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Democracy Index: Malta’s ranking hit for second year in a row

Turth and Justice protest, Valletta, May 2018
Turth and Justice protest, Valletta, May 2018.

Malta has registered its second worst score since 2006, in the latest ranking by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), now sitting on the borderline between ‘full democracies’ and ‘flawed democracies’.

Malta ranks at number 18 globally in the recently published report ‘Democracy Index 2018: Me too?’, entitled ‘Political Participation, Protest, and Democracy’. Regionally, it ranked 13th.

Malta is close to a ‘failed democracy’ in the rankings, with a distinction of only 0.21 points between Malta and the score of those that fail to meet the minimum standards of a democratic regime.

Countries that fall into this category have significant faults in areas such as political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of the government.

The report considers a number of rankings across different areas including the electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

While Malta ranks well in terms of electoral process and pluralism (9.17), it registers a poor score for political participation (6.11). Overall, Malta fared worse than its 2017 ranking, when Malta had also seen a deterioration of its standing following the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The report is compiled every year by the EIU, which is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, one of the world’s specialists in country analysis, risk analysis and industry analysis.

Focusing on “providing a snapshot on the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories”, the Index analyses data across five categories and then classifies each country as one of four types: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

Globally, the results for 2018 are stable, meaning that there were no significant decreases or increases in any type of classification. The report also states that one third of the world’s population lives in an authoritarian regime, and only 20 countries could be considered as a full democracy.

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