More countries declined in a global index of public sector corruption in 2016 than improved, according to Transparency International (TI).
TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 showed 69% of countries scored below 50, where zero indicates high corruption and 100 shows the least. The global average score was 43. “This year more countries declined in the index than improved, showing the need for urgent action,” said TI.
TI said systemic corruption and social inequality reinforced each other, “leading to popular disenchantment with political establishments and providing a fertile ground for the rise of populist politicians”.
José Ugaz, chair of TI, said: “In countries with populist or autocratic leaders, we often see democracies in decline and a disturbing pattern of attempts to crack down on civil society, limit press freedom and weaken the independence of the judiciary.
“Instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems.”
Denmark and New Zealand performed best of the 176 countries ranked in the index, sharing the “characteristics of open government, press freedom, civil liberties and independent judicial systems”.
For the 10th year running Somalia was the worst performer, followed by South Sudan and North Korea, with countries at the bottom characterised by “widespread impunity for corruption, poor governance and weak institutions”.
Top 10 least corrupt countries:
1. New Zealand
10. United Kingdom
Top 10 most corrupt countries:
2. South Suda
3. North Korea
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