Fiji was classified as a “weak democracy” in an annual survey by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
The ranking appeared in The Global State of Democracy, published by the Stockholm-based non-governmental organization (NGO).
The Institute uses the term to describe countries that have scored low on one or more democratic scorecards, including representative government, fundamental rights, controls over government, impartial administration, and participatory engagement. .
The report notes that Fiji has not seen any improvement in scores for basic rights and government checks.
Fiji scored 0.6 for fundamental rights, with 0 being the lowest in the sample and 1 being the highest.
“Fundamental rights reflect the degree of respect for civil liberties and people’s access to basic resources which enable them to participate actively in the political process,” the report said.
“This includes access to justice, civil liberties, social rights and equality. It also includes freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of movement, personal integrity and security, basic well-being, equality of social groups and gender equality. “
Fiji scored 0.5 – half the best score – on the “government controls” scoreboard measuring effective control of executive power.
This included an effective parliament, judicial independence and media integrity, ”the report said.
“Democracies can be low, medium, or high, and that status changes from year to year, depending on a country’s annual democracy scores. “
“Democracies in any of these categories can retreat, erode and / or be fragile, capturing changes in democratic performance over time.
“Backward democracies are those that have experienced a gradual but significant weakening of controls over governmental and civil liberties, such as freedom of speech and freedom of association and assembly, over time.
“This is often done through intentional policies and reforms aimed at weakening the rule of law and civic space. A rollback can affect democracies at any level of performance.”
Questions about the report were sent to the Attorney General of Fiji Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
– Pacific News Agency