Power and wealth clearly go hand in hand for some politicians. Here are the top 10.
Berlusconi became Italy's prime minister for a third time in 2008 after his predecessor lost a confidence vote and new elections were held. He is the second longest-serving Prime Minister of Italy, a position he has held on three separate occasions: from 1994 to 1995, from 2001 to 2006 and currently since 2008. He started out singing on cruise ships and eventually built his fortune through Fininvest, which now has interests in media, life insurance, movie production and soccer team AC Milan.
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City, and the 10th richest person in the United States, having net worth of US $ 18 billion in 2010. He is the founder and 88 per cent owner of Bloomberg LP, a financial news and information services media company.
Lord Sainsbury presided over declining profits at his family-founded grocery store chain, Sainsbury's, before joining Tony Blair's government in 1998. He is a life peer and sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Labour Party.
Vijay Mallya is an Indian liquor baron and Rajya Sabha MP. The son of industrialist Vittal Mallya, he is the Chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines, which draws its name from United Breweries Group's flagship beer brand, Kingfisher. He also owns the Formula One team Force India, the Indian Premier League team Bangalore Royal Challengers, and the I-League team East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan AC.
The Independent candidate failed in his bids to become governor in 1994 and 1998. The political junkie mounted three failed New York State gubernatorial campaigns with his Independence Party; last attempt reportedly cost $ 90 million of his own money.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote is a businessman based in Nigeria. He is the owner of the Dangote Group, which has operations in Nigeria and several other countries in Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia. A wealthy supporter of erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo and the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), Dangote controls much of Nigeria's commodities trade through his corporate and political connections. With an estimated current net worth of around US$ 2.5 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as one of the richest black African citizens and the third richest person of African descent.
Jeff Greene is an American businessman and entrepreneur. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was a candidate in the 2010 Senate election primaries in Florida. Greene got rich investing in real estate and superrich betting against it.
Lebanese tycoon Najib Mikati clinched the backing of enough MPs to be named the country's premier. Mikati, a self-made telecoms billionaire, emerged as the prime ministerial candidate for Iranian and Syrian backed Hizbollah, after the Shiite party toppled outgoing premier Saad Hariri's unity government earlier this month.
Russia's second-richest businessman, Roman Abramovich lost his parents as a child, dropped out of college and accumulated his fortune in the 1990s through a series of inside deals in the Russian oil industry. He transferred his business assets to a British-registered holding company called Millhouse Capital and dedicated himself to his work as governor of Chukotka (population 87,000, including 10,000 native Chukchi people). Abramovich was the governor of Chukotka from 2000 to 2008.
Senator Manuel Villar gestures during an interview at his party headquarters in Manadaluyong. Villar, a self-made billionaire who once lived in Manila's slums wanted to be the Philippine's next president, saying that his business acumen and experience as a politician will be his assets vital to leading the nation.