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De jure: Are respective laws in place? The passive and active right to vote must be legally guaranteed. This includes the right to form parties and to campaign.
De facto: Does the campaign period allow a plurality of opinion? Is the actual voting process free from state interference? Is the counting of the votes free from state or other actors´ manipulation? Is a change of government possible?
De jure: Are democratic legal principles codified: equality before the law and independence of the courts?
De facto: Are these laws observed? Is the jurisdiction biased towards specific political actors? What is the informal influence of political actors over justices? This also implicates functioning checks and balances, e.g. an independent constitutional court.
De jure: Are respective laws in place? Everyone is entitled to freedom from persecution based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
De facto: Are basic human rights observed by the state apparatus? Is there discrimination against certain groups or individuals? Is there forced labour? Does the government hamper the pursuit of happiness of its citizens? Is the death penalty practised?
4.1.1 Brunei “ Journalists in Brunei face considerable restrictions. Legislation enacted in 2001 allows officials to shut down newspapers without cause and to fine and jail journalists for articles deemed “false and malicious.” The largest daily, the Borneo Bulletin, practices self-censorship, though it does publish letters to the editor that criticize government policies. Access to the internet is reportedly unrestricted.” Brunei is not ranked by RWB. Press freedom „ The unicameral Legislative Council has no political standing independent of the sultan.” Absence of undemocratic veto players “ Brunei is not an electoral democracy. The sultan wields broad powers under a long-standing state of emergency, and no direct legislative elections have been held since 1962. Citizens convey concerns to their leaders through government-vetted councils of elected village chiefs.” Status: “not free”. Free and fair elections
4.1.1 Brunei The death penalty has been suspended. „ Brunei’s many “stateless” people, mostly longtime ethnic Chinese residents, are denied the full rights and benefits of citizens, while migrant workers, who comprise 30 to 40 percent of the workforce, are largely unprotected by the labor laws. Women are treated as unequal to men in areas such as divorce, in accordance with Islamic law, but an increasing number of women have entered the workforce in recent years.” Human rights Brunei is not ranked by TI. Corruption „ The constitution does not specifically provide for an independent judiciary; although the courts generally appear to act independently, they have yet to be tested in political cases.” “The Legislative Council appears to have assumed budget review as a regular function in recent years, meeting in 2006, 2007, and 2008 to scrutinize government expenditures. “ Independence of the courts and checks and balances
4.1.2 Burma The military suppresses nearly all basic rights and commits massive human rights abuses with impunity. The death penalty is in full effect. Human rights The military controls all executive, legislative, and judicial powers. Military officers hold most cabinet positions, and active or retired officers hold most top posts in all ministries, as well as key positions in the private sector. Tue miltary controls all judicial powers and uses them frequently against political opposition. Independence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 1,3. Corruption RWB ranking is 94,38 Press freedom There are only undemocratic veto players: military Absence of undemocratic veto players Military dictatorship: no elections since 1992; Freedom House ranking is „not free“. Free and fair elections
4.1.3 Cambodia There is no death penalty. Discrimation against women and ethnic Cham Muslims is a problem. Security forces often act with impunity and are involved in organised crime. Human rights Hun Sen and his ruling party dominate all branches of government. Indepdence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 1,8. „ The judiciary is not independent and is marred by inefficiency and corruption. There is a severe shortage of lawyers, and judges are poorly trained and subject to political pressure from the CPP.” Corruption RWB ranking is 35,50. Press freedom The security forces play a political role. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House ranking is „not free“. „ Prime Minister Hun Sen and the CPP dominate national and local politics through their control of the security forces, officials at all levels of government, and the state-owned media.” Free and fair elections
