The Maldives has made little to no progress in its efforts to combat corruption, falling 17 positions in country rankings, according to a new survey.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 was published Wednesday by Transparency International. It scores and ranks countries by their perceived level of public sector corruption using a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
In the 2017 index the Maldives had a score of 33 and a ranking of 112 out of 180, the same as Niger, Bolivia and El Salvador. In 2016 the Maldives’ score was 36 and its position was 95.
“This year’s results highlight close linkages between corruption, journalistic freedoms and civil society engagement,” said Transparency Maldives (TM).
“The results indicate that countries where crackdowns on media and civil society are widespread tend to have the worst rates for corruption. In the past six years the Maldives has seen a gradual decline in the fundamental freedom of the press, association, and expression.
“There are more pronounced threats and intimidation than ever before to journalists, bloggers, social media activists, whistle-blowers, and media outlets reporting on corruption, human rights violations, and bad governance.”
In 2011 a ranking of 134 prompted TM to describe the country’s “grand scale” corruption as systemic, with subsequent warnings about the damage it was having. It was omitted from the CPI for three years in a row.
In 2015 TM said that corruption was the biggest problem facing the Maldives.
Earlier this month a study found that the Maldives was one of the most secretive financial jurisdictions in the world, with partial or no public online access to information about bank secrecy and wealth registration.