Democracy slipping away at document charge, intergovernmental physique warns


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A higher variety of nations are sliding in the direction of authoritarianism, whereas the variety of established democracies underneath menace 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, an inclination of nations to imitate the anti-democratic behaviour of others, and disinformation used to divide societies are primarily accountable, the Stockholm-based intergovernmental organisation stated in a report.

“Extra nations than ever are affected by ‘democratic erosion’,” IDEA stated in its 2021 research on the state of democracy, counting on knowledge compiled since 1975.

“The variety of nations present process ‘democratic backsliding’ has by no means been as excessive,” 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 essentially the most dramatic case this yr, whereas Myanmar’s Feb. 1 coup marked the collapse of a fragile democracy. Different examples embrace Mali, which has suffered two coups since 2020, and Tunisia, the place the president has dissolved parliament and assumed emergency powers.

Massive democracies corresponding to Brazil and the US 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.

“Actually, 70 per cent of the worldwide inhabitants now stay both in non-democratic regimes or in democratically backsliding nations,” 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 combating the pandemic, regardless of Chinese language state media reviews on the contrary.

“The pandemic supplies extra instruments and justification for repressive techniques and silencing of dissent in nations as numerous as Belarus, Cuba, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” the report stated.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson)

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