Myanmar Ranked Second-Least Democratic Nation in World

By The Irrawaddy 10 February 2022

Myanmar joined North Korea and Afghanistan among the three least-democratic countries in the world last year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s latest Democracy Index.

Of the 167 countries surveyed, Myanmar—which has been in chaos followed the military coup in February last year—ranked 166th, just ahead of Afghanistan and below North Korea, according to the EIU’s new report.

The coup in Myanmar and the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan spared North Korea from occupying the bottom of the table for the first time. Myanmar was ranked 135th on the 2020 index.

The EIU’s annual survey rates the state of democracy across countries on the basis of five measures—electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties.

Norway, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia and Switzerland comprised the top 10 in the annual report.

Source: EIU

The report stated that democratization suffered more reversals in 2021, with the percentage of people living in a democracy falling to well below 50 percent and authoritarian regimes gaining ground.

The Myanmar military staged a coup in February last year by overthrowing the country’s democratically elected civilian government and arrested government leaders. It also annulled the results of the 2020 general election, claiming it was marred by fraud despite the fact that the vote was declared free and fair by local and foreign poll monitors.

Since the coup, the junta has killed at least 1,540 people and arrested more than 12,000 for opposing its rule.

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