In an article titled Loss of internal democracy seen as reason for many corrupt political party leaders, Gajah Mada University Anti-Corruption Centre (Pukat UGM) researcher Zaenur Rohman – who was responding to two Golkar Party leaders being recently declared corruption suspects – said the lack of internal party democracy is why many party leaders are involved in corruption.
In Rohman's view, this lack of democracy results in internal party decisions being made by a handful of dominant party figures such as chairpersons and general secretaries.
When the democratic process falters, according to Rohman, the process of determining which leaders will become public officials is largely determined by money.
And this impacts on the continued practice of "political dowries" where large sums are paid by political party members if they want to become electoral candidates (calon).
"This is because in Indonesia there are no internal political party mechanisms which ensure that the nomination of candidates is carried out through a democratic process", said Rohman.