Saturday, November 19, 2005

Index ranks Middle East freedom

BBC reports There is a wide range of democratisation across the Middle East, a survey by a leading research and advisory firm has found. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked 20 countries on 15 indicators of political and civil liberty. The Index of Political Freedom lists Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories as the most democratic parts of the region. Libya received the lowest rating, below Syria and Saudi Arabia. The EIU scored each country on a 10-point scale, awarding one point for the least political freedom and 10 for the most. Lebanon is free in a very particular sense: it is no longer under military occupation. Most Palestinians do not enjoy that freedom, and yet they have just had local elections and are preparing for parliamentary ones in January, our correspondent says. As for Iraq, its high score is a bit surprising, given the level of violence there, our correspondent says. Iraqis no long live under a dictatorship and now have plenty of publications and political parties to choose from. But their freedom of movement is constrained by the bombings and kidnappings, and that is a big limitation.

I find it interesting that they rank Iraq and Palestine equally. There are bombings in both places, but in the case of Iraq it is a minority of a minority trying to regain control plus some foreign fighters trying to create anarchy, and in the case of Palestine it is terrorists wanting to wage war on a neighbor, and unwilling to follow instructions from their own government.
Index Of Political Freedom
  • Israel: 8.20
  • Lebanon: 6.55
  • Morocco: 5.20
  • Iraq: 5.05
  • Palestine: 5.05
  • Kuwait: 4.90
  • Tunisia: 4.60
  • Jordan: 4.45
  • Qatar: 4.45
  • Egypt: 4.30
  • Sudan: 4.30
  • Yemen: 4.30
  • Algeria: 4.15
  • Oman: 4.00
  • Bahrain: 3.85
  • Iran: 3.85
  • UAE: 3.70
  • Saudi Arabia: 2.80
  • Syria: 2.80
  • Libya: 2.05

Freedom Indicators
  • Election of head of government
  • Election of parliament
  • Fairness of electoral laws
  • Right to organise political parties
  • Power of elected representatives
  • Presence of an opposition
  • Transparency
  • Minority participation
  • Level of corruption
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Independence of the judiciary
  • Press freedom
  • Religious freedom
  • Rule of law
  • Property rights

No comments: