Uzbekistan took 148th place in democracy ranking

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Uzbekistan ranked 148th out of 167 in the "Democracy Index 2023," an annual report compiled by the British research organization The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The country shares this position with China, reports.

The EIU has been publishing the "Democracy Index" since 2006, assigning scores to countries in five categories. Based on the assessment, each country is classified into types of regimes: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, and autocracy.

Uzbekistan is still categorized by researchers as having an authoritarian regime, with a democracy score of 2.12 out of 10. The breakdown includes:

  • Electoral process and pluralism: 0.08
  • Government functioning: 1.86
  • Political participation: 2.78
  • Political culture: 5.0
  • Civil liberties: 0.88

These indicators have remained consistent for Uzbekistan in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

The EIU report notes that "authoritarian" Central Asia made "slight progress" over the past year. Tajikistan ranked 155th, while Turkmenistan was closer to the bottom at 162nd. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan both improved by seven positions, securing 109th and 120th places, respectively.

The report highlights that the political reform processes in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan yielded limited results in 2023. Referendums on constitutional reforms and parliamentary and presidential elections took place during the year. Kazakhstan saw the emergence of several new parties with questionable independence from the government, and elections remained unfree and unfair, according to the report.

Researchers suggest that Uzbekistan "lags behind" Kazakhstan in various democracy aspects, including political participation, and both countries have "firmly entrenched themselves in the authoritarian camp."

Commenting on the situation in Kyrgyzstan, experts note that the tandem of President Sadyr Japarov and the head of the State Committee for National Security, Kamchybek Tashiev, sought to consolidate power at the expense of the country's "hard-won democratic achievements." They invested resources in the security apparatus, replaced the once-strong parliamentary system with a hierarchical presidential system, and suppressed dissent, as emphasized in the report.

Globally, Norway has topped the "Democracy Index" for several consecutive years, followed by New Zealand, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Taiwan.

Syria, CAR, North Korea, Myanmar, and Afghanistan are at the bottom of the ranking.

The overall global democracy level dropped to 5.23 points in the past year (compared to 5.29 in 2022), reflecting an ongoing trend of regression and stagnation in recent years, marking a new low since the index's first publication.

In 2023, the authors of the rating categorize 24 countries as full democracies (with 7.8% of the world's population), 50 as flawed democracies (37.6%), 34 as hybrid regimes (15.2%), and 59 as autocracies (39.4%).
February 16, 2024