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Hungary flawed democracy, shows EIU report

Hungary was ranked 38th on a list of 167 countries on the Economist Intelligence Unit's index of democracy 2006, belonging in the group of flawed democracies, the dailies Magyar Hírlap and Magyar Nemzet reported on Wednesday.

Hungary received an overall score of 7.53 in the EIU democracy index which is led by Sweden with a score of 9.88 and ends with North Korea with 1.03. The EUI examined the level of democracy in five categories and within these Hungary scored the highest at 9.58 for electoral process and pluralism, and the lowest at 5 in political participation. The score for civil liberties was 9.41, political culture 6.88 and functioning of government 6.79.

Within the region, Hungary fell behind the Czech Republic (ranked 18) in the list and Slovenia (27), both of which made it in the group of full democracies. Head of the EIU research team in charge of the region Aidan Manktelow told Magyar Nemzet that growth in government corruption and impartiality in Hungary give reason for concern. He quoted a World Bank report showing that corruption in Hungary was higher in 2002-2004 than in the four previous years.

Although Hungary's poor political performance is characteristic of the whole region, the lack of trust between the two political sides is substantial, he added. (