Ukraine votes to create an anti-corruption court

1 Mar 18

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to create an anti-corruption court to ensure it receives a loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund to reform and boost economic development.

The draft law was approved in the first reading in parliament on Thursday despite concerns from the country’s financial backers that the bill did not guarantee the independence of the anti-graft court.

Ukrainian authorities have said the legislation will be amended before the second and final reading to align with international recommendations.

Establishing the court, sticking to gas price adjustments and implementing sustainable pension reform are the key conditions Ukraine must meet to qualify for the next loan of around $2 billion from the IMF.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde met with the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in December to talk about the country’s anti-corruption agenda.

She said in a statement the pair had agreed on the need to maintain the independence and “enhance the operational capacity” of the anti-graft institutions: the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO).

“We also agreed that the prompt establishment of the anti-corruption court is an essential complement of these efforts.

“In this regard, I supported the president’s agenda for the submission of a draft law to parliament in the coming days consistent with the Venice Commission’s recommendations and past agreements under the IMF-supported programme,” she said.

“It will be important that all members of parliament unite behind the bill and approve it as a matter of priority.”

The IMF and the World Bank were among the largest financial contributors in the $40bn bailout package given to the country to reform its economy after the Kremlin-backed president, Viktor Yanukovich, was ousted in 2014.

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