Moscow, Jan 29 : The United States has not been included in the top 20 most "clean" countries in Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index for the first time in almost a decade, and earned its lowest score in the ranking in seven years, the organization, financed, among others, by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), founded by Hungarian-born US businessman George Soros, revealed on Tuesday.
The countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index are ranked in accordance with their "cleanness" in terms of corruption on a 0 to 100 scale, with the states that score close to 100 considered to be "very clean." "The United States ... dramatically drops four points since last year to earn a score of 71, its lowest score in seven years. The US hovers close to Uruguay in South America, with a score of 70, and Barbados in the Caribbean, with a score of 68," the global civil society organization said in a statement, published on its website.
Moreover, the United States dropped out of the top 20 countries in the ranking for the first time since 2011, when the country ranked 22. "The country [the United States] is currently witnessing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power. The low score comes at a time of growing nativist populist sentiment, a rise in hate crimes, trenchant political polarisation and the longest government shutdown in US history," the organization added. According to Transparency International, US President Donald Trump, and other "populist and authoritarian leaders" in the region, are undermining democracy in their countries, which resulted in poor ratings for the Americas in general.
In the 2017 ranking, the United States stood 16 with a score of 75. SPUTNIK