Jakarta. The government needs to set up a mechanism to monitor public subsidies for political parties to prevent misappropriation of funds, the Association for Elections and Democracy, or Perludem, said on Wednesday (27/12).
The government has agreed to increase the subsidies from Rp 108 per vote to Rp 1,000 (7 US cents) per vote for the simultaneous regional elections in 2018 and legislative and presidential elections in 2019.
"A Perludem study in 2011 indicated that the Rp 108 per vote subsidy only met 1.32 percent of the parties' expenditure needs," Perludem legal researcher Fadli Ramadhanil said during a year-end discussion in South Jakarta.
Fadli added that a party's funding relies on donations, which can lead to interference in its policies. State assistance is needed to reduce this problem and restore the role of parties as public organizations, which are supported by public funding as well.
The government, he said, needs to set stricter rules for increasing its direct and indirect funding. Indirect assistance is in financing political campaigns in mass media or public debates ahead of elections, while direct assistance comes in cash.
According to Perludem, the funds should be utilized for open political recruitment, political education and efforts to increase women's representation.
"There needs to be a transparent and accountable reporting mechanism, with penalties. For example, if audit findings show that a party's reports are not transparent, its funding may be reduced next year. The government has given no indications of [plans to introduce] this," Fadli said.
The funds increase and regulations governing it have been approved by a number of related institutions, including the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), and are only waiting for the president's approval, director general of politics and public administration at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Seodarmo, said as quoted by BeritaSatu.com.