From the most corrupt dictator to secret offshore bank accounts, fraud-filled government contracts and money laundering scandals, there’s no denying that political corruption is just as widespread as it ever was. It can take many forms, from bribery and extortion to rigging elections and silencing opponents with threats of violence. We take a look at ten notorious politicians accused or convicted of abusing their power for personal gain on this list of the top 10 most corrupt politicians in the world.
Top 10 Most Corrupt Politicians in The World
Corruption is a word that has become almost synonymous with politics today. Unfortunately, it seems that power sometimes comes with a price tag. For many politicians, their positions in government have become nothing but a means to line their pockets, generate personal wealth, and abuse their power. This reality is most evident in our list of the top 10 most corrupt politicians in the world.
These individuals have used every possible means to enrich themselves at the expense of their countries and the taxpayers they were appointed to serve. From embezzlement to bribery, their nefarious acts have left a trail of destruction that will have lasting effects on the societies they represent. It is a tragic reality that must be exposed if we hope to see a future world that is equitable and just for all.
1.Nawaz Sharif (Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan)
Nawaz Sharif’s unrelenting greed and corruption have had devastating effects on Pakistan’s economy and societal fabric. As Prime Minister, he used his authority and influence to amass a staggering wealth portfolio, with assets ranging from real estate properties and factories to mills located not only within Pakistan but also in other countries. With a net worth of ₨150 billion (US$1.4 billion), Sharif is not just one of the wealthiest individuals in Pakistan, but he also holds the dubious honor of being considered one of the world’s most corrupt politicians.
His political career, marred by scandal and corruption, came to an abrupt end in 2017 when he was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Panama Papers leak further confirmed his corrupt practices, revealing that Sharif and his family had conducted high-level corruption with $418 million. It is estimated that from 1985 to 2017, Sharif and his family misappropriated Pakistani assets to amass around $30 billion. These actions have cemented Sharif’s reputation as a symbol of corruption, showing a blatant disregard for the rule of law and the welfare of the Pakistani people.
2.Kim Jong UN (President of North Korea)
Kim Jong UN, the current leader of North Korea, is known for his iron-fisted rule and controversial international tactics. Having inherited the leadership from his father, Kim Jong UN is understood to possess considerable nuclear power and has consistently showcased his readiness to use it as a threatening tool against the USA. However, his governance is not without severe criticism.
The BBC, a reputable news outlet, ranks him as the eighth most corrupt politician globally, substantiating the numerous allegations of corruption that perpetually surround his regime. The opacity of his regime, coupled with the widespread human rights abuses, contributes substantially to this unflattering recognition.
3.Vladimir Putin (President of Russia)
Vladimir Putin, serving as Russia’s President since 2012 and previously from 1999 to 2008, has been a highly influential, yet contentious figure on the global stage.
Throughout his tenure, accusations of corruption have been an indelible stain on his reputation. The lack of transparency within his administration further fuels these allegations, with the immense wealth amassed by individuals within Putin’s inner circle being a prime example.
Critics argue that this concentration of wealth among Putin’s associates is indicative of a system entangled by political power and economic advantage, giving rise to widespread corruption. The apparent corruption, critics suggest, extends well beyond individual instances, implying a corrupt system that is woven into the very fabric of Putin’s governance.
4.Salman bin Abdulaziz (King of Saudi Arabia)
Salman bin Abdulaziz is often referred to as one of the most corrupt politicians in the world. He has been ruling over Saudi Arabia since 2015 and his reign has been characterized by an overall increase in government spending without corresponding economic growth, rampant human rights violations, and a lack of transparency when it comes to financial dealings with other countries. It’s no surprise that this level of corruption has earned him a place on the list of most corrupt politicians in the world.
5.Asif Ali Zardari (Former President of Pakistan)
Asif Ali Zardari, the former President of Pakistan, is a figure that carries an intriguing mix of reputation. Highly intelligent and lauded for his cleverness, Zardari is simultaneously infamous for his prominent position in corruption rankings. At one point, he was the top figure in these notorious listings, only to be replaced by Nawaz Sharif following the release of the Panama Papers.
