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Friday, November 18, 2005

Bahrain Ranked 15 on Index of Politcal Freedom in the Middle East

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 international weekly news and business magazine's Index of Political Freedom, EIU, ranked 20 countries on 15 indicators of political and civil liberties for its annual preview of the year ahead and scored each country on a 10-point scale, awarding one point for the least political freedom and 10 for the most. The analysts found little evidence of democratisation in some countries.

The Index of Political Freedom lists Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories as the most democratic parts of the region.

"And the Americans will promote a trio of more or less benevolent monarchies -- Morocco, Jordan and Bahrain -- as exemplars of their democracy campaign."

Bahrain & Iran both scored 3.85 out of 10 and were ranked at #15 on the index. Libya received the lowest rating, below Syria and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia held its first ever exercise in democracy in February 2005 when it held municipal elections, but remains an absolute monarchy that has resisted pressure for reform.

Source: BBC News, Mail & Guardian Online via From Beirut to the Beltway

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