Guyana is among 48 countries that have made improvements towards the realization of a full democracy, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2018 Democracy Index.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group and and considers itself the world leader in global business intelligence.
The Index ranked 167 countries, assessing them in five categories of democratic principles: the functioning of government, electoral process and pluralism, political culture, civil liberties, and political participation.
Within these five categories, 60 measured indicators are used to assess the performance of each country which are then categorized into one of four types of regimes. The four types are: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” and “authoritarian regime”.
The categories are then scored out of 10, in which the closer the score is to 10, the closer the country is to being a full democracy.
Although Guyana was ranked as having a flawed democracy, its overall score moved from 6.46 in 2017 to 6.67 in 2018. That score pushed the country up to 54, behind regional counterparts Suriname, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
According to the Economist, a flawed democracy is: “a country that has free and fair elections, and even where problems exist, the basic civil liberties of citizens are respected”.
It was noted however, that such countries face difficulties with governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.
For 2018, it was revealed that 42 countries experienced a decline in their total score when compared to 2017. Forty-eight countries recorded improvements in their overall score, but the index highlighted that only 47.7% people lived in some form of democracy globally, compared to 49.3% in 2017.
It was also revealed that 4.5% of the world’s population lives in countries considered full democracies, while 43.2% live in flawed democracies, and 52.3% live in hybrid or authoritarian regimes.
The EIU Index concluded the presently, there exists only 20 full democracies across the globe, 55 flawed democracies, 39 hybrid regimes, and 53 countries with authoritarian regimes.