4.1.4 China Though constitutionally recognized, religious freedom is sharply restricted. Minorities are discrimated against. The death penalty is in full effect. Human rights “ Party members hold almost all top posts in government, the military, and the internal security services, as well as in many economic entities and social organizations. The 3,000-member National People’s Congress (NPC) is China’s largely symbolic parliament.” „ The CCP controls the judiciary and directs verdicts and sentences, particularly in politically sensitive cases.” Independence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 3,6. Corruption RWB ranking is 85,5. „ Freedom of the press remains extremely restricted, despite constitutional free speech guarantees and comparative freedom in private discussion.” Press freedom The CCP is unelected. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House ranking is „not free“. „ The CCP possesses a monopoly on political power, and the party’s nine-member Politburo Standing Committee makes most important political decisions and sets government policy.” Free and fair elections
4.1.5 Indonesia “ Members of unrecognized religions have difficulty obtaining national identity cards. Atheism is not accepted. Independence activists in Papua and in the Moluccas, and labor and political activists in Java and Sulawesi, remain targets for human rights abuses. Discrimination against women persists, particularly in the workplace.” The death penalty is practiced. Human rights The Constitution provides for checks and balances. The Constitutional Court is independent. Without parliament´s consent laws cannot be passed. Independence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 3,6. „ The KPK has been criticized for failing to convict prosecutors and police. Nevertheless, a string of high-profile cases and convictions in 2008 improved the commission’s image.” Corruption RWB ranking is 27. „The country has a large independent media presence. The foreign press has been banned from the restive province of Papua since 2003. Libel laws influence how journalists frame their stories.“ Press freedom The military still largely enjoys impunity and wields political power. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House ranking is „free“. Indonesia is an electoral democracy. Elections in 2009 for the national parliament and the president were free and fair. Free and fair elections
4.1.6 Japan Capital punishment is legal in Japan. Human rights Japan’s judiciary is independent. Emperor Akihito serves as the ceremonial head of state, parliament is vested with legislative powers. Independence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 7,3. C orruption results from the iron triangle system between the government and big business. Corruption RWB rating is 6,5. „ Japan’s press is private and independent, but the presence of press clubs, or kisha kurabu , is an obstacle to press freedom.” Press freedom The military does not wield political veto power. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House rating is „free“. Several political parties compete for power. Free and fair elections
4.1.7 Laos Capital punishment is legal in Laos. Religious freedom is tightly restricted. Discrimination against members of minority tribes is common at many levels. Human rights The LPRP controls all government. „ The courts are corrupt and controlled by the LPRP.” Indepdence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 2. „ Corruption and abuses by government officials are widespread. Official announcements and new laws aimed at curbing corruption are rarely enforced.” Corruption RWB rating is 70. „ Freedom of the press is severely restricted. Any journalist who criticizes the government or discusses controversial political topics faces legal punishment. The state owns all media.” Press freedom The LPRP controls all government. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House rating is „ not free“. „ The 1991 constitution makes the LPRP the sole legal political party and grants it a leading role at all levels of government. The LPRP vets all candidates for election to the rubber-stamp National Assembly, whose 115 members elect the president.” Free and fair elections
4.1.8 Malaysia RWB rating is 39,5. Freedom of expression is constitutionally guaranteed but restricted in practice, encouraging self-censorship and limiting investigative journalism. Press Freedom Capital punishment is legal in Malaysia. Discrimination against women and non-Malays (affirmative action) is a problem. The police is known for its heavy-handed actions and the authoritarian Internal Security Law is applied on a regular basis. Human rights The BN controls national government. Arbitrary or politically motivated verdicts are not uncommon, with the most prominent case being that of Anwar Ibrahim. Indepedence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 5,1. Corruption is rife among government. Corruption The security forces play a political role, if subdued. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House rating is „partly free“. Elections are generally considered free but not fair, e.g. March 2008 elections. Free and fair elections
4.1.9 North Korea RWB rating is 96,50. Only Eritrea is worse. Press Freedom Human rights are practically unkown in North Korea. Human rights The courts are not independent from political influence. See the verdict on Aung Saan Suu Kyi in August 2009. Independence of the courts and checks and balances No TI ranking available. Corruption The regime is a military one. Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House rating is „not free“. Elections take place but are not free and fair. Free and fair elections
