The Maldives' efforts against corruption remained unchanged, according to last year's Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
The country ranked 85th out of 185 countries with 40 points on the CPI.
The measure is calculated based on the Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, the Varieties of Democracy Project and the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA).
A statement released by Transparency Maldives said the statistics showed that politicians and government employees were not being held accountable due to weak investigation, prosecution and law enforcement in corruption cases.
It said that the CPI’s inclusion in the moderate category also indicates that there are serious cases of corruption, embezzlement and some high-ranking government officials taking unfair advantages to the detriment of the public.
"Last year's CPI slogan also indicates that corruption causes political, social and economic shocks and undermines the peace and security of the country. Moreover, corruption creates an environment that increases organised crime and violent conflicts," the statement read.
Transparency Maldives has proposed to the government ways reduce corruption. They include:
- Pass the Asset Declaration Bill to hold politicians and government employees accountable and develop a comprehensive financial statement disclosure system to prevent unjust enrichment, misappropriation of state resources and vote buying.
- Make the latest information on corruption, spending on resources and use of public finance easily available and increase the capacity and resources in state institutions to investigate and refer cases for prosecution within a reasonable timeframe.
- Enforce the Anti-Human Trafficking and Whistleblower Protection Act, and facilitate ways for human rights defenders to hold human rights abusers, including the government, accountable.
The association has expressed concern over the political actions taken against corruption to undermine public confidence in the accountability and justice system as it prepares for this year's presidential election.
Transparency has also called on the government to stop protecting corrupt individuals and investigate allegations of corruption and bring corrupt politicians to justice instead of giving them job promotions, increments and powers.