Government corruption in Armenia has slightly decreased over the past year but remains widespread, according to an annual global survey released by Transparency International on Tuesday.
Armenia ranked 94th of 177 countries and territories covered in the Berlin-based watchdog’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), up from 105th place it occupied in last year’s survey. It lags far behind neighboring Turkey (53rd) and Georgia (55th) but is ahead of its two other neighbors, Azerbaijan (127th) and Iran (144th), in the rankings.
The nations surveyed were rated on a 100 point scale measuring the extent of good governance. Armenia received a CPI score of 36, compared with 34 assigned to it in the 2012 survey.
The Transparency International branch in Armenia has long been highly skeptical about repeated government pledges to combat bribery, nepotism and other corrupt practices. Its leaders say that President Serzh Sarkisian and his administration are not prepared for a genuine fight against corruption because it would endanger their hold on power.
According to the Global Corruption Barometer, another Transparency International survey that was released in July, 43 percent of Armenians think that the scale of government corruption in their country has actually increased in the last two years. Only 19 percent feel that the situation has improved, with the remaining 38 percent seeing no major changes.
The judicial system, police, healthcare and civil service were rated as the country’s most corrupt institutions, with at least two-thirds of respondents saying they are seriously affected by graft.