On Democracy Day, 10 countries where political participation remains a distant dream

As parliaments the world over celebrate International Democracy Day on September 15, here's a look at 10 countries which do not allow people to participate in politics.

China remains a one-party Communist state with allegations of human rights violations.

China: Despite being one of Asia's fastest growing economies, China remains a one-party Communist state with allegations of human rights violations and no formal mechanism for the people to redress their grievances. (Getty)

North Korea's totalitarian regime is accused of human rights abuses.

North Korea: Though nominally under communist rule, North Korea's leader Kim II-sung shaped the country's economic policies for decades till his death in 1994. His son Kim Jong-un continues to follow his father's footsteps and has pursued an ambitious nuclear programe responsible for its isolation from the rest of the world. The totalitarian regime is also accused of human rights abuses in its infamous detention facilities. (AFP)

The Al Saud dynasty has traditionally monopolised power in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: The Al Saud dynasty has traditionally monopolised power in the country which dominates politics in the Arab world. The oil exporting nation follows a strict version of Sunni Islam with unequal gender laws and harsh punishments including public beheadings. (AFP)

Qatar is ruled by a monarchy which controls the media.

Qatar: The Gulf country, rich in oil reserves, is ruled by a monarchy which controls the media and poses restrictions on day-to-day coverage of political and economic affairs. (Getty)

Oman is of the oldest monarchies in the world.

Oman: One of the oldest monarchies in the world, the country has remained peaceful despite curbs on the freedom of the press and the state control over the telecommunication infrastructure. (Getty)

The UAE is a federation of seven states which is ruled by a conservative Islamic monarchy.

United Arab Emirates: The UAE is a federation of seven states which is ruled by a conservative Islamic monarchy. The country is considered one of the more liberal countries in the Gulf but remains authoritarian politically with strong control over the media. (Getty)

Vietnam remains one of the four remaining one-party socialist states of the world.

Vietnam: The country remains one of the four remaining one-party socialist states which officially endorse communism. Though one of Asia's fastest growing economies, income disparities remain and restrictions on the freedom of the press continue. (Getty)

Uzbekistan has remained authoritarian since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Uzbekistan: The country has remained authoritarian since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The state controls the media and foreign journalists have steadily been expelled since the 2005 Andijan uprising. (Getty)

Kazakhstan country has been ruled by former Communist Party chief Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Kazakhstan: The country has been ruled by former Communist Party chief Nursultan Nazarbayev since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The president, who is accused by opposition parties of concentrating power in his own hands, justifies it by saying that sudden transition to a democracy could threaten stability. (AFP)

Pope is the sovereign of Vatican City which is the smallest independent state in the world.



Vatican City: Pope is the sovereign of Vatican City which is the smallest independent state in the world. Legislative functions are carried out a body of cardinals appointed by the Pope for five-year periods. (AFP)