Democracy is deteriorating across the world, with countries including the United States taking undemocratic and ‘unnecessary’ actions to contain the coronavirus pandemic, an intergovernmental body said in a new report today.
‘Many democratic governments are backsliding,’ the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, or International IDEA, said.
The 34-nation organization added that as of August 2021, 64 per cent of countries have taken an action to curb the pandemic that it considers ‘disproportionate, unnecessary or illegal.’
Among the countries added to the annual list of ‘backsliding’ democracies for the first time is the US, which has undergone a ‘visible deterioration’ since 2019.
The report said the US was among countries which has imposed ‘measures that amount to democratic violations’, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic has ‘accelerated and magnified’ some of the negative trends.
The Stockholm-based body added that the situation is also getting worse in countries that are not democratic. Autocratic regimes have become ‘even more brazen in their repression,’ free speech has been restricted and the rule of law has been weakened, it said.
In its flagship report on the state of democracy, International IDEA said the number of backsliding democracies has doubled in the past decade, and mentioned in particular the U.S., Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.