Lustration will not change Ukraine
A little less than a year after the beginning of Euromaidan, Yanukovych has disappeared, Ukraine has signed an Association Agreement with the EU and the president Poroshenko enjoys a wide consensus. The rest of the political class and leadership, however, is still in their seats and continue to embellish themselves.
- Thursday, 02 October 2014
The speaker of the Rada, Turchynov, has signed on September 25 the law on lustration, but the countersignature of the President Poroshenko slow in coming. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has expressed doubts about the constitutionality of the law. The Rada had voted the measure on the same day when the Association Agreement with the European Union was ratified. The goal of the law is to clear all the levels of the institutions by those implicated in Yanukovych’s regime, but already the outcome of the vote says a lot about how this law is likely to cause further division in the country. According to the Lustrjatsija website, an NGO promoted by a group of Ukrainian lawyers, only three parties have widely voted the law: the far-right party Svoboda, the Udar of the boxer Klychko and Tymoshenko’s Batkkivshyna. Svoboda’s MPs were the only to vote unanimously. At the bottom of the list are the former President Yanukovych's Party of Regions, 10 MPs out of 77, and the group "For peace and stability," made up of former Communists and members of the Party of Regions, with only one vote out of 36. It is clear that many are afraid of this law.
Call for justicialism
"No law has been so difficult to make as the lustration," said Turchynov. "There have been many speculations, provocative statements and attempts to disrupt the adoption and signing of the law." Now that the text is awaiting presidential signature he added that "Every day that passes without that signature is an obstacle to reform. All statements without implementing the law are just slogans." But someone could be interested just in slogan.
The makes no concessions. It provides a deep cleaning process of all institutions by preventing "the participation in public affairs of all persons whose actions or omissions contributed to the usurpation of power" by Yanukovich. The ban goes from five to ten years and applies to those who covered positions in institutions - from ministries to the courts, the police - until 22 February 2014, the day when Yanukovych fled the country. All the property of politicians, officials and bureaucrats will be checked and a cross check with their tax returns.
But then the law makes a lunge, widening the lustration to those who have covered important positions in the Soviet Union and the KGB but who may not have anything to do with Yanukovych and the bloody events of Euromaidan.
A needless and indispensable law
The law on lustration will not make Ukraine a better country. It is a law difficult to apply, on the boundary of justicialism, that requires the intervention of the targeted institutions to be implemented, and that is likely to create inequities and exacerbate divisions. An example: Poroshenko himself would be swept away by the lustration, having held the post of Minister of Commerce with Yanukovich from March to December 2012, if only the Article 3 of the law did not limit its effects to those who have held positions at least for one year. The lustration law does not affect in any way, neither it could, the grey powers of Ukraine, those 50 richest men in the country who have in their hands 50% of GDP and who for two decades have pulled the strings of Ukrainian politics.
Nonetheless, there are other aspects. Confiding in a law to change the heads of those who occupy positions of power is a chimera. In those days, when people's initiatives to raise funds for the army spread everywhere, there are those who continue to make money from the Ukrainians. "With $ 400 I have a certificate that excludes me from the mobilization," told me a boy who asked to remain anonymous. "It's illegal, of course. But why should I die while there are those who continue to make money from the soldiers? You know that there are those who even sell military information to the enemy? ". In a country where corruption is endemic at all level fresh generations are needed, not another law.