The Malta Independent 29 March 2023, Wednesday
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Updated - ‘Flawed democracy’– Malta obtains lowest score ever in democratic index

Wednesday, 22 January 2020, 07:16 Last update: about 4 years ago

Malta registered its worst score ever in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and was relegated from a full democracy to a “flawed democracy”.

Malta is just one of five countries in Western Europe that are classified in this category, joining Italy, Cyprus, Greece, and Belgium. It is the first time Malta has been demoted since 2006, when the index was first established. Malta's overall place is 26th among 167 countries.


There were ten changes of regime category in 2019, six positive and four negative, according to the report published yesterday. Three countries (Chile, France and Portugal) moved from the “flawed democracy” category to become “full democracies”. Malta moved in the opposite direction, becoming a “flawed democracy”, the report said.

Last year’s developments in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, which forced the resignation of the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, contributed greatly to Malta’s drop in the classification. The report was drawn up at the time that Joseph Muscat was still Prime Minister.

The report is compiled every year by the EIU, which is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, one of the world’s specialists in country analysis, risk analysis and industry analysis.

In all, Malta obtained a score of 7.95, just below the 8-point mark which would have given the country full democracy status. The lowest score was in political participation, 6.11, while functioning government obtained 7.5 and political culture 8.11. The electoral process and pluralism were awarded 9.17, with civil rights getting 8.82.

Norway topped the list, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland.

North Korea is at the bottom of the standings.

Finf out more here and here
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