By Daniel Itai
As the world today marks International Democracy day, some countries have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by becoming authoritarian.
According to Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), many countries are now abusing their emergency powers which they put in place in order to curtail the pandemic.
“The pandemic has made many countries to evoke emergency powers but in other places we are now seeing other countries abusing those emergency powers curtailing civil liberties.
There has to be a very active opposition, civil society and independent press that make sure that these emergency powers don’t become the new normal.
However, they are democracies that have done well like Taiwan and New Zealand and those that have failed like the United States and Brazil.
Moreover, the case of Zimbabwe, Kenya or Congo is problematic, these different governments are trying to take advantage of the pandemic by deploying the military in trying to deal with internal issues. We have to remain vigilant,” said the Secretary-General of IDEA.