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January 23, 2020

Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index: Democracy in PPP, PML-N eras better than in present govt

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January 23, 2020

LONDON: Democracy is in retreat globally, according to the latest edition of the Democracy Index from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The annual Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 167 countries. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world’s states (microstates are excluded). The Index is based on five categories: 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”. Pakistan has been place under the head of Hybrid democracy.

The survey finds that democracy has been eroded around the world in the past year. In the 2019 Democracy Index the average global score for democracy fell from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44. This is the worst average global score since the index was first produced in 2006.

Pakistan has been ranked on 108th position in 2019 against 112th position in 2017. Out of 10 Pakistan has got 4.25 points this year (2019) on Democratic Index. Its position has got better from the previous year (2018)’s 4.17 points.

In Musharraf era in 2006 Pakistan points were 3.92, but it got better when after 2008 general elections Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came to power. In 2008, Pakistan points were 4,46, in 2010--4.55, 2011--4.55, 2012--4.57, 2013--4.64, 2014--4.64, 2015--4.40, 2016--4.33, 2017--4.26. It is worth mentioning that frim mid-2013 to mid-2018 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in the government.

In 2019, out of 10 Pakistan’s Overall Score is 4.25, It has been ranked at 108th position, while points on Electoral Process and Pluralism measure are 6.08, on Functioning of Government it got 5.71 points, Political participation 2.22, Political culture 2.50, Civil liberties 4.71.

India’s Overall Score is 6.90, Rank 51, Electoral process and pluralism 8.67, Functioning of government 6.79, Political participation 6.67, Political culture 5.63, Civil liberties 6.76.

Bangladesh: Overall Score 5.88, Rank 80, Electoral process and pluralism 7.83, Functioning of government 6.07, Political participation 6.11, Political culture 4.38, Civil liberties 5.00.

Sri Lanka: Overall Score 6.27 Rank 69, Electoral process and pluralism 7.00, Functioning of government 6.07, Political participation 5.56, Political culture 6.25, Civil liberties 6.47.

Afghanistan: Overall Score 2.85 Rank 141=, Electoral process and pluralism 3.42, Functioning of government 0.64, Political participation 3.89, Political culture 2.50, Civil liberties 3.82.

Malaysia is most democratic Muslim country with ranking at 43rd position.

Malaysia’s Overall Score is 7.16 Rank 43=, Electoral process and pluralism 9.17, Functioning of government 7.86, Political participation 6.67, Political culture 6.25, Civil liberties 5.88.

Norway stands first with Overall Score 9.87, Rank 1, Electoral process and pluralism 10.00, Functioning of government 9.64, Political participation 10.00, Political culture 10.00, Civil liberties 9.71.

North Korea has been placed at the end of the list with Overall Score 1.08 Rank 167 Electoral process and pluralism 0.00, Functioning of government 2.50, Political participation 1.67, Political culture 1.25, Civil liberties 0.00.

“The biggest democracy in the world, India, dropped ten places in the global ranking, 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 Economist survey said.

The survey said: “The Indian government stripped the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state of its special status by repealing two key constitutional provisions granting it powers of autonomy. Article 370 gave the state assembly of J&K powers to decide which articles of the Indian constitution would be applicable in the state—except for matters related to defence, communication and foreign affairs. Furthermore, Article 35A prevented Indian residents from other states from purchasing land or property in J&K. Following the removal of these provisions of the constitution and the passage of a new Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019, J&K no longer enjoys statehood and is now divided into two union territories: one that retains the name Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Ahead of the move, the government deployed a large number of troops in J&K, imposed various other security measures and placed local leaders under house arrest, including those with pro-India credentials. The government also restricted internet access in the state.”