Corruption worsened in Arab countries since uprisings: poll

Tue Jul 9, 2013 2:18am EDT
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By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI (Reuters) - Corruption 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 on Tuesday.

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.

The survey also showed growing public disenchantment in many other Arab countries which did not experience revolutions but where the Arab Spring has increased political tensions.

In Lebanon, 84 percent said corruption had worsened in the past two years, in Morocco 56 percent and in Iraq, 60 percent. The ratio in Jordan was 39 percent, while 44 percent said the level of bribery had stayed the same.   Continued...

An Egyptian boy walks near a defaced picture of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with Arabic words reading, "Corrupt and deposed" and a poster of presidential candidate and former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (L) in Cairo May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh