Sri Lanka’s ranking falls after political crisis

Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Democracy Index fell to 71st place in 2018 – nine spots below the 2017 ranking – with an overall score of 6.19. The drop is attributed to a worsening in the functioning of government and civil liberties.

In the accompanying report, The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) states that Sri Lanka “was plunged into a constitutional crisis in late October when the president, Maithripala Sirisena, announced the dismissal of the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, replacing him with an ally, Mahinda Rajapaksa… This overreach of the president’s powers has dampened public confidence in government.”

The EIU’s Democracy Index ranks 165 independent states and two territories based on their state of democracy. Moreover, the ranking is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

Sri Lanka received 7.83 points for electoral process and pluralism, 6.18 for civil liberties, 5.71 for functioning of government, 5.00 for political participation and 6.25 for political culture. It is among the 55 countries flagged as ‘flawed democracies’ that have free and fair elections, and respect for civil liberties, but have issues in governance or political culture and political participation.

According to The EIU, a majority of the countries – 48 of them – witnessed an improvement in their 2018 ranking while 42 countries experienced a decline. China although classified as an authoritarian regime rose by nine places in the global index.