The United States has joined an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time, the International IDEA think-tank said on Monday, pointing to a “visible deterioration” that it said began in 2019.
More than one in four people around the world live in a backsliding democracy, a proportion that rises to more than two in three with the addition of authoritarian or “hybrid” regimes, according to the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), based in Sweden, released a report on Monday detailing the current climate for democracy and sanctity of political institutions in countries around the world.
One of the report’s most worrying findings was an assertion that the United States is now among those nations headed away from democracy and towards autocracy.
“Many democratic governments are backsliding and are adopting authoritarian tactics by restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law, a trend exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” read the report.
“International IDEA warns against the grave and looming threat of disinformation and baseless accusations of electoral fraud, as seen in Myanmar, Peru and the United States,” it went on.
The report also found that several European countries including Slovenia, Poland and Hungary are seeing authoritarian tendencies intensify in and around government.
“The Global State of Democracy report is not a wakeup call, it’s an alarm bell. Authoritarianism advances in every corner of the earth. Universal values – the pillars of civilization that protect the most vulnerable – are under threat,” said Jutta Urpilainen, a member of the European Commission, in a statement on Monday.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: STRAITS TIMES
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