YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International released on Wednesday its latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) indicating a worsening of Armenia’s position in the annual global rankings.
Armenia ranked, together with Bolivia and Vietnam, 113th out of 176 countries evaluated in the survey. It occupied 95th place in the 2015 CPI which covered 168 nations.
Varuzhan Hoktanian, a program director for Transparency International’s Armenian affiliate, the Anti-Corruption Center (ACC), said the survey’s findings are a further indication that the Armenian authorities lack the political will to combat corruption.
Armenia’s recently reshuffled government described corruption as “the biggest obstacle to the development of the state” in its policy program approved by parliament in October. Prime Minister Karen Karapetian said in November that he sees “no other way to develop the country but to combat corruption and the shadow economy in all directions.”
Hoktanian was careful not to call Karapetian’s stated anti-corruption efforts a complete failure. “It’s not the prime minister who decides everything, and I would advise you to look a bit higher,” he told reporters. “If there is no political will and desire to implement serious structural and institutional reforms, writing an [anti-corruption] strategy alone will not solve the problem.”
According to an opinion poll conducted by the ACC last year, almost two in three Armenians believe that their government is not doing enough to reduce graft.