The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) considers Belarus an authoritarian regime in its recent Democracy Index. Our country takes 137th place (out of 167) with a total score of 3.13, lagging behind Venezuela and Zimbabwe, but getting ahead of Cuba, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
The EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories. The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.
Our country scored 0.92 points out of 10 for electoral processes, 2.86 – for the functioning of the government, 3.89 – for political participation, 5.63 – for political culture and 2.35 – for civil liberties. Compared to the previous year, the overall score of Belarus has not changed; it got the highest score in 2014 (3.69).
“Belarus, Azerbaijan and the four central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) remain dictatorships, most of whose leaders have stayed in place for decades. We expect little to no improvement in the scores for these countries over the coming years, as there appears to be no credible possibility in any of them of the political opposition gaining power,” the report reads.
Lithuania found itself on the 36th place, Latvia – on the 38th, Poland – on the 54th. All of them are classified as ‘flawed democracies’. Ukraine (84th position) fell into the category of hybrid regimes. The Economist ranked Russia 144th, last year it was 135th.
Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark top the list of full democracies. North Korea, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Chad are at the bottom of the Democracy Index.