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Nepal climbs five places in global democracy index

KATHMANDU: Nepal has climbed to 92nd place in the global democracy index with a score of 5.28 (on a scale of 0-10). Nepal is ranked 20 in Asian region. In 2018, Nepal was in 97th position with 5.18 points.

The democracy index calculates the state of democracy based on five categories viz. electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”.

The index has placed Nepal under “hybrid regime”.

‘WORST AVERAGE GLOBAL SCORE’

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Democracy Index 2019–which provides a snapshot of the state of democracy in 165 independent states and two territories—states the average global score has fallen from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44 in 2019, which is the worst average global score since the Index first began in 2006.

Driven by sharp regressions in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, four out of the five categories that make up the global average score have deteriorated. The exception was political participation, for which the average global score went up, the report states.

Although there were some dramatic downturns in the scores of certain countries, others have bucked the overall trend and registered impressive improvements, the report states.

Norway is on the top once again, with a score of 9.87 while North Korea is at the bottom of the global rankings, with a score of 1.08. Thailand has the biggest improvement in score and ranking and China registered the biggest decline. Following the first election since the military coup in 2014, Thailand’s score improved by 1.69 points and it moved up 38 places in the rankings, from a “hybrid regime” to a “flawed democracy”.

China’s regression resulted in a decline in score of 1.06 points and a fall of 23 places down the rankings to 153rd place, as discrimination against minorities, especially in the north-western region of Xinjiang, intensified and digital surveillance of the population continued apace.

Hong Kong has slipped a further three places in 2019, from 73rd to joint 75th with Singapore out of 167 countries, amid a deterioration in political stability following a sizeable cumulative decline in 2015-18. The wave of often violent protests that grew from mid-2019 is largely a manifestation of pre-existing deficiencies in Hong Kong’s democratic environment, the report reads.

Chile, France and Portugal has moved from the “flawed democracy” to the “full democracy” category while Malta has moved in the opposite direction, falling out of the “full democracy” category to become a “flawed democracy”, the report reads.

Iraq and Palestine moved from being classified as “hybrid regimes” to “authoritarian regimes”. Algeria moved from being an “authoritarian regime” to a “hybrid regime”.

El Salvador and Thailand moved out of the “hybrid regime” category into the “flawed democracy” category, while Senegal moved in the opposite direction from a “flawed democracy” to a “hybrid regime”.

There were other notable improvements, including in Armenia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, eSwatini, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia and Ukraine, and there were regressions in Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, India, Guyana, Singapore, Mali and Zambia.

India, the biggest democracy in the world, has dropped ten places to 51st place. India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019. The primary cause of the democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberties in the country, the reports states.

The United States in in 25th with 7.96 points.

Published Date: Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 | 08:58 AM

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