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Transparency International Ukraine warmly congratulates the Maidan protesters on their victory in the fight for the right of Ukrainian people to live in the state without corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. It is crucial that the new authorities are ready to form their government in accordance with standards of integrity. We call upon all ministerial candidates to make the fight against corruption their top priority.

Corruption has been Ukraine's Achilles heel. The experience of the 2004 demonstrated the failure of anti-corruption efforts of a set of new authorities despite widespread public support. This is why TI Ukraine urges caution: history must not repeat itself. The only way to escape this vicious cycle is taking brave, resolute, and irreversible measures against corruption now.

TI Ukraine recommends using existing international experience which has already been adapted to local realities, rather than searching for a unique Ukrainian way to fight corruption. As such, we disagree with the recent proposal to establish deputy ministerial posts focus on anti-corruption. Such an individual would be dependent on the will of his/her agency head without a proper mandate and authorities to fight corruption.

Instead, the new government should focus on the immediate establishment of Ukrainian anti-corruption infrastructure. The new authorities should to establish both independent policy (responsible for the control over transparency of income and expenditures of public officials and conflict of interest) and enforcement bodies (responsible for the identification and investigation of corruption). These institutions should be formed without delay and in observance of all generally accepted standards of professional selection of staff and priority identification.

Taking into account the fact that Ukraine needs anti-corruption reforms now, Transparency International Ukraine demands to immediately start forming the necessary legislative base to further establish institutions and organization of their work. We are convinced that functioning anti-corruption institutions need to be in place before the Presidential elections. Transparency International Ukraine is ready to lend comprehensive assistance in the development of a legislative base and organizing the work of such anti-corruption institutions.

At the same time, we are already deeply concerned that formation of the Coalition Government is being done in fact without publicizing the criteria of its members’ selection. That is why Transparency International Ukraine appeals to all parties of this process to adhere to the principles of transparency and integrity. The highest executive body of Ukraine shall consist of individuals with a clean reputation, and their exercise of power shall be devoid of conflicts of interest.

We’d like to remind that the conflict of interests according to the law of Ukraine ‘On Grounds of Corruption Prevention and Counteraction’ (hereafter the Law) is the conflict of personal property, non-property interests of a person or his/her family and friends with his/her office, when this conflict can influence the objectivity and impartiality of his/her decisions, as well as decision-taking or not-taking in the process of performing of his/her official duties. For instance, it can be in case when an official or his friends or relatives has business interests, corporate rights, huge financial and civil law obligations to certain legal entities or natural persons.

Transparency International Ukraine believes that the candidates, prior to their appointment must make their property, income and expenditures declarations, financial obligations public, so that society could evaluate the possible integrity risks of a candidate to the position of a member of government.

According to Article 14 of the Law members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine are obliged to take all measures to prevent any possible conflict of interests. These persons have to transfer their enterprises and corporate rights to the other person in the order established by law in the period of ten days after their appointment to the office. It is prohibited to transfer their enterprises and corporate rights to members of their families.

We expect the new government of Ukraine to adhere to integrity standards, and apply to all candidates to refuse appointments in case there is even the smallest doubt of conflicts with the aforementioned standards.

Transparency International Ukraine reminds the new authorities that corruption became one of the key reasons for the mass protests that lead to the recent events. We will continue to conduct strict corruption monitoring of the activities of the newly-appointed members of the government of Ukraine.

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Olga Tymchenko, Information Service Head
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