4.1.10 Philippines RWB ranking is 45. Press Freedom The Muslim separatist conflict have created many human rights violations on both sides. Human rights Judicial independence is strong, as for example the results of the trials against the state administration demonstrate. Independence of the courts and checks and balances TI ranking is 2,3. Corruption Political violence is widespread. Casualties of such terror are often members of the left-wing parties, especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Absence of undemocratic veto players Freedom House ranking is „partly free“. Free and fair elections
4.1.11 Singapore In relation to the number of citizens in Singapore, there is no other country in the world, where there are so many executions. Apart from that, physical punishments are common. Human rights The overall positive results of the trials, concerning the government, have created suspicion about the objectivity of the courts. Independence of the courts and checks and balances Out of 180 nations Singapore is listed as number 4 (source: Transparency International). Corruption Foreign press can be banned for reporting about domestic issues. Moreover, there exists strict internet regulations. Press Freedom The PAP uses different instruments to repress the opposition. Absence of undemocratic veto players Singapore is not an electoral democracy, although it has a parliamentary system. The PAP (People’s Action Party) controls the country. Free and fair elections
4.1.12 South Korea Human rights are guaranteed. However, ethnic minorities are often socially and legally discriminated against. Human rights The judicial sector is sovereign. Independence of the courts and checks and balances South Korea is number 40 (out of 180) on the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption Press is free to criticize the government. Although the South Koreans are told not to listen to North Korean radio, there is no direct censorship. Press freedom Pluralistic political system: the two largest parties are the UNDP (United New Democratic Party, before: Uri Party) and the GNP (Great National Party). Absence of undemocratic veto players South Korea depicts an electoral democracy: there are free and fair elections. Free and fair elections
4.1.13 Taiwan Human rights are assured. Despite huge progresses, women are not treated equally in today’s Taiwan. Human rights The judicial branch is independent. Independence of the courts and checks and balances Taiwan achieves 5.7 out of 10 points in the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption Nowadays, every branch of the media is able to publish freely. In the past, the internet and TV stations were regulated. Press freedom There are two major parties: pro-independence DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) and the nationalist KMT (translated: Chinese Nationalist Party). Absence of undemocratic players Generally, the elections are free and fair. Free and fair elections
4.1.14 Thailand The death penalty has been carried out. Minorities, especially in the South, have been subdued violently. Human rights The judiciary makes or breaks the government and does not seem inpartial in doing so. Lese majeste cases seriously threaten judicial integrity and press freedom. Independence of the courts and checks and balances Corruption is a well-known and widespread phenomenon in Thailand. Corruption There is censorship of Thaksin Shinawatras’ supporters and lese majeste laws limit the freedom of the press. Press freedom The military continues to wield political power. Self-styled supporters of the monarchy often exert undue influence. Absence of undemocratic players Thailand is not an electoral democracy. Constitutional Court rulings in September and December 2008 forced the resignations of two PPP prime ministers and the disbandment of the party itself, leaving a new government led by the rival DP in power at year’s end. Free and fair elections
4.1.15 Vietnam Capital punishment has been carried out in Vietnam. Minorities (e.g. Buddhists and Catholics) have been severely discriminated against and have often been victims of abuse by state officials. Human rights The courts submit to the CPV. Lawyers, who have clients with delicate cases (e.g. human rights issues) are in danger of harassments by the state. Independence of the courts and checks and balances Vietnam could just reach 2.7 points on the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption There is no freedom of the press in Vietnam. For example, the last censorship laws of 2006 prohibit: “denying revolutionary achievements”, spreading “harmful” data or showing ‘reactionary ideology”. Press freedom The CPV (Communist Party of Vietnam) is the only party allowed. Political opponents have been persecuted and convicted because of: “Spreading Anti-Vietnamese Propaganda”. Absence of undemocratic players Vietnam is a communist country, which does not allow free and fair polls. Free and fair elections