Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


Does TI have any information regarding laws on convicted people running for a public position in their country?


This answer is also available in French.


1. Introduction
2. Ineligibilities arising from criminal law decisions
3. Country examples


Ineligibility to stand for office typically arises from the holding of certain posts or the exercise of certain activities. It may also arise from an individual civil law or criminal law decision. In some countries, having a criminal record prevents a person from being eligible. In others, specific disqualifications to stand for elections arise from corruption or failure to comply with electoral laws. Alternatively, in other countries, the law has set out only “positive” qualifications to be met by candidates. The voter is the one to judge whether to elect a candidate who has criminal record. In the case of Brazil, the law disqualifying convicted persons from running for office results from a citizen’s initiative bill, demonstrating how grassroots organisations may influence policy-making.


Maíra Martini, Transparency International, [email protected]


Marie Chêne, Transparency International; Robin Hodess, Ph.D., Transparency International




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