Democracy index: Bangladesh ranks 75th
Bangladesh has ranked 75th on the latest democracy index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, one notch up from last year.
The country is still classified under the "hybrid regime" category, meaning substantial irregularities often prevent elections from being free and fair here, according to the "Democracy Index-2021" published by the UK-based Economist Group.
"Government pressure on opposition parties and candidates may be common. Serious weaknesses are more prevalent than in flawed democracies -- in political culture, functioning of government, and political participation," the report, released on Thursday, said while defining a "hybrid regime".
Moreover, in a hybrid regime, corruption tends to be widespread and the rule of law is weak. Civil society is weak. Typically, there is harassment of and pressure on journalists, and the judiciary is not independent, it said.
Bangladesh scored 5.99 out of 10 this year to be ranked 75th among 165 countries and two territories. Last year, it secured the 76th spot with the same score.
Among seven South Asian countries covered in the report, India and Sri Lanka are ahead of Bangladesh while Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan are behind.
This year, the results reflect the continuing negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on democracy and freedom around the world for a second successive year, says the report.
According to the index, less than half (45.7 percent) of the world's population now live in a democracy of some sort.
Norway, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland are the top five democracies. Afghanistan, Myanmar, North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic are at the bottom.