16:26 11.07.2019

Zelensky proposes extending lustration law to senior officials holding posts since February 23, 2014

3 min read
Zelensky proposes extending lustration law to senior officials holding posts since February 23, 2014

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed a bill on expanding the lustration law to the president, deputies, ministers and top officials who held posts from February 23, 2014 through May 19, 2019.

"We have drafted a bill on expanding the norms of the lustration law. I propose including in the list of positions eligible for lustration, adding the president of Ukraine, all members of parliament of Ukraine, the parliament speaker, members of government, prosecutor general, SBU State Security Service chief, heads of the Anti-monopoly Committee and State Property Fund, heads of the State Fiscal Service and Customs Service, National Security and Defense Council Secretary and defense enterprise heads who held positions since February 23, 2014 through May 19, 2019," Zelensky said in a video clip published on the Presidential Office's website on Thursday.

"They accuse us of wanting to repeal lustration. So everyone understands, we do not intend to repeal lustration, but to strengthen it," the president said.

Zelensky said the bill represents the public appraisal of the activity of top officials.

"I am sure the actions of these officials in the future will be legally appraised," the president said, noting that during his two months tenure as president, especially after his last trips around the country, he "has run out of epithets" after meeting with officials of various levels.

"I understand this is a somber diagnosis. White-blue, red-white, orange, burgundy, rose-colored… they are in fact all the same color. They just don't care!" he said.

Zelensky said he asks himself a question why we need members of parliament who retain deputy immunity (from prosecution), legalize illegal enrichment, do not go to work … what do we need such ministers for who "tell tales" about Ukrainians "who eat too much," who "build roads only on Facebook and give birth to children in America," who "robbed the nation of its health and talk about the harm grape pits can do."

"What good are prosecutors, who can bring harm to their own livers? Why did [ex-Ukrainian] Economy Minister [Petro Poroshenko] under [ex-President Viktor] Yanukovych call citizens "riffraff," rip telephones from their hands and promise to "punch them in the mouth?!" the president said.

"I rack my brain thinking what to do about this? Maybe trade them for our [Ukrainian] prisoners [being held by Russia]? Maybe, we should make them wear the bullet-proof vests they bought and sent to the contact line? I think the least we can do now is take away any opportunity for them to manage the government in the future," Zelensky said.

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