Monday, December 27, 2010
BEIRUT: Lebanon has once again topped the Arab world in terms of democratic openness while dragging significantly behind other developed and developing countries, a new report has shown.
The leading UK-based think tank, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2010 Democracy Index, released Friday, has ranked Lebanon 86th globally out of 167 countries.
Globally, Lebanon ranked ahead of Ecuador, Honduras and Turkey, and came immediately behind Malawi, Albania and Bangladesh. It came 26th out of 37 Upper Middle Income Countries (UMIC) but did come out on top out of all 20 surveyed Arab states.
The index measures 60 indicators that are grouped in five categories – electoral processes and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture. All categories are marked out of 10 and according to the final score and various other factors the countries are then additionally classified as either full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes or authoritarian regimes.
With a score of 5.82 points, Lebanon narrowly exceeds the global average of 5.56 and far exceeds the MENA and Arab averages of 3.49 points and 3.26 points respectively, while managing to secure the title of “hybrid regime,” as opposed to its Arab neighbors who all continue to be classified as “authoritarian.”
Compared to the 2008 survey, Lebanon’s ranking rose marginally by 0.2 percent, allowing it to climb three places in the world rankings. However, Lebanon failed to match the UMIC average of 6.03.
In the political participation sub-index it beat Spain and tied with several European nations, including Luxemburg, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. It fared less well in the electoral process indicator, tying with Bolivia, Guyana and Turkey but beating both Iraq and Israel.
The report also dubbed the MENA region as the most repressive globally. – The Daily Star