Thailand’s democracy ranking slips 8 spots: Global Ratings

BANGKOK – Thailand’s ranking in the 2023 Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index plummets eight spots to 63rd due to concerns about military influence in the election.

The report said Thailand’s May 14 election was “far from free, fair, or competitive”.

Thailand scored 6.35 and is termed a “flawed democracy” in the report. A flawed democracy is one where the country has free and fair elections and basic civil rights, but there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture, and low levels of political participation.

In the 2023 General Election, the report said anti-establishment Move Forward Party (MFP) won the most votes, but its leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, failed to become prime minister.

“The subsequent ruling by the Constitutional Court to suspend Pita as a member of parliament, on a controversial charge of his share ownership in a media company, dashed the MFP’s hope of forming a government.

“The rules regarding the democratic transfer of power are clearly not established or accepted in Thailand and the judiciary is not independent,” it said.

The report classified 167 countries and territories into four categories: 24 full democracies, 50 flawed democracies, 34 hybrid regimes, and 59 authoritarian regimes.

The EIU Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties; then functioning of government, political participation, and political culture.

In Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia ranks 40th, the highest ranked country in the region. Other countries ranked are Timor Leste (45), the Philippines (53), Indonesia (56), Singapore (69), Cambodia (121), Vietnam (136), Laos (159) and Myanmar (166).

The Asia and Australasia category in the Democracy Index includes five “full democracies” (New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Japan and South Korea), 10 “flawed democracies”, five “hybrid regimes”, and eight “authoritarian regimes” (including Afghanistan, Myanmar and North Korea). – BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE

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