Activists to Declare Assets in Ukraine Despite Pushback

Ukrainian lawmakers will uphold a requirement for activists to declare their wealth despite European warnings that the law undermines anti-graft efforts, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Petro Poroshenko 2014-06-26Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (Source: Claude TRUONG-NGOC) The legislation follows the 2016 anti-corruption effort by the Ukrainian government, which required civil servants and lawmakers to declare their assets in an online database. Some members of the ruling coalition believe activists should be subject to the same scrutiny due to the sizable flow of international funds into the civil sector.

Critics of the law claim it puts pressure on activists and is meant to help vested interests rather than promote transparency. President Petro Poroshenko called for the law to be either tabled or canceled but was met with a lack of support in parliament. Members of the ruling coalition, specifically the People’s Front did not vote to retract the law.

“Colleagues, frankly this is one of those days when unfortunately I am ashamed of our decisions,” parliamentary Speaker Andriy Parubiy said. 

Foreign investors and European integration officials in the country have warned Ukraine about backsliding on agreements to improve transparency and tackle corruption. A concern that has already stalled billions in International Monetary Fund (IMF) funding from reaching the country.

A group of lawmakers have stated they will propose another vote on the matter, but have not specified when it will take place.