Armenia has jumped from 111th to 103rd place in the Democracy Index 2018 report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories.
The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.
Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” and “authoritarian regime.”
Armenia is classified as “hybrid regime” and has seen the most improvement among all “hybrid regime” countries in Eastern Europe in 2018, raising its score to 4.79, from 4.11 in 2017.
“The “Velvet Revolution” against an attempt by Serzh Sargsyan, the former president, to stay in power by switching to the post of prime minister resulted in the appointment of Nikol Pashinian, an opposition leader, as prime minister. Mr Pashinian’s opposition coalition subsequently swept the Yerevan municipal election and won a staggering 70% of the vote in a parliamentary election in December 2018,” the report reminds.
These developments, and Mr Pashinian’s subsequent anti-corruption campaign, improved the country’s scores for government accountability and transparency. They also resulted in a vast improvement in citizens’ perception of corruption and confidence in the government and political parties.
Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) also recorded improvements in their overall scores, while Moldova and Georgia experienced a fall in score in 2018.
Other countries in the region are placed as follows: Georgia – 89th, Turkey – 110th, Azerbaijan 149th, Iran – 150th.
Armenia’s partners in the Eurasian Economic Union Russia and Kazakhstan share the 144th position, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan are ranked 137th and 98th respectively.