HOW AND WHY, ON 16 FEBRUARY 2016, THE UKRAINIAN ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW WAS CHANGED BY UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT
I was kindly informed by researcher Julia Horovetska about the details of some revealing manipulations when the Verkhovna Rada adopted modification law #3755 changing the text of Ukraine’s earlier adopted important new Anti-Corruption Law (Закону України “Про запобігання корупції” — Відомості Верховної Ради України, 2014 р., № 49, ст. 2056), on 16 February 2016. The Anti-Corruption Law is not only important by itself, but also necessary for Ukraine to finally get a visa free travel regime for the Schengen Zone.
The key problem is with the voting on 16 February was the following: The version of bill #3755, modifying the Anti-Corruption Law in response to pressure from the EU, presented by MP Denysenko in Parliament on 16 February and as documented in the session stenogramm (see http://rada.gov.ua/meeting/stenogr/show/6123.html ), is not the same as the text of bill draft #3755 published on the web-site of the Rada in advance of the session. See this link to the WORD document of the modification law’s supposed text http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc34?id=&pf3511=57642&pf35401=372095 as posted, on the law’s official website here: http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=57642.
The law published there consists only of one provision, namely to exclude formulation “but not earlier than January 1, 2017” from the current text of the Anti-Corruption Law – which is what was necessary from the point of view of the Delegation EU. The initially announced change, as officially published on the Rada’s site, means that implementation of electronic financial declarations is not any longer strangely postponed, as in the previous Anti-Corruption Law’s version, until 2017, but is effective already in 2016.
Yet, then other, new provisions had been orally presented by MP Denysenko, to the Rada, on 16 February, shortly before deputies were supposed to vote. And the MPs promptly adopted Denysenko’s just vocally announced new changes to the Anti-Corruption Law. Since then, a coalition of Ukrainian NGOs has criticized the new version of the Anti-Corruption Law, according to these modifications, in detail. See http://ti-ukraine.org/en/news/oficial/5829.html
Yet, it is not entirely clear what all that means in as far as the official documentation on law #3755 has not yet been changed since, on the Rada’s site. It still contains only the one change of date that was demanded by the EU. Was the manipulation thus actually successful or not? Is Denysenko’s orally announced, more extensive version of the modification law now valid, or is the published short modification law still documented on the Rada’s site actually in force? If Denysenko’s modifications should now count as officially adopted: Does this new edition of the Anti-Corruption Law still fulfill the EU’s demands? Or is it now, to put it bluntly, not really an anti-corruption law any more, but has, in fact, become a corruption-enabling law?
A telling aspect of this story, to which Horovetska alerted me, is the procedure with which these modifications were made: How could the deputies vote for important new provisions of the Anti-Corruption Law that were not officially published in advance, but merely announced, in oral speech, to them from the tribune of the Verkhovna Rada? How could the deputies vote on a legal text that has not been printed in the initial draft bill distributed to the MPs before the voting? The new, orally introduced provisions on which the deputies, on 16 February, voted were apparently altogether unknown to many deputies before Denysenko read them out from the podium. Still, the Rada adopted them. Bizarrely, Denysenko himself has since denounced, on Facebook, the very provisions he had proposed to the MPs on 16 February. (Thanks again, for all these details, to Julia Horovetska.)
Can that be true? Where are we now? Will this parliament still be taken seriously? And what will Poroshenko do, and when? Sign, not sign? Time is running, and the MPs are, most probably, using these days to hide their property, income and expenditures, as long as that is still possible.
In continuation of this story see: http://obozrevatel.com/politics/58231-rezhim-bez-vizyi-ukrainskie-zhurnalistyi-prizvali-k-bojkotu-avtora-otmenyi-deklaratsij.htm