It has been quite humorous watching the Ukrainian government deal with the prospect of an anti-corruption court being stood up in Kyiv, per the IMF’s demands, in order to release further aid. It is obvious to any honest observer that corruption that presents the biggest threat to Ukraine in regards to its prospects of becoming a successful country, where the rule of law is paramount, as opposed to “might equals right” in the court system.
Just getting the legislation through the Rada was tough enough, once enough pressure was applied from the internationals. From the outside looking in, it seemed literally like pulling teeth, very similar to efforts in the United States to stop the abuse of our immigration system, where you have one political party that wants to improve law enforcement and another that wants to break the laws at any cost to keep the financial and power goodies coming.
“The head of the International Monetary Fund welcomed on Tuesday the adoption by Ukraine’s parliament of a law to create an anti-corruption court, but said lawmakers needed to amend it to guarantee the court’s effectiveness,” reported Reuters. In other words, the legislature, at the last minute, inserted a clause that removed the court’s jurisdiction from certain cases.
“We agreed that it is now important for parliament to quickly approve … the necessary amendments to restore the requirement that the HACC (anti-corruption court) will adjudicate all cases under its jurisdiction,” the head of the IMF said in a statement.
Perhaps the politicians were watching what has been going on in Romania, where the head of the long-term political party in power was just sentenced to prison time for corruption; and yes, it was by the Romanian anti-corruption court, which has radically changed the country’s justices system and significantly improved the rule of law in the former communist country … not a small feat.
Corrupt pols don’t like the anti-corruption court in Romania either. “In recent years, the party has sought to water down anti-graft institutions, despite criticism from the European Union which Romania joined in 2007,” reported Reuters.
“Dragnea’s [3.5 year] sentence explains why the government he controls has been so keen to neuter the DNA and change Romania’s justice system — and why in neighbouring Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and the rest of the Ukrainian elite are resisting setting up a anti-corruption court so vigorously,” wrote bne Intellinews.
With Yulia Tymoshenko poised to take the Ukrainian presidency in the 2019 election, the Ukrainian people would be well advised to force through the changes needed in the court’s legislation to ensure the independent body can be effective and to ensure trust in the new administration. The Ukrainian people have been through a lot, to say the least. They deserve this.
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