Corruption worsens in Arabic countries: Poll
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans. A recent poll showed that corruption worsened during Morsi’s rule. AFP PhotoCorruption has worsened in most Arab countries since their 2011 revolutions, even though anger with corrupt officials was a major reason for the uprisings, according to a public opinion poll released yesterday.
The survey by Transparency International, a global non-governmental body which studies bribery around the world, appears to dash hopes that the Arab Spring would produce cleaner government and business in the region.
The Arab public’s continued frustration with corruption may undermine governments’ efforts to restore political stability, while hindering economic growth and foreign investment.
Of four countries which experienced changes of government during the Arab Spring, a majority of respondents in three -Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen - feel the level of corruption has risen in the past two years, the survey showed.
In Egypt, 64 percent said corruption had worsened; in Tunisia, the proportion was 80
percent. The exception was Libya, where only 46 percent said the country had become more corrupt.
Within Egypt, 78 percent of respondents said the police were corrupt or extremely corrupt. The proportion was 65 percent for the judiciary and 45 percent for the military, one of the country’s most respected institutions which ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last week sparking a wave of protests.
In the social and economic turmoil that has followed the Arab Spring, however, governments have had little time or energy to push such reforms.
For example, in an attempt to attract foreign investment the Egyptian government reconciled itself with some members of the former regime of Hosni Mubarak who had been convicted of corruption, he added.
The belief in worsening corruption is not sui generis to Middle East, but a majority of people worldwide see governments as less effective at fighting it since the 2008 financial crisis
The survey found that on a worldwide basis political parties are considered to be the most corrupt institution, scoring 3.8 on a scale of 5 where 1 means “not at all corrupt” and 5 means “extremely corrupt.”
Only 23 percent of those surveyed believed their government’s efforts to fight corruption were effective, down from 32 percent in 2008. “Politicians themselves have much to do to regain trust,” Transparency International said in a release. “(The Barometer) shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of those institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice.” The second most corrupt institution on a global scale is the police with a score of 3.7. Three categories of institutions - public officials/civil servants, parliament/legislature and judiciary - followed with equal scores of 3.6. The media did not fare as badly, coming in at the ninth place out of twelve with a score of 3.1, but it was seen as the most corrupt in Australia and Britain. Some 69 percent said it was the most corrupt institution in Britain, up from 39 percent three years ago.