Introduction

Political corruption is a type of corruption that involves political decision-makers. It takes place when politicians and public officials who are entitled to make and enforce the laws use their political power to sustain their statues and wealth and/or make decisions in the benefit of private interests. Political corruption thus often involves the abuse of power, and leads not only to the misallocation of resources, but also affects the manner in which decisions are made.  

Political corruption involves a wide range of crimes and illicit acts committed by decision-makers before, during and after leaving office. It can thus be manifested in a wide-range of ways including: illegal political finance, undue influence on policy-making, state capture, election fraud, vote buying, abuse of state resources during elections, abuse of immunities and other prerogatives related to their position, as well as favouritism in appointments and decisions, among others.  

Corruption in political life is facilitated by a system of secrecy and weak accountability, and it has a hugely detrimental impact upon public perceptions of the legitimacy of political institutions, weakening the democratic system as a whole, particularly when political leaders involved in corruption consistently remain unpunished.  

For further information, see the Topic Guide on Political Corruption.

For more information about TI’s work in this area, see https://www.transparency.org/t...

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