In 2020, Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN) selected transparent political finance as the common requirement to prevent corruption and abuse in Asian democracy.


Against this background, ADRN published this special report to evaluate the current state of political finance systems in the region by studying the phenomenon and its impact within four different countries in Asia, as well as their key reforms in the near future.


The report investigates contemporary questions such as: What is the legal mechanism in place to assure transparent political finance? Does the legal framework on political finance place a bar on the use of money in politics? Is money in politics effectively designed with a built-in oversight mechanism of political finance laws? How much transparency is established in the legal framework? What are the key areas requiring reform in the political finance systems to achieve transparency?


Drawing on a rich array of resources and data, this report offers country-specific analyses, highlights areas of improvement, and suggests policy recommendations for ensuring transparent political finance systems with integrity.


Quotes from the Paper


“In order to have more transparent and accountable governance of the political party, financial control should be based on the use of a regulatory approach and financial subsidies from the state as the legal basis of political party governance. Without the provision of adequate funds to parties, party finance regulations will not be effective and cannot be enforced in the process of managing political party finance” – Indonesian Institute of Sciences


“Voter education equips citizens with healthy democratic habits instead of encouraging emotion and rhetoric-influenced decision making. Voters have a right to demand that political parties disclose the sources of their funding. Thus, enough pressure from the public can help to create a domino effect of eradicating corrupt practices in politics..” – Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs


“The role of money in financing politics is neither a new phenomenon nor relevant to a country or region. Money has always been an integral part and a key vehicle for financing politics, political participation, campaigning, and representation around the world. However, without effective regulation, the use of money in politics can undermine representation and representative democracy.” – Pakistan Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency


“While part of legislature and presidential elections subsidies are transferred to parties who are required to file accounting reports each year, those subsidies that are given to candidates themselves are not require to disclose their use. Since these funds are from taxpayers, the use of these funds should be disclosed regardless of the amount, just like political donations, and the items purchased should be truthfully disclosed.” - Academia Sinica/Asian Barometer




Various researchers from Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Pakistan Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency, Academia Sinica/Asian Barometer.


EAI provided support in the form of typesetting and proofreading for the production of the reports.



Typeset by Juhyun Jun Research Associate
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Center for Democracy Cooperation

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Asia Democracy Research Network

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