Transparency International calls on Ukrainian parliament to pass strong anti-corruption laws

Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, and its partner in Ukraine call on the Ukrainian parliament to pass a series of anti-corruption laws in a vote tomorrow that would create a strong framework for tackling the systemic corruption that has crippled social well-being and economic growth in Ukraine.

In a special session, members of parliament will have a second chance to adopt legislation that creates a National Anti-Corruption Bureau and key measures that Transparency International Ukraine has advocated in the past few months.

“Ukraine needs a solid legal framework to fight the corruption that has run rampant both in politics and in the state structures that provide basic services to ordinary people. When these new laws are adopted and implemented it will greatly reduce the opportunities for corruption of those with political power,” said Anne Koch, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia at Transparency International.

The Ukrainian parliament has been recalled for a special session to pass these laws ahead of the parliamentary elections on 26 October and before an important meeting with multilateral organisations who have agreed a $17 billion aid package predicated on serious efforts to curb corruption.

The laws failed to pass in September when too many members of parliament abstained from voting.

The new laws include the creation of a National Anti-Corruption Bureau with investigatory powers to centralise the ad hoc group of offices that currently have the task to investigate and prosecute corruption but too often fail to make information accessible to all. Politicians will also have to publish asset declarations and any conflicts of interest.

There is also be a three-year National Anti-corruption Strategic Plan and a law to make it possible to try people suspected of corruption even if they are not in Ukraine. It is the absence of this law that has made it impossible to prosecute and seek the return of assets stolen by former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych who fled the country to Russia.

 “We have worked hard to draft strong anti-corruption legislation with a coalition of anti-corruption organisations and those in government who understand the need for these reforms. We call on parliamentarians to make these proposals law and to implement them in a system manner,” said Oleksii Khmara, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine.

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