Timor-Leste ranked first in South East Asia in 2016 Democracy Index

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, February 2nd, 2017

Timor-Leste ranked first in South East Asia in 2016 Democracy Index

The Democracy Index 2016, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit on the 25th of January, has ranked Timor-Leste as the top country in South East Asia based on a consideration of electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of the Government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties. The index attempts to provide “a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories”.

 In the 2016 Index Timor-Leste was ranked 1st in South East Asia, 5th in Asia and 43rd of all states assessed. The country score for the last four years has remained steady at 7.24 out of 10 in an environment where almost half of the countries covered have registered a decline in their scores between 2006 and 2016.

Timor-Leste scores highly in regards to our electoral process and pluralism, which reflects our free and fair elections, universal suffrage, efforts to ensure the freedoms of voters and arrangements for an orderly transfer of administrations.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “international measuring tools, such as the Democracy Index, are constantly faced with the challenge of ensuring accuracy. However, what we do see clearly reflected in the index and in other international measures is that our freedoms set out in the Constitution, particularly in regard to our electoral process and pluralism, are being firmly upheld. As we approach the Presidential election on the 20th of March and the Parliamentary elections later in the year, we again embrace and affirm these rights, mindful that in many parts of the world citizens are not afforded such rights and responsibilities.”ENDS