Brazil was the country that suffered the most deterioration in terms of “democratic attributes” in its political regime in 2020 and, in the decade, it was one of the five that declined the most in terms of democratic guarantees.

A report published this Monday by the International IDEA Institute, based in Stockholm, finds that the country’s situation is one of the most worrying in the world. The entity is considered one of the main references in the world in assessing the health of democracies.

“Brazil was the democracy with the greatest number of attributes in decline in 2020”, says the study. “The management of the pandemic has been plagued by corruption scandals and protests, while President Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the pandemic and delivered mixed messages,” he says.

“The president has openly tested Brazil’s democratic institutions, accusing Superior Electoral Court magistrates of preparing to conduct fraudulent activities in connection with the 2022 elections and attacking the media,” he said.

“The president also declared that he will not obey the decisions of the Supreme Court, which is investigating him for spreading false news about the electoral system in the country,” he added.

In its report, called “The State of Democracy in 2021”, the organization warns that “more countries than ever suffer from “democratic erosion” (decline in democratic quality), including in established democracies”.

“The number of countries in ‘democratic setback’ (a more severe and deliberate type of democratic erosion) has never been as high as in the last decade and includes regional geopolitical and economic powers such as Brazil, India and the United States,” he points out.

In the decade between 2010 and 2020, Brazil also appears as one of the five countries with the greatest decline in the quality of democracy. The others are Turkey, Nicaragua, Serbia and Poland.

Even with regard to the electoral process, the findings are worrying.

“A total of 10 democracies have experienced declines in Clean Elections since 2015: Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Mauritius, Namibia, Poland and the US. In this period, five other countries lost their democratic status due to severe falls (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Serbia and Turkey),” he said.

The report also points out how in Mexico and Brazil, “the presidents questioned the integrity of the electoral commissions before the elections”. “In Brazil, the president went even further, questioning the 25-year-old electoral system, and claiming that elections could be canceled unless changed,” he insisted.

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