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Days before the MCC is supposed to sign its compact with Armenia, an article from Open Democracy, "Armenia's Emptying Democracy," flags major slippages in political rights, civil liberties and corruption -- all policy indicators measured by the MCC in determining country eligibility.
And, recall that Freedom House flagged Armenia for the MCC in the FY 06 selection round as one of the weakest performers in political and civil rights.
If you look at the data used by the MCC to track policy performance, there will inevitably be linkages between the events outlined in Open Democracy's article and future MCC indicator performance. Indeed, Armenia has already showed policy slippages in the MCC indicators since its original selection in 2004. The rubber meets the road here for the MCC. Is the road too far paved to restrict driving?
I'd love to hear more from folks closer to the details on Armenia. This raised all sorts of theoretical questions, including use of foreign aid as an incentive vs. a reward, and whether the MCC can be different from other aid agencies in the ability to say no.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.