Dead Branch Must Be Cut Off


Story from News:

Published: 12:25:35 – 10/11/2011

“Business should consistently get separated from the state system
and the power. Instead, the state should go on fully respecting and
ensuring the interests of each citizen and businessman,” said Serzh
Sargsyan on November 9, attending the opening of the session of the
union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Armenia.

Serzh Sargsyan has dwelt on an important issue. It is not a secret
that business and government are fused in Armenia. And it is not a
secret that this is one of the main sources of corruption in Armenia.

But how will business be separated from government? Will it happen
willfully or will the Constitution and laws be enforced? The
businessmen will hardly agree to give away their power as it is one
of the guarantees for profitable and secure business in Armenia.

Consequently, in order to make a businessman give away power, th
mechanism of protection of property should be enacted in Armenia,
ensuring equal oppoerunities for everyone. This is the job of
the authorities which must ensure that the tax service avoids
discrimination between any two companies if one of them belongs
to a businessmen close to the government, and the other to another
businessman who is not so close with the authorities.

But this is still too little because the authorities should also
address the issue through investigation aimed to find out whether a
Member of Parliament who claims being the proprietor without holding
an executive post in his business, nevertheless, directly runs it.

The point is that there is no other way besides investigation, because
even if holding an executive position is banned even for proprietors,
everyone will register their business by the name of someone else
and will go on using their business for their power.

Consequently, the solution will be to carry out an investigation to
reveal the fusion of government and business. If this work is done,
legislative amendments will make sense, otherwise, all the steps will
be meaningless even under the most rigid law, and bypassing ways will
be found by all means.

Is the government ready to carry out an investigation and reveal
the corruption mechanisms and unconstitutional practice by the
business-government fusion?

If it is, Serzh Sargsyan does not need to announce that business
should get separated, he just needs to warn that if the business does
not separate itself, it will be forced to.

But such a statement is hardly possible. And the reason is not the
fact that Serzh Sargsyan supports evolutionary solutions. Evolution,
revolution and radicalism are not opposite concepts. Both the
revolution and radical turnovers can be evolutionary.

It may turn out, however, that Serzh Sargsyan needs to be the first
to separate from business. Maybe, this is the reason why he avoids
posing the issue so clearly and specifically and prefers nice rhetoric.

The total fusion of business and government ensures the shaded deals
and unconstitutional existence of the Armenian authorities. This fact
rules out any radical step by Serzh Sargsyan in separating business
and government. The saying is he will not cut the tree on which he
is sitting.

We come up to a deadlock since, on the one hand, the government
understands it can’t cut the tree. On the other hand, it sees the
branch is dead and it is already dangerous to sit on it.

Under such conditions, Serzh Sargsyan seems to be trying to convince
those sitting with him on the dry branch to change the branch and
sit on the one which is lower.

But he will not succeed if he goes on convincing them because in
order to be convinced and understand the situation, intellect and
knowledge is necessary, while a considerable part of business fused
with government has none of it.

Consequently, either he has to force them to get off that branch or to
leave them there and move to another healthier branch himself. At this
moment Serzh Sargsyan fails on both. Or, he just does not want. But,
there is no third version.

The hope that those on the lower branch will protect the higher branch
for the latter not to break and for those on it not to fall on the
lower branch is irrelevant because those above have so much annoyed
those below that they will not have the strength, at least for their
security, to protect those on the dying branch.

From: A. Papazian