SAM

Published:
2020-01-22 23:14:29 BdST

Bangladesh moves up 8 notches on Democracy Index


FT ONLINE

Bangladesh has gained eight places on the latest Democracy Index 2019, compared to the previous year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Although there was no big movement at the top and bottom of the index, there have been sizeable movements in the rankings elsewhere with Bangladesh among the countries making ‘notable improvements’, according to EIU’s findings.

Bangladesh ranks 80th with an overall score of 5.88 on the Democracy Index 2019, improved from the 88th position with a score of 5.57 a year ago.

Despite gains on the latest index, Bangladesh is still classified as a hybrid regime and lags behind neighbouring India, a flawed democracy, which dropped 10 places to the 51st spot with a score of 6.90.

The primary cause of the democratic regression in India is an erosion of civil liberties in the country, according to the report.

It came after the Indian government stripped the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state of its special status by repealing two key constitutional provisions granting it powers of autonomy.

Meanwhile, a separate citizenship registration exercise in Assam, a state in north-eastern India, has excluded 1.9 million from the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The vast majority of people excluded from the NRC are Muslims.

The ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says that most of the people excluded from the list are immigrants from Bangladesh, whose government denies this.

The new citizenship law has enraged the large Muslim population, stoked communal tensions and generated large protests in major cities.

Meanwhile, China is now ranked near the bottom of the rankings at 153rd place with a score of 2.26 as discrimination against minorities in the country intensified over the past year.

The widespread imprisonment of Muslim minorities, coupled with other infringements of civil liberties, underpins the decline in China’s overall score.

Overall, the average global score for democracy fell from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44 in 2019. It is the worst average global score since the index was first produced in 2006.

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