The Money that Never Sleeps: Bureaucratic Movement and Vote Buying Dynamics in Bolaang Mongondow, North Sulawesi

Nono Stevano Agustinus Sumampouw(1*)

(1) Universitas Sam Ratulangi
(*) Corresponding Author


Financial gifts have been an important, albeit not the only, factor in gathering voter support during regional elections in Indonesia. This article seeks to explore the 'dawn attacks' (serangan fajar) of vote buying in Bolaang Mongondow Regency, a practice that is socially required to gain votes during regional elections. Furthermore, this article explores how vote buying through personal finances and bureaucratic mobilisation has become a dominant factor in regional elections, far more important than institutional resources and conservative political instruments such as political parties. Despite Bolaang Mongondow being a region expected to offer little political and economic potential for vote buying at a massive scale—this regency is far from the national political mainstream, and most residents live quite prosperous and could fulfil their basic needs—these 'dawn attacks' have continued on a massive scale during regional elections. Furthermore, this article explains the context, background, and rationale underlying the practice of vote buying as well as the main actors involved. This article also offers an empirical comparative and theoretical perspective regarding vote buying.


Bolaang Mongondow, 'dawn attacks', vote buying, bureaucracy

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