The Czech Republic ranked 57th out of 177 countries and territories worldwide in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International (TI), deteriorating its position from last year when it was placed 54th.
The index ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country's score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. The Czech Republic's score is 48, the same as Bahrain, Croatia and Namibia. In regional comparison it ranked better than Slovakia (61) but stayed behind Poland (38) and Hungary (47). In Europe, the country ranks only ahead of Italy and the Balkan states.
Commenting on the country's position in the 2013 edition of the index, the Czech branch of TI said the country’s worsened position in the ranking reflects the government's incapability of tackling corruption consistently, CTK news agency reported. TI emphasised the need for the future government to clearly outline its priorities in this respect urging it to focus on the implementation of measures that would bring the country among advanced European states. The new government should focus on depoliticising the state administration, on making transparent the financing of political parties and on legal guarantees for an independent investigation of serious corruption cases, TI said.
Corruption has long been rampant in the Czech Republic. According to a recent Gallup survey, 94% of the Czechs perceive corruption as widespread throughout government. The former centre-right government was toppled in June amid a bribery and spying scandal. The fall of the government led to early general elections in October where voters, tired of graft scandals, punished the mainstream parties opting for protest parties vowing to eliminate corruption. Centrist anti-corruption movement ANO ranked second in the October elections and is now holding talks with the election winner leftist Social Democrats (CSSD) on forming the country’s next government.
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