In order to nourish the democratic process in Indonesia, one of the urgent steps that must be taken is to reform the financing of political parties. There are three sectors of political party funding reform, namely the party income source (party income), transparent and accountable financial party management as well as party expenditure.
"The three party financing reform agenda is a foundation to move toward a healthy and prosperous democracy," said a political observer from Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, Dwipayana Ari, in the Seminar on International Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Political Financing that was held in the Saphir Hotel. The seminar was organized by the Faculty of Law UGM in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) of Germany.
Ari asserted political party financing reform is not easy to do because it is associated with the choice of model of how the party will be encouraged to finance its activities. Is it using the model of membership dues, through public funds or donations mainly by business groups? "Of course, it has to be followed by strict ground rules such as contributions limitations and restrictions to receive donations from certain sources,' he said.
Meanwhile, about transparent and accountable financial party management reform, Ari added, the significant things are, among others, how to ensure the accountability to the public on party funding and campaign funds. Reforming the party expenditures is also very important as it is related to how to make political costs cheaper. “Party expenditures reform is also very closely related with how to redesign simple electoral system," said Ari.
Ari recognized that the issues of financial capital and social capital are resources of power that are increasingly determinant amidst the increasingly competitive and pluralistic competition between parties. To win the election, the economic capital ownership becomes important in the process of competition because politicians need to "polish up" , strengthen and maintain base support and even expand the voters support even further.
"Political parties are facing an increasingly competitive political atmosphere, not only the numerous number of parties, but the selection was also conducted in a narrow arena (district), multi-layer and held more openly," Ari added.
Meanwhile, UGM Faculty of Law lecturer, Fajrul Falaakh, SH, MA, said that the issue of political funding is already regulated in some legislation rule. Unfortunately, they are merely a formality to meet transparency and accountability requirement. "It is indeed stipulated in the legislation, but it is only a formality in order to meet the transparency and accountability requirement," said Fajrul.
Ironically, many cases of violations of political funding such as those in the presidential or legislative elections that have been reported by the Elections Monitoring Agency to the Police often ended up not as criminal cases. "The reason that is provided is the lack of evidence, which usually ends up in the issuance of Instruction Letter of Investigation Termination (SP3),” he said.
Besides the two speakers, in the international seminar which was opened by the Dean of Law Faculty, Prof. Dr. Marsudi Triatmojo, several other speakers were present, such as Prof. Edmund Terence Gomez of the University of Malaysia and Prof. Dr. Lim Sung-Hack from the University of Seoul, Korea.