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Malta Becomes ‘Flawed Democracy’ After Registering Its Worst Ever Score In Democratic Index

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Malta has been relegated to a “flawed democracy” after registering its worst score in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index since its inception.

The country becomes just one of five countries in Western Europe that are classified as a “flawed democracy”, joining Italy, Cyprus, Greece, and Belgium. It is the first time Malta has been demoted since 2006.

A critical factor in Malta’s demotion is the descent into political crisis after the Office of the Prime Minister was linked to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.  Malta ranked high in terms of electoral participation, but it scored poorly in the functioning of government.

While Joseph Muscat resigned as Prime Minister, he refused to step down immediately, choosing to leave at a date of his choosing and even staying on as an MP. Whether his influence over the government will continue remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Robert Abela is already facing serious questions over the case.

Justyne Caruana was forced to resign just five days after being re-appointed after the revelation of her husband’s intimate relationship with Yorgen Fenech, the Tumas Group businessman charged in connection with the murder.

Malta’s score on the EIU index has deteriorated ever since Caruana Galizia was murdered, with the global stage turning its eye to allegations of government corruption in the country.

It follows a global pattern, with the EIU warning that democracy was in retreat.

If 2016 was notable for the populist insurgency against the status quo in the developed democracies, 2019 was defined in large part by a wave of popular protest in the developing world. Both expressed a demand for more popular sovereignty and better political representation and both hold out the potential for a regeneration of democracy,” Joan Hoey, Director for Europe and editor of the report said.

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.

READ NEXT: Abela Removed Security Officials ‘Within Seconds’ After Corruption Claim, But Whistleblower Warns They Are Trying To Expose His Identity

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