Index Ranks Israel As Most Democratic Country in the Middle East
(November 22, 2005)
by David Krusch
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a leading research and advisory firm, recently ranked the 20 Middle Eastern countries on 15 different indicators of democracy and political freedom. Israel placed first in the region as the most democratic nation with a score of 8.20 out of a possible 10. Following Israel was Lebanon with a score of 6.55, then Morocco, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories. At the bottom of the list sat Libya with a score of 2.05, below Syria and Saudi Arabia. According to the Index, Libya is one of the world's worst violators of human rights under Colonel Muammar Qaddafi's regime, which completely restricts political freedom.
While few are surprised at the list of countries at the bottom of Index, some political scientists are surprised that Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian Territories made it to the top. Lebanon is now free of Syrian military occupation, and Iraq is now free of the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein, but the violence in those areas continue to restrict true political and social freedom. The Palestinian Authority is preparing for parliamentary elections in January, but still faces deep internal corruption and infighting.
Source: BBC News