Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has been named 2020’s ‘Corrupt Person of the Year’ by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), taking the crown from former Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
The OCCRP said that Bolsonaro was awarded said title for promoting crime and corruption.
“Elected in the wake of the Lava Jato (Car Wash) scandal as an anti-corruption candidate, Bolsonaro has instead surrounded himself with corrupt figures, used propaganda to promote his populist agenda, undermined the justice system, and waged a destructive war against the Amazon region that has enriched some of the country’s worst land owners,” the OCCRP said.
Bolsonaro was competing against two other populist leaders, US President Donald Trump – who was also nominated last year – and Turkish President Recep Eerdogan.
“Bolsonaro has been accused of collecting salaries for phantom employees – a practice known as salary splitting,” the OCCRP continued.
“But the judges chose him because of his hypocrisy – he came to power on the promise to fight corruption but he has not only surrounded himself with corrupt people, he has wrongly accused other of corruption.”
Politician and former Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) leader Arnold Cassola took to Facebook to spread this news.
In 2019, Muscat had beat out other finalists, including former US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and Denis Christel Sassou Ngesso, the son of the longtime president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The OCCRP had put forward a number of reasons for awarding Muscat the notorious title.
Among them were the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the revelations of a network of offshore companies related to some of his most trusted officials, and “large-scale criminal interests” that have a “grip” on the island.