My goal is to defeat corruption in Ukraine – Poroshenko
The law on the Anti-Corruption Court in Ukraine has become an indicator of the irreversibility of the country's road to real democracy, according to President Petro Poroshenko.
"On June 7, Ukraine's parliament passed long-awaited legislation establishing a special anti-corruption court. Our country took another important move forward on its path toward building a European state where all are equal under the law. This was not the first step in this journey, and it won't be the last. But I believe it showed that our journey toward a genuine democracy is now irreversible," Poroshenko wrote in an article published in The Washington Post on June 18, 2018.
The head of state is sure that the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court is a breakthrough and a game-changer.
Poroshenko noted in his article that the reform process was not easy.
"Over the past two decades, Ukrainians have become skeptical that there could be any progress in the fight against the scourge of corruption. Nevertheless, the Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity gave Ukrainians hope for a new future of accountable leaders and the rule of law," the president wrote.
Poroshenko stressed that upon being elected in May 2014, he set out to build "a completely new architecture to fight corruption." He said his allies in this endeavor were Ukraine's vibrant civil society and its volunteer networks, together with international partners in the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and North America.
At the same time, Poroshenko notes that Ukraine's efforts "to build this new future have been stymied at every turn by enemies within and without."
The head of state also believes that Ukraine's fight against corruption also has its internal enemies, "ranging from populists to vested interests."
"Like their allies elsewhere in Europe, Ukraine's populists loudly use the rhetoric of fighting corruption while having no interest in solving the problem. They are members of the former Party of Regions of Viktor Yanukovych, and the anti-reformist oligarchs. After all, the oligarchs living in luxurious exile in Western Europe would be the first who could face the anti-corruption Court. Acting in unison, all these opponents did their best to try to block the establishment of the anti-corruption court by introducing alternative bills, and nearly 2,000 amendments to the law I proposed," the president wrote.
At the same time, Poroshenko is sure that all efforts of opponents directed against the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court were in vain.
"To them, and the cynics, 317 members of parliament responded with a strong message that we will overcome the obstacles along the path of reform. My party is committed to this goal, and so is our coalition partner, the party of former prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The anti-corruption court will serve as the jewel in the crown of the architecture needed for Ukraine to build a rule-of-law state," the article says.
"Our next task is to ensure the anti-corruption court is operational as soon as possible. Foreign experts will oversee the selection of professional judges in an open and transparent manner, and candidates will be put through rigorous tests. Once operational, the court will begin its work by helping to shut down all remaining corrupt schemes still operating in Ukraine and bringing those responsible to justice," the president said.
At the same time, Poroshenko believes that the system will not be fully effective, however, unless European partners also play their part in ensuring high levels of diligence regarding capital flows from Ukraine, and no longer provide havens for officials and oligarchs seeking to evade justice in Ukraine's courts.
"We still have more work to do, but by passing this law we have signaled that there can be no turning back in our efforts to become a peaceful, secure, corruption-free E.U. and NATO ally, playing our role in delivering a stronger and more united Europe," Poroshenko wrote.