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02.09.12

20 Most Corrupt Countries, From Cambodia to Afghanistan

Despite a brutal crackdown, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is facing an ouster from opposition forces—but is his Syrian regime the world’s most corrupt? From Haiti to Uzbekistan, The Daily Beast finds the worst corruption in the world.

Just like Mitt Romney’s eventual succession to the top of the GOP heap, the Syrian revolution will succeed—that much is a foregone conclusion, writes former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley in The Daily Beast.

And when the revolution is over, thousands of deaths later, history will not look back kindly on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. One of the most consistent and damaging charges against Assad is simple: he runs an extraordinarily corrupt government, replete with nepotism, money laundering, and brutality. All that corruption got us wondering: is Syria the most corrupt country in the world?

To find the most corrupt countries, we considered five factors for more than 150 countries.

The corruption perception score was derived from the 2011 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. This measures the public perception of corruption within each nation. The degree of political rights, civil liberties and freedom of the press comes from the 2011 Freedom House Freedom of the Press Report. Lastly, the degree of transparency in business is according to the most recent data available from the World Bank. We normalized each of those five factors on a point scale out of 10, with 10 being the most corrupt.

Each category was equally weighted to compute our final corruption index score out of 100.