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July 25, 2020, 01.13 PM

LONDON, – Countries that are at the top of the rankings of Covid-19 deaths globally have one thing in common — populist leaders.

These countries are not the poorest, the richest, or the most densely populated either.

In politics, populism entails pushing policies that are popular with “the people” rather than the elites or experts.

US President Donald Trump, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are some of the populist leaders who rose to power in democratic countries.

Their campaign sought to challenge the old order through promises of providing social benefits to the masses and rejecting the establishment.

Read also: More Indonesian SMEs Poised to Gain Access to Social Assistance Programs

India’s Narendra Modi and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador are also part of the populist crowd.

In spite of populist leaders’ rise to power, it turns out that when dealing with a new disease like the coronavirus pandemic, these leaders fare poorly compared to their liberal democratic counterparts.

The disruptive policies of populist leaders have not proven effective in the fight against the Covid-19 virus.

This is in comparison to liberal democratic models in countries such as Germany, France, Iceland, South Korea, and Japan.

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