Armenia made no considerable progress in curbing corruption, the process of ‘stagnation’ continues
Armenia ranked 107th out of the 180 countries listed in 2017’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which was recently released by Transparency International. Armenia ranked among countries such as Ethiopia, Macedonia and Vietnam. Armenia’s score has improved by two points compared to the previous year.
However, according to Varuzhan Hoktanyan, Executive Director of Transparency International Armenia, it doesn’t mean that Armenia achieved any considerable success in combating corruption nor that its rate had reduced.
“This assessment indicates that there is ongoing stagnation. Certain steps have been taken in this regard after the parliamentary election in Armenia last year such as setting up a commission for the prevention of corruption, and the adoption of the law on criminalization of illicit enrichment.
“However, this is hardly enough. Laws are being adopted but their implementation is still a problem. It’s important that the law has no loopholes so as to bypass it. No one should be able to say that the law is not being implemented because of some flaws. Loopholes in the law and non-compliance with the legislation indicate that there is a lack of political will,” said Hoktanyan.
According to the expert the situation in Armenia is far better when compared to countries that ranked highly on the list such as Somalia (12), South Sudan (12) and Russia (29).
In Hoktanyan’s words, investors and states regard the Corruption Perception Index as ‘the most reliable’ indicator:
“It’s not an assessment made by ordinary citizens who might have said that they were poor and hungry which could give a low rating. It’s an assessment made by experts and entrepreneurs, including international ones.”
Varuzhan Hoktanyan stressed the need for setting up a specialized anti-corruption agency for better combating corruption:
“There are countries with low corruption rates that don’t have such an agency. Where there is a political will there is no need for such an agency. However, international best practices show that political will is a mandatory, though insufficient condition. In countries like Singapore they fight against corruption through such an agency.”
Expert’s believe that combining political and economic freedoms may contribute to a substantial reduction in corruption rates even without a particular strategy.