By Mushvig Mehdiyev
The latest Transparency International report has brought the blunders in Armenia's judicial system to the limelight. Corruption and dependence on the authorities' decisions have been shown as the key reasons standing behind the stagnation in the country's judicial system.
The TI Anti-Corruption Center presented its Assessment of Armenia's National System report in Yerevan on April 30 where it put a broad focus on Armenia's corruption tendencies.
Surveying the anti-corruption mechanism and guarantees in 13 different state bodies including the parliament, presidential office, executive powers, law enforcement bodies and more, the report revealed that the struggle against corruption is not satisfactory.
The civil society apparatus and mass media in Armenia remain as the weakest non-government powers even though they are inherent part to any country struggle against bribery. Prosecution over corruption crimes and related activities remains at a low level in keeping with previous years' observations.
Attending the presentation ceremony, Head of the European Union delegation to Armenia, Traian Christea noted that no nation in the world can claim immunity to the plague which is corruption. Only a modern and consolidated struggle can tackle this evil.
"It is an apparent fact that corruption affects any country negatively as its stall its economic progress. When corruption is rampant, rulers fill their pockets while simultaneously pushing economic growth down," he said commenting on the TI report's findings.
There are three reasons why corruption is in this state in Armenia, believes the TI Anti-Corruption Center in Yerevan: business and politics are interwoven, monopolization is widespread, and the branches of power are not free.
According to the center, the negative remarks about Armenia do not only refer to bribery; the misuse of official position has also fed the corruption monster.
2014 Transparency International's report claimed that corruption was in a stagnation phase in Armenia.
The government's infertile efforts so far to kick corruption to the curb have failed. The index of freedom from corruption in Armenia stood at 26.7 which is under the world average, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. It shows an obvious failure on the part of the government to implement anti-corruption measures to tackle rampant bribery.
Corruption was also shown among the top three reasons behind the Armenian people's "unhappiness" in the recent World Happiness Report, where the country was ranked 127th among 158 countries across the world.
One of the peculiarities of Armenia's corruption atmosphere was revealed in a speech by OECD SIGMA Program's Phil Duncombe last year when he showed state officials' luxurious mansions and expensive cars as one of the main determinants proving widespread corruption in the post-Soviet country.
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