City drops two places in world democracy index

Local | 9 Jan 2019 1:46 pm

Hong Kong has slipped two positions in an annual global democracy index, falling from 71st position to 73rd in a list of 167 places.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, which compiled the index, said the banning of the Hong Kong National Party last year was a clear setback for the city's "already weak democracy."

It also said more aggressive screening of election candidates and the barring of several hopefuls who supported greater autonomy from the mainland also undermined the degree of democracy in the city, RTHK reported.

China rose nine places to 130th in the rankings, although the rise mainly reflects the relative worsening of other countries' democracy, and the mainland is still classified as an "authoritarian regime".

Taiwan's ranking rose from 33rd to 32nd.

Norway leads the global league table, followed by Iceland and Sweden, with North Korea down at the bottom.

The EIU said globally, democracy stopped declining in 2018, although it concludes that only 4.5 percent of the world's population live in a "full democracy".

Its rankings take into account dozens of indicators in the broad categories of electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.

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