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Nepotism is favouritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis, from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote and Catalan nebot, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended. For example, Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu filled the top posts in the country and the ruling Party with his siblings, nephews, nieces, and in-laws, as well as giving increasing power to his wife, Elena—she officially held the title of Deputy Prime Minister, and by the early 1980s she was placed in charge of the country when Nicolae was away on tours abroad. (via Freebase)