Cambodia has been ranked for the first time in the Global Index compiled by Transparency
International (TI), an NGO working to combat global corruption.
The survey placed Cambodia 130th out of 159 countries.
The report on Cambodia was compiled by Christine Nissen for the Center for Social
Development in Phnom Penh - the Cambodian chapter of TI - and analyzed election practices,
judicial performance, moves to establish an anti-corruption law and citizens' perceptions
Cambodia's section included reports of vote buying and intimidation by all contesting
parties in the 2003 election, and the slow progress towards enacting anti-corruption
legislation - although the report said the proposed law is unlikely to have much
impact on high-ranking officials.
The TI report notes legal changes that have occurred in Cambodia over the past two
years, including Cambodia's admission to the WTO, which will require the creation
of a commercial court to bring transparency and international standards to dispute
"I think it's excellent that Cambodia has made it on to the Global Index; it
gives Cambodia a benchmark [to work from in the future]," said Kurt Mcleod,
country representative of local NGO Pact Cambodia.
The TI list ranked Thailand at 59, Laos at 77, and Vietnam at 107. The most transparent
country was Iceland, while Bangladesh and Chad shared last place.