Malawi has moved up nine places to 75th on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Index of Democracy 2012. On the continent, the country is on position nine.
In the 2011 index, Malawi was ranked 84th.
The unit’s democracy 2012 index, which reflects the situation at the end of 2012, notes that Malawi was among eight countries that had a change in regime type in 2012.
“In 2012, Malawi and Senegal improved from hybrid regimes to flawed democracies,” says the report which describes flawed democracies as those countries that have free and fair elections and even if there are problems (such as infringements on media freedom), basic civil liberties will be respected.
Malawi which is on position 75, has scored an aggregate of 6.08 points.
The Democracy Index released last week analyses the overall state of democracy in independent countries to show the status of regional and worldwide democracy using five criteria: Electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.
On electoral process and pluralism, Malawi has scored 7.0 while as a functioning government it has amassed 5.71. On political participation it scored 5.56 whereas political culture and civil liberties registered 6.25 and 5.88 respectively.
Mauritius tops Africa on position 18 out of 167 countries covered by the comparative survey. It is followed by Cape Verde (26), Botswana (30), South Africa (31), Lesotho (55), Zambia (70), Namibia (72) and Senegal 74.
The top country this year was Norway, while the lowest was North Korea.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the report says, elections have become a normal occurrence but many elections are still rigged.
“Progress in democracy in the region has been slow and uneven, but nevertheless continues. The number of elections held annually in recent years has increased; since 2000 between 15 and 20 elections have been held each year.
“Although the holding of elections has become commonplace, not all ballots pass the test of being “free and fair” and many have been charades held by regimes clinging on to power,” reads the report.