. Instead, she is part of a very influential family in politics that happens to have the same last name.
Political assassinations happening on the Indian subcontinent have no match. Sonia had the daunting task of continuing the work of two prime ministers that were killed while in office – mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, and husband, Rajiv Gandhi.
The Gandhi name meant that Sonia was entitled to inherit the Prime Minister position. Although she declined, she will later join politics as president of the Congress Party. Forbes even included her amongst the world’s ten most influential figures in 2010.
44. José Eduardo dos Santos – $20 billion
José Eduardo dos Santos ranks as the wealthiest politician in Africa.
The cause behind such a vast amount of money ending up in one’s pockets is simple. Dos Santos is the president of Angola since 1979, and he has spent every second of his many consecutive terms amassing an impressive fortune.
The quasi-dictatorship saw many state-run companies privatized and ending up at the hands of José Eduardo dos Santos. Even when the Parliament issued a law prohibiting further acquisitions, he did not have the decency of stopping.
Dos Santos passed most of the assets to his daughter, apparently making her a spoiled little princess. Some say that the $20 billion estimate is outdated and that Forbes should have another guess.
Age 74, Dos Santos doesn’t even want to hear about stepping down from power and allowing Angola to become a free society.