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Political affiliation is widely considered the most important factor in gaining public sector employment in Lebanon, World Bank economist Wissam Harake disclosed during an anti-corruption conference Thursday. Harake's assertion was based on a 2011 study of regional perceptions that found that 78 percent of respondents believed political affiliation was more important than merit in obtaining government jobs, far higher than elsewhere in the region. Iraq, Sudan and Palestine all showed high favoritism in the public sector, with political affiliation mattering most 65, 57, and 54 percent of the time respectively, while qualifications mattered less than 25 percent of the time in all three countries.Chaaban described these sectors as partaking in "legal corruption".
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