DOHA: Qatar lost its exclusive position as the “least corrupt” country in the Middle East and now shares the title with the UAE, both ranked 27 globally in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2012, released by Berlin-based Transparency International yesterday.
While the UAE improved its ranking by one point from last year, Qatar fell five notches, from last year’s ranking of 22. Over the last two years the country lost a total of eight points in the global ranking. In 2011, Qatar was ranked 22, down by three notches from the previous year (2010) when it scored an impressive ranking of 19, raising its position by three points from 2009 (22).
In the Index, Qatar and UAE have been jointly ranked as the least corrupt nations in the Middle East and North Africa region, while the other Gulf countries came far behind — Bahrain in the 53rd position, followed by Oman at 61st, whereas, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia shared the 66th position. Of the 176 nations ranked in the 2012 list, Denmark, Finland and New Zealand jointly ranked as the most clean nations worldwide, while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia together were rated as most corrupt. Iraq improved six places to 169th position. Despite revolutions during the Arab Spring which overthrew governments perceived as corrupt, not all of the newly democratic Arab nations have witnessed improvement. Libya rose eight places to 160th, while Yemen gained eight places at 156th. The However, Egypt fell six places to 118th and Tunisia fell two places to 75th.
“A growing outcry over corrupt governments forced several leaders from office last year, but as the dust has cleared it has become apparent that the levels of bribery, abuse of power and secret dealings are still very high in many countries,” Transparency International said in a statement.
Two thirds of the 176 countries scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable. “Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making. Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable to people,” said Huguette Labelle, Transparency International’s chair. The Peninsula