Transparency International Slams Malta And Brazil
Anti-graft watchdog Transparency International warned that corruption is "undermining the rule of law" and "weakening democracy" in Brazil and Malta, in an annual report published Thursday
Berlin, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Jan, 2020 ):Anti-graft watchdog Transparency International warned that corruption is "undermining the rule of law" and "weakening democracy" in Brazil and Malta, in an annual report published Thursday.
The report accuses the Maltese government of "dragging its feet" in investigations into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and bemoans "political interference" from Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
Both Brazil and Malta are among the countries which dropped points in TI's 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a global ranking published by the NGO every January.
TI said that Malta is "still mired in corruption" two years after the death of reporter Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a 2017 car bomb explosion while investigating corruption.
Several high-profile figures with close ties to government have been embroiled in the investigations, leading former Maltese premier Joseph Muscat to resign last December.
TI also highlighted other scandals such as the Panama Papers and the collapse of a Maltese bank as reasons for Malta's lower score.
The report goes on to slam Brazilian president Bolsonaro for "growing political interference with anti-corruption institutions".
Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 on an anti-corruption agenda, but the watchdog said his tenure has been marked by "a series of setbacks to its legal and anti-corruption frameworks".
"Mounting impunity threatens to weaken democracy and destabilise the country," it added.
Denmark and New Zealand retained their place at the top of the index, which ranks 180 nations based on aggregated survey and assessment data from 13 different global institutions.
Western European and EU member states tended to score highest, while countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and Syria landed at the bottom of the rankings.
Yet TI warned western Europe against complacency, pointing out that even the high-scoring Nordic countries were implicated in transnational corruption scandals.
It also renewed its 2018 criticism of the USA, which ranked 23rd with its lowest score in eight years, saying that a "pay-to-play culture has only become more entrenched" during Donald Trump's presidency.
The report highlighted Angola as one of the countries which had improved its CPI score on 2018, noting that Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of the former Angolan president, had been removed as head of the state oil and gas firm Sonagol in December.
Described as Africa's first female billionaire by Forbes magazine in 2013, Dos Santos is accused of "making a fortune at the expense of the Angolan people" in a report published Monday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.