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Nearly half the world's countries are seeing the level of democracy decline, an international think tank said Thursday.

And some countries with historically long democratic traditions are among them.

The Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) said 85 out of 173 countries surveyed had "suffered a decline in at least one key indicator of democratic performance in the past five years."

"Many established democracies are experiencing setbacks... ranging from declines in social group equality in the United States, freedom of the press in Austria and access to justice in the United Kingdom," it added.

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