December 7, 2021
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Democracy slipping away at record rate, intergovernmental body warns

BRUSSELS – A better variety of nations are sliding in direction of authoritarianism, whereas the variety of established democracies beneath risk has by no means been so excessive, the Worldwide Institute for Democracy and Electoral Help (IDEA) stated on Monday.

Populist politics, using COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to silence critics, a bent of nations to imitate the anti-democratic behaviour of others, and disinformation used to divide societies are primarily responsible, the Stockholm-based intergovernmental organisation stated in a report.

“More countries than ever are suffering from ‘democratic erosion’,” IDEA stated in its 2021 research on the state of democracy, counting on information compiled since 1975.

“The number of countries undergoing ‘democratic backsliding’ has never been as high,” it stated, referring to the regressive flip in areas together with checks on authorities and judicial independence, in addition to media freedom and human rights.

Afghanistan, which was taken over by Taliban militants in August after worldwide troops withdrew, is probably the most dramatic case this yr, whereas Myanmar’s Feb. 1 coup marked the collapse of a fragile democracy. Different examples embody Mali, which has suffered two coups since 2020, and Tunisia, the place the president has dissolved parliament and assumed emergency powers.

Giant democracies akin to Brazil and the USA have seen presidents query the validity of election outcomes, whereas India has witnessed the prosecution of teams of individuals essential of presidency insurance policies.

Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Serbia are the European nations with the best declines in democracy. Turkey has seen one of many largest declines between 2010 and 2020.

“In fact, 70 per cent of the global population now live either in non-democratic regimes or in democratically backsliding countries,” the report stated.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in authoritarian behaviour by governments. The research stated that there was no proof that authoritarian regimes had been higher at preventing the pandemic, regardless of Chinese language state media reviews on the contrary.

“The pandemic provides additional tools and justification for repressive tactics and silencing of dissent in countries as diverse as Belarus, Cuba, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” the report stated. – Reuters

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