Political Corruption Law and Legal Definition

Political corruption means the abuse of political power by the government leaders to extract and accumulate for private enrichment, and to use politically corrupt means to maintain their hold on power. However, abuse of political power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Political corruption takes place at the highest levels of the political system, and hence it can be differentiated from administrative or bureaucratic corruption. It can also be distinguished from business and private sector corruption.

Political corruption can be of two forms. The first one is which includes both accumulation and extraction and where government officials use and abuse their hold on power to extract from the private sector, from government revenues, and from the economy at large. Some of the examples of the above mentioned form of corruption are extraction, embezzlement, rent-seeking, plunder and even kleptocracy ("rule by thieves").

The second form of political corruption is one in which extracted resources (and public money) are used for power preservation and power extension purposes. This usually takes the form of favouritism and patronage politics. It includes a favouritist and politically motivated distribution of financial and material inducements, benefits, advantages, and spoils.