Anti-Corruption Struggle Gives no Essential Results in Armenia
According to “Transparent International” anti-corruption organisation, the corruption perception index in Armenia did not change last year and there have been no clear reduction trends for 13 years in spite of different anti-corruption institutions and the corresponding strategy. Varujan Hoktanyan, Head of Transparent International anti-corruption center, said during press release at Media Center on January 27.

Hoktanyan presented the new report published by Transparent International organisation and the place of Armenia in that document according to corruption perception index. He said that corruption is still a serious problem in 2/3 of the world states.  So the corruption perception index is below 50.

The corruption perception index scale is from 0 to 100. If the index of a state is near 0 it is more corrupted and vice versa. “According to that scale the least corrupted state is Denmark where the corruption perception index is 91. They are followed by Norway, New Zealand and the Netherland,” Hoktanyan said.

The worst places are occupied by Somali and Northern Korea the indexes of which is 8. “The same place share also Afghanistan, Sudan and Angola. In all these states there are also conflicts,” he reminded.

According to the report Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana improved their indexes last year. Brazil and Turkey retreated their positions. 

The corruption perception index of Armenia is 35 compared to 37 of last year. The index of Armenia did not change as two units are allowed within statistical mistake. “The accounting of Armenia was based on 6 sources. But this year 5 sources were used. The World Bank was dismissed this year the data of which were favorable for Armenia,” the speaker clarified.

He does not consider that the index of 35 is a regress as it is considered a regress when the index is reduced by 3 and more units. “So, since 2003 we have not had a change – neither progress, nor regress,” he said.

Considering the data of Armenia in the framework of regional and post-Soviet states, Hoktanyan said that Georgia has leading place with the index of 52. “But Georgia stands on the same place for 2-3 years. The index of Azerbaijan is 29, and the index of Iran is 27. The leader among the post-Soviet states is Estonia, then Latvia and Lithuania,” the speaker said and added that among the post-Soviet states Armenia is behind the Baltic States and Georgia. “Armenia is followed by Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus,” he said.  

Armenia shares its 95-98th place with Mali, Mexico and the Philippines. “Armenia of course is behind EU states but has privileges over the EAEU states,” Varujan Hoktanyan said. 

Armenian index shows that corruption disturbs the regular work of political and economic systems. “Academic researches show that the states who have index below 50 have serious problems. The corruption disturbs the work of economic and political system,” he said.

Two factors are necessary for the reduction of corruption in Armenia - -political will and social pressure. It is not necessary to start the struggle against corruption from below.

“We have the example of Ukraine where changes were made but the index is 27. It is much behind Armenia. In some states the change of government fostered the reduction of corruption, for example Georgia. Pressure from below and political will from above is necessary,” he clarified and added that in case of non-official institutions that prevail it is hard to speak about an efficient struggle against corruption.  

“De-monopolization should be carried out in the political and economic life of Armenia. Economic monopoly brings political monopoly. The other problem is the fusion of the political and business elites. The problem is also that the judicial system is not independent,” Hoktanyan said. 

Perceptions of citizens have rather sad results for Armenia.

“There is a deep indifference in the society. Armenia has the worst index in the society involvement in the struggle against corruption. Guatemala is more corrupted than Armenia but the society tries to make some steps. According to the survey of 2013, more than half of the society does not want to be involved in the struggle against corruption. So there is lack of political will and disappointment,” he said.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

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