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Democracy Index 2019: Bangladesh moves eight ranks higher

  • Published at 07:20 pm January 22nd, 2020
ballot box
File photo of a voter casting his vote in a polling station Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Despite the gains, Bangladesh has been classified as a hybrid regime and lags behind neighboring India

The Democracy Index 2019, an annual survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has placed Bangladesh eight ranks higher compared to last year.

Bangladesh was ranked 80th with an overall score of 5.88 on the Democracy Index 2019, rising from the 88th position with a score of 5.57 a year ago, said a report published on their website on Wednesday.

Although the top and bottom of the index remained almost indifferent, the survey showed sizeable movements in the rankings elsewhere with Bangladesh among the countries making "notable improvements."

Despite the gains, Bangladesh has been classified as a hybrid regime and lags behind neighboring India, which dropped 10 places to the 51st spot with a score of 6.90.

The primary cause of the democratic regression in India 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. 

At the same time, 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.  

Meanwhile, China was 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.