LONDON — In this year’s Democracy Index 2021 published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Armenia is ranked as a country with a hybrid system of government. The EIU released its report on the state of democracy in 2021 across 165 independent countries and two territories.

The report is based on five findings – electoral process and pluralism, functioning of the government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. The report has been further bifurcated into a full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, and authoritarian.

In the EIU report Armenia is 89th with a total score of 5.49. Its South Caucasus neighbor Georgia, which is also in the list of countries with a hybrid system of government, is 91st with a total score of 5.12. Turkey with 4.35 points is 103rd and Azerbaijan with 2.68 points in 141st. Armenia was also 89th in the Democracy 2020 Index with 5.35 points.

“A snap parliamentary election held in July 2021 gave the Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, a strong public mandate following a period of turbulence and discontent. The sweeping victory of Mr Pashinyan and his Civil Contract party brought a degree of stability following the 2020 recession and war with Azerbaijan. This allowed the government to continue its democratic reform programme. However, despite the improvement in the score, concerns about Armenia’s democracy remain. The independence of the judiciary is still in question and the opposition is marginalized”, the report mentions.

The report ranks Azerbaijan among the “authoritarian regimes”. The public discontent in Azerbaijan has intensified, and the ruling regime has responded with repression. This has led to the further rooting of undemocratic actions and the suppression of dissent.

Turkey’s total score has been steadily declining over the past decade. According to the report, it reflects the authoritarian ruling of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the widespread corruption has undermined trust towards the government.

Out of 167 countries included in the survey by EIU, only 21 countries have been put under the category of full democracy while 53 are included under the flawed democracy category.

Thirty-four countries are counted among hybrid democracies and 59 are authoritarian governments. The score for 74 countries showed a decline on the democracy index compared to 2020. The report says that more than one-third of the world’s population live under authoritarian rule.

Norway is ranked at the top of the democracy index followed by New Zealand, Finland and Iceland. Afghanistan occupies the bottom place in the index followed by Myanmar and North Korea in 2nd and 3rd position from the bottom.

The ranking is decided based on 60 indicators grouped into these five categories on a scale of 1-10.

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