Remarkably, Zardari is also one of the wealthiest individuals in Pakistan, a wealth that is shadowed by numerous allegations of corruption and misuse of power. Perhaps the most controversial among these is the charge of being involved in the murder of Benazir Bhutto. These combined aspects paint a complex picture of Zardari, one that positions him as one of the most corrupt politicians in the world.
6.Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India)
Narendra Modi, currently serving as the Prime Minister of India, has found himself embroiled in various allegations of corruption, taking the fifth spot on the list of most corrupt politicians globally. Despite his charismatic leadership and promises of transparency and good governance, there are multiple charges that cast a shadow over his tenure. He shares this notorious ranking with prominent names such as Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Putin, and Salman. Furthermore, critics argue that his rise to power has seen an alarming increase in brutality and barbarism against the Muslim community, an issue that has sparked international concern and widespread condemnation.
7.David Cameron ( Former Prime Minister of UK)
David Cameron’s tenure as the Prime Minister of the UK was marked by controversy, with allegations of corruption casting a long and unflattering shadow over his political career. Despite hailing from a family of considerable wealth, Cameron faced serious accusations of corruption. The Panama Papers leak exposed his involvement in an offshore company, an incident that severely damaged his reputation. This scandal underscored the depth of the corruption problem in global politics, and brought the integrity of even the highest tier of politicians into question.
8.Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (King of U.A.E)
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, has been surrounded by controversy due to various allegations of corruption. Critics argue that the immense wealth of Al Nahyan and his family, coupled with the opacity of the UAE’s political system, has made it difficult to distinguish between their public and private assets.
This lack of transparency has sparked concerns among human rights organizations and anticorruption activists, who assert that the Al Nahyan family has been leveraging their political power to amass personal wealth. These allegations, however, remain unproven due to the absence of concrete evidence and the restricted freedom of expression in the UAE. Despite these controversies, Al Nahyan continues to hold power, raising questions about the integrity of governance in the UAE.
9. Petro Poroshenko (Ex-President of Ukraine)
Petro Poroshenko, renowned businessman and the fifth President of Ukraine, has unfortunately found a spot in the list of the world’s most corrupt politicians. During his term from 2014 to 2019, Poroshenko was confronted with numerous allegations of corruption, painting a grim picture of his presidency. The most notable accusations included embezzlement and the misappropriation of state funds. These allegations significantly tarnished his reputation, leading to public disillusionment.
The Ukrainian populace had hoped for a leader who would stand against corruption, but their hopes were shattered as Poroshenko appeared to be part of the problem rather than the solution. This growing discontent among the citizens played a significant role in his defeat in the 2019 elections, ending his term as one of the most controversial figures in Ukrainian politics.
10.Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson (Prime Minister of Iceland)
Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson’s actions were emblematic of a broader issue of corruption and lack of transparency in global politics. His involvement in the Panama Papers scandal tainted his reputation and sparked international dialogue about the integrity of political leaders.
Despite Iceland’s image as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, the scandal led to a serious erosion of trust in the government. The public’s reaction to the revelations indicated a growing intolerance for dishonesty and underhanded tactics. As a result, Gunnlaugsson’s case serves as a cautionary tale for politicians around the world, highlighting the importance of financial transparency and ethical conduct.
People have often wondered what is the extent of corruption when it comes to politics. The top 10 most corrupt politicians in the world show that no matter where you are from, or who you vote for, actions taken by those in power can affect everyone deeply and profoundly. It’s especially important to make sure that those we put into office do not abuse their authority.
Now more than ever, it’s pertinent that individuals everywhere become involved politically and take action by holding elected officials accountable for their behavior. To move towards a future of better governance and less corruption, start advocating for yourself and your family now. Start standing up against power misuses before it starts to impact us all.
Disclaimer: The following list of “Top 10 Most Corrupt Politicians in the World” is based on available public information and various credible sources. It is intended to shed light on the instances of corruption and unethical behavior in politics globally, without any personal or political bias. The aim is to inform and educate readers about the prevalent issues and not to defame or disrespect any individual or entity. Changes in circumstances may occur that might alter the accuracy or relevancy of the information presented here. Therefore, the authors do not hold any responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this information.