Democracy is deteriorating across the world, with countries notably taking undemocratic and unnecessary actions to contain the coronavirus pandemic, an intergovernmental body said in its new report on Monday. “Many democratic governments are backsliding,” the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance said.
The 34-nation organization added that as of August 2021, 64 percent of countries have taken an action to curb the pandemic that it considers “disproportionate, unnecessary or illegal”.
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 US, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.
“This is the time for democracies to be bold, to innovate and revitalize themselves,” International IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora said. The report said that “the two years since our last report have not been good for democracy,” and the achievement reached when democracy became the predominant form of governance “now hangs in the balance like never before”.