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Jakarta Post

Democracy on the cheap

  • Endy Bayuni

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 13 2013   /  09:01 am

The recent arrest of the top leader of the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) on corruption charges is a reminder of the precarious financial situation that all Indonesian political parties face.

Operating with limited financial resources, parties may have gotten a little too creative in raising funds for the likes of the country’s antigraft commission.

PKS president Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq is the latest in a list of top elected Indonesian politicians implicated in corruption scandals. Those before him have included politicians from the Democratic Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who ironically enough, was elected in 2004 and again 2009 on an anticorruption platform.

None of the big parties are free from corruption scandals. One possible reason is that the politicians running the parties are often tasked with raising money for the party’s coffers....