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Albania and Serbia are also the two most democratic places in Hungary, according to a recent report by Freedom House.

Albania and Serbia are also the two most democratic places in Hungary, according to a recent report by Freedom House.





Viktor Orban and his government celebrate their electoral victory at the Whale Hotel in Budapest on April 3, 2022

Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

He produced his last report on democracy A post-Soviet country, Freedom House (FH) is a US-based non-profit organization that monitors the state of democracy and political freedoms.

Hungary is in FH already in 2019 slipped through From the ranks of democracies to hybrid regimes, which by definition means that while elections are held in the country, democratic institutions are fragile and political and civil liberties are not enforced in all circumstances.

What is new in this year’s report is that of the twenty-first century. For the first time in the region, the dominant system in the region was the hybrid system, not democracy in the traditional sense.

Since 2004, Freedom House marked the beginning of a democratic decline, four countries have drifted into this gray area: Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

During this period, three previously purely authoritarian regimes, albeit slowly, entered the path of democratization and joined the hybrid regimes: Moldova, Kosovo and now Armenia.

The report notes that the array of hybrid regimes is fostered by elected leaders in democracies who have abandoned their commitment to liberal democratic principles in order to effectively monopolize power:

“Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, is a good example of this trend. He has worked actively to help like-minded governments come to power across Central and Eastern Europe. He allowed competitive elections on April 3 this year, but with Fides The entirety – along with a large part of the civil and media sectors – is in the service of the opposition. So voting was neither free nor fair. Now that Orbán has survived the elections, he can survive his illiberal and kleptocratic tendencies. The same can be said of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who also won a landslide victory in the April 3 elections.”

The analysis finds that both Orbán and Vuči follow the path set in the 2000s by the government of Montenegrin President Milo Dukanovic and former North Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Both upset liberal norms by bribing voters, wiretapping the opposition, and dismantling all transparency and accountability mechanisms that could have impeded the corrupt and opaque exercise of power.

FH examines each state in six categories. These are the exercise of democratic governance, the electoral system, the state of civil society, the independent media state, the maneuverability of local authorities, and the freedom of the judiciary and the judiciary.

The According to a recent report Hungary has a deteriorating media independence index in one category and an overall index of 3.68 – this means that according to the FH’s indicators, democratic norms prevail more in Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and even Serbia than in Hungary.

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