The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) reported in its annual report that 173 nations were assessed, and 85 of them had “suffered a decline in at least one key indicator of democratic performance in the past five years.”
The report shows that the robustness of democracy is declining in about half of the world’s countries. Failures noted in the decline show restricted rights, such as the freedom of expression the ability to assemble, and compromised elections. Other concerns raised in the report include the Rule of law, participation, and representation, declines in social group equality, freedom of the press and access to justice
IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora stated, “In short, democracy is still in trouble, stagnant at best, and declining in many places” around the world. Michael Runey, an IDEA program officer, noted that the past six years have seen a steady decline in democracy with most countries joining the bandwagon saying; “we’ve seen more countries with democratic declines than improvements”.
According to a report by DW, a think tank suggested that the erosion of democratic performance should be considered alongside the issues that elected leaders faced, such as the cost of living crises, climate change, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The COVID-19 pandemic was also noted as a major factor in how the democracy of nations is found today.
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Despite the deteriorating state of democracy, there’s hope for revival if the right checks and balances are put in place, according to Casas-Zamora.