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The Global State of Democracy 2023: The New Checks and Balances is now live
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Africa
Americas
Asia and the Pacific
Europe
Western Asia

Democracy Tracker

The Democracy Tracker provides event-centric, monthly information on democracy and human rights developments in 173 countries. Event reports include a description of the event, indications of the specific aspects of democracy that have been impacted, the magnitude of the impact, links to original sources and keywords to enable further research. Click on the country hexagons below to read the most recent developments.

Positive and Negative Events in January 2024

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Chad Arrow Chad
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Germany Arrow Germany
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India Arrow India
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Montenegro Arrow Montenegro
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Netherlands Arrow Netherlands
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North Macedonia Arrow North Macedonia
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Spain Arrow Spain
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Tanzania Arrow Tanzania
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UK Arrow UK
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Comoros Arrow Comoros
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Cyprus Arrow Cyprus
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France Arrow France
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Guatemala Arrow Guatemala
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Iran Arrow Iran
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Ireland Arrow Ireland
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Nicaragua Arrow Nicaragua
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Papua New Guinea Arrow Papua New Guinea
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Russian Federation Arrow Russian Federation
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Serbia Arrow Serbia
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South Sudan Arrow South Sudan
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Sri Lanka Arrow Sri Lanka
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Sweden Arrow Sweden
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Thailand Arrow Thailand
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Venezuela Arrow Venezuela
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Ecuador Arrow Ecuador
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Palestine Arrow Palestine

*Assessments are relative to each country and do not represent comparisons or rankings between countries.

Flag
May 2022

Malaysia

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Representation
Rights
Rule of Law
Participation

Critical Events in January 2024

Europe • North Macedonia

Parliament elected Talat Xhaferi from the Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), the largest ethnic Albanian party, to be the caretaker prime minister. Despite the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party securing two ministerial and three deputy positions in the new cabinet, its MPs abstained from voting for Xhaferi. The vote follows the resignation of Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski, in line with a system introduced in 2015 to prevent ruling party interference in the 100 days before elections through the formation of caretaker (technical) governments. Xhaferi's election follows a 2020 coalition agreement between the ruling Social Democrats and BDI, where the appointment of an ethnic Albanian as caretaker PM was a condition. Xhaferi's election as the first ethnic Albanian in this role has been considered historic. Previously, Xhaferi was North Macedonia's first ethnic Albanian defense minister and speaker of parliament.

Africa • Comoros

Comoros held elections for the national presidency and the governors of the three largest islands on 14 January. The Independent National Election Commission (Commission Electoral National Independante, CENI) reported that the incumbent president Azali Assoumani won re-election in the first round, receiving 62.97 per cent of the valid votes. CENI reported presidential election turnout to be 16.30 per cent, while turnout in the gubernatorial elections varied between 39.13 per cent and 69.56 per cent. There were six candidates for president, all of whom are men. There was only one woman among the 26 candidates for governor: Chamina Ben Mohamed who won the governorship of Mohéli. A joint election observation mission from the African Union and Eastern African Standby Force noted political tensions during the early part of the electoral process but described elections as taking place in a peaceful atmosphere, and found few logistical or procedural problems in the management of the election. Opposition candidates’ legal challenges to the election were dismissed by the Supreme Court. The Court released revised figures for the election, finding that President Assoumani received 57.2 per cent of the votes, with turnout much higher than reported by the CENI at 56 per cent. This would be slightly up from the last presidential election in 2019 which had 53 per cent turnout.

Asia and the Pacific • Sri Lanka

On 24 January, Parliament passed the Online Safety Bill (OSB), which seeks to combat false online statements through a commission with extensive powers. These include ordering individuals and internet service providers to remove online content deemed “prohibited statements,” further enabling legal recourse against people who publish such content. Human rights groups, industry experts and civil society organizations have called for the bill to be withdrawn, criticizing its vaguely worded definitions of offences that may be misused to silence critical voices online. Moreover, concerns have also been raised regarding the five-member commission’s lack of independence from the executive. The United Nations Human Rights Office also expressed opposition to the bill in October 2023. Civil society organizations note that the bill was passed in a rushed manner with limited consultations that left numerous of their concerns unaddressed.

Americas • Ecuador

President Daniel Noboa decreed a state of emergency and expanded security forces’ powers after a significant surge in violence, including the escape of an imprisoned gang leader, the kidnapping of police officers and the taking of over 100 prison officials hostage, as well as an incident in which a group of armed men took reporters hostage during a live broadcast at a TV station.   The presidential decrees, which include the declaration of an “internal armed conflict”, enable the military and national police to “neutralize” such groups. They established a night-time curfew and determined the applicability of international humanitarian law.  In the following days, the military regained control of prisons, releasing the hostages.   The surge in violence highlights gang leaders’ power and influence over prison officials, members of the judiciary and police. Relatedly, a prosecutor investigating the hostage taking at the TV station and working on another gang-related investigation known as “Caso Metastasis”, related to the infiltration of gangs in Ecuadorian institutions such as the police and judiciary, was murdered in Guayaquil state.

About the Global State of Democracy Initiative

International IDEA launched the Global State of Democracy (GSoD) Initiative in 2016. This Initiative provides evidence-based and balanced analysis and data on the state and quality of democracy globally and for 173 countries across all regions of the world. It aims to contribute to the public debate on democracy and inform policy interventions to strengthen democracy.

Democracy Notes & Commentary

Monthly Event Reports

See all the information related to countries that have updates this month.

Africa

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Americas

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Asia and the Pacific

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Europe

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Western Asia

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Flag
May 2022

Malaysia

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin consequat augue non efficitur fermentum. Proin eu...

Representation
Rights
Rule of Law
Participation

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Funders and Donors

The European Union Federal Ministry for Economic Coorperation and Development Robert Bosch Stiftung
The Global State of Democracy Initiative is also supported by contributions of International IDEA Member States
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