Pakistan’s hybrid regime sinks towards authoritarianism: report

The state of democracy in Pakistan has deteriorated to a level where it sits just above countries described as authoritarian.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2022, which was released on Thursday, made this claim.

Pakistan received a total score of 4.13 from the index for 2022. As a result, it dropped three spots to 107th place out of 167 countries.

It was placed alongside Cote d’Ivoire (106th place) and Mauritania (108th place), both of which were categorized as “hybrid regimes.”

It received a score of 5.67 for the electoral process and pluralism, a score of 5 for the government’s operation, a score of 2.78 for political participation, a score of 2.5 for political culture, and a score of 4.71 for civil liberties.

According to the EIU, the Democracy Index began in 2006 to provide a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories, which encompass the vast majority of the world’s population and states (excluding microstates).

Each nation is then assigned to one of four regime types based on its scores on a variety of indicators within these categories: full democracy, a “flawed democracy,” a “hybrid regime,” or an “authoritarian regime” are all terms.

According to the report, only 24 of the countries that were looked at, or about 14.4% of all countries and just 8% of the world’s population, were “full democracies.”

Complete democracies: Countries that not only uphold fundamental political and civil liberties, but also tend to have a political culture that encourages democracy to flourish.

The way the government works is good. Media are diverse and independent. The checks and balances system works well.

Decisions made by the judiciary are enforced and the judiciary is independent. Democracies only have a few issues with how they work.

Chile, France, and Spain re-joined the top-ranked countries (those with a score of more than 8.00 out of 10) in 2022, bringing the total number of “full democracies” up to 24. In 2021, there were 21 such states.

48 “flawed democracies,” the second-largest group of nations, followed. They accounted for a staggering 37.3% of the world’s population while making up approximately 28.7% of all countries.

Democracies with flaws: Even when there are issues, such as restrictions on the freedom of the media, fundamental civil liberties are upheld. These nations also hold elections that are free and fair.

However, other aspects of democracy have significant flaws, such as issues with governance, a weak political culture, and low levels of political participation.

In 2022, there were 48 “flawed democracies,” a five-year decrease from the previous year.

36 nations, including Pakistan, had hybrid regimes that were neither democratic nor authoritarian.

They accounted for 17.9% of the world’s population and made up around 21.6% of countries.

Regimes that combine There are significant irregularities in elections that frequently prevent them from being free and fair.

It’s possible that the government exerts pressure on opposition candidates and parties. In terms of political participation, government operation, and political culture, serious flaws are more prevalent than in flawed democracies.

The rule of law is weak and corruption is prevalent. Civil society lacks strength. Journalists are frequently subjected to harassment and pressure, and the judiciary is not independent.

In 2022, 36 countries were categorized as “hybrid regimes,” up from 34 the year before.

The largest group of nations, those with authoritarian governments, came next.

There were 59 countries in this group, or 35.3% of all countries. According to the report, such nations house approximately 36.9% of the world’s population.

As in 2021, 59 of the remaining 95 countries on the index are “authoritarian regimes.”

Regimes ruled by men: State political pluralism is either severely restricted or absent in these nations.

This group includes a large number of dictatorships. Although there may be some formal democratic institutions, they lack substance. If elections do take place, they are not free and fair. Civil liberties violations and abuses are not taken seriously.

Most of the time, the media are owned by the state or run by groups with ties to the government. Censorship and criticism of the government are severely restricted. There is no judiciary that is independent.

The following are the five categories on which EIU bases its Democracy Index:

pluralism and the electoral system;

individual rights;

the way the government works;

participation in politics; and political culture The five subcategories are related to one another and combine to create a coherent conceptual unit.

Clearly, all definitions are contingent on the holding of free and fair competitive elections and satisfying related aspects of political freedom.

Countries in the top three The index’s top three spots were held by countries like Norway, New Zealand, and Iceland.

Sweden and Finland made up the other top five.

Their combined scores were at or above 9.29.

With a score of 8.88, Canada was 12th out of the top 10. The United States of America was ranked 30th with a score of 7.85, while the United Kingdom ranked 18th with an 8.28 score.

With a score of 7.04, India finished 46th.

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