Government lags behind in fulfilling anti-corruption promises

One plus is that the police launched investigations of corruption among prominent figures.

The Eduard Heger cabinetThe Eduard Heger cabinet (Source: TASR)

Not even one third of the anti-corruption pledges made by the government have been fulfilled halfway through its tenure.

This is how the Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation evaluates the first two years of rule by the coalition created after the 2020 general election.

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When it comes to the fight against corruption, the foundation sees the biggest progress in the investigation of cases led by the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) and the Special Prosecutor’s Office, the TASR newswire reported.

Prominent figures prosecuted

The biggest plus of the incumbent government is that the police launched investigations into corruption-related cases linked to prominent figures.

“[The government] went through a historically difficult time when it first had to face the Covid-19 pandemic and then the war conflict in Ukraine, its economic impacts and refugee crisis,” said Zuzana Petková, head of the Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation, as quoted by TASR. “But this cannot be used as an excuse for meeting only a few goals of the anti-corruption part of the programme statement.”

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According to the foundation, the government managed to pass less than one third of the systemic measures they had promised to adopt. Key reforms should be adopted during the first two years of tenure, Petková added.

Some promises disputed by partners

Shortly after the new government was formed in 2020, the foundation prepared a table with the 24 most important pledges the ruling politicians made. So far, cabinet ministers have managed to pass only seven of them.

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At the same time, most of them were adopted during the first year of the government’s rule. The tempo of adopting changes to fight corruption slowed down significantly during the second year of its tenure.

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The foundation most appreciates the adoption of the law concerning the forfeiture of property, the reform of disciplinary proceedings, changes to the practices of checking the property of judges, and steps to make the Office for the Protection of Whistleblowers functional through electing its leading representatives.

On the other hand, the coalition is divided when it comes to other promises, particularly the adoption of the new court map or the change to the criticised Article 363 of the Criminal Code that has been used by the general prosecutor and his office several times to cancel criminal charges against prominent figures.

Another unfulfilled promise concerns changes to nominating politicians to certain public functions, as reported by TASR.

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