Ruling party head claims support for controversial anti-corruption reform bill was due to inattentiveness

24 September 2022, 12:43 PM
Olena Shulyak, leader of the Servant of the People party (Photo:Наталія Кравчук / НВ)

Olena Shulyak, leader of the Servant of the People party (Photo:Наталія Кравчук / НВ)

The head of the ruling Servant of the People party, Olena Shuliak, has admitted that her support for a controversial bill said to jeopardize the independence of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was based on a poor reading of the initial draft, in an interview with NV published on Sept. 22.

The bill has drawn criticism from a variety of anti-corruption observers, including the G7, as it removes the requirement for NABU’s director to not cooperate with or be a member of an established political party.

“G7 Ambassadors, as long-time observers of the fight against corruption, as concerned about Bill No. 7654, which we are watching closely: it creates legal risks and uncertainty around the procedure for choosing the leadership of key anti-corruption institutions,” the G7 ambassadors said in a Tweet.

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"The statement of the Group of Seven was already after the committee," responded the MP to a question as to why her support persisted seemingly despite G7 criticism.

“There is a certain organization of the committee's work. Not all the committee members study this or that bill very thoroughly.”

Shuliak stated that her main focus is urban development, and she was not part of the subcommittee that developed the draft, and is instead the deputy head of the Committee on the Organization of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning.

“I spoke openly at the committee itself that I did not have the opportunity to peruse with the novelties that this bill introduces, and I asked very direct questions to all those who spoke at the committee – representatives of the NAZK and NABU,” she explained.

"I got the impression that not all the information could be openly conveyed to us to the fullest extent.”

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