Guyana ranked as having “flawed democracy” in EIU’s Global Democracy Index

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By Ravin Singh

Despite improvements in its overall performance, Guyana is still ranked as having a “flawed democracy” in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2018 Democracy Index.

The index is based on five categories: the functioning of government, electoral process and pluralism, political culture, civil liberties, and political participation.

Sixty indicators are used across the five categories, which then quantify the performance of each country and categorize them into four types of regimes. These are: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” and “authoritarian regime”.

Each category is then scored out of 10 – the closer the score is to 10, the closer the country is to being a full democracy.

Of the 167 countries assessed, Guyana was ranked 54 behind regional counterparts Suriname, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. It received an overall score of 6.67, along with Poland. Last year Guyana received an overall score of 6.46.

But even with this improvement, the country is described as having a “flawed democracy”.

The Economist shares that a flawed democracy is a country that has free and fair elections, and even where problems exist, the basic civil rights of citizens are respected.

However, it noted that such countries face issues related to governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.

Norway topped the index with a score of 9.87, while North Korea fell to the bottom of the index with a score of 1.08.

The statistics revealed that only 4.5% of the world’s population lives in countries EIU considers “full democracies.” Another 43.2% live in “flawed democracies,” and the remaining 52.3% live in “hybrid” or “authoritarian” regimes.

The Index highlighted that 42 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2017, while 48 countries made improvements in their overall score. However, it noted that fewer people lived in some form of democracy – 47.7%, compared with 49.3% in 2017.

Costa Rica was the only country on the index that moved from being a flawed democracy to a full democracy, while its Latin America counterpart, Nicaragua, shifted from being a flawed democracy to an authoritarian regime.

The Index revealed that currently, there exists only 20 full democracies in the world, 55 flawed democracies, and 39 hybrid regimes. Fifty-three countries are considered as having authoritarian rulers.

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