February 4, 2021 – 17:24 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – London-based think tank The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Armenia 89th out of 167 countries in its Democracy Index 2020 report. The country previously ranked 86th, its score dropping from 5.54 in 2019 to 5.35 in 2020.
The index of democracy, on a 0 to 10 scale, is based on the ratings for 60 indicators, grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Each category has a rating on a 0 to 10 scale, and the overall Index is the simple average of the five category indexes.
On a regional level, Armenia is ranked the 18th and still outperforms Georgia nestled in the 19th spot (91st overall), Russia in the 22nd (124th overall), and Azerbaijan in the 24th (146th overall). Armenia and Georgia are classed as a “hybrid regimes”, while Russia and Azerbaijan are “authoritarian regimes”.
The report said Armenia’s score declined significantly in 2020, after the country had bucked the regional trend and registered significant improvement in 2018-19. As a result of the armed conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian government imposed martial law “which significantly limited citizens’ freedoms, including freedom of expression.” Martial law continued even after the fighting was ended via a ceasefire and “was used as a pretext to disperse anti-government protests and detain opposition leaders”, the report added.