Monday, April 09, 2012 -
Kyrgyz applicants for a job at the country’s new anti-corruption agency were shown taking a test on live TV Monday in a bid by the government to put accusations of nepotism to rest.
Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov called for the unique measure after recently disbanding the Finance Police and firing its employees in the face of widespread criticisms of corruption.
Applicants were seen on live television broadcasts attempting to complete quizzes on computers while an off-site commentator described the scene, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported.
Former Financial Police personnel were also permitted to compete for the 177 posts currently available in the new State Service for Combating Economic Crimes.
Around 1,400 people applied to take participate in the four-day series of tests, which include medical exams, fitness checks, and interviews.
Kyrgyzstan appointed a pro-business government last December after the first peaceful transfer of the presidency in 20 years of independence.
The country is trying to solidify the first parliamentary democracy in authoritarian ex-Soviet region and put an era of graft under the rule of President Kurmanbek Bakiev behind it.
Transparency International ranked Kyrgyzstan third in corruption among the five Central Asian nations after Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and 164th in its global list of 182 rankings.