Verkhovna Rada obliged anti-corruption activists to file electronic declarations

Дата: 23 March 2017
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The Verkhovna Rada approved changes to the electronic declaration, which relieves contract servicemen and mobilized soldiers from the obligation to file electronic declarations.

268 people’s deputies voted for the bill №6172, which was introduced by President Petro Poroshenko.

The document was approved with amendments.

Amendments of Deputy Tetiana Chornovol were taken into account, these amendments were previously rejected by the Committee.

At the same time, Chornovol withdrew the previously introduced norm on the requirement to declare incomes of editors and media founders.

Representatives of the anti-corruption organizations were obliged to file electronic declarations.

In turn, Yehor Soboliev, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee, criticized the final version of the document and spoke for a second reading of the bill.

“The votes that took place in this hall shredded one of the most important anti-corruption laws, which were supported by the European community and our friends in the US. As a reminder, exactly this legislation is an indispensable condition for the abolition of visas for Ukrainians in Europe”, – noted Soboliev.

“I cannot imagine how this law can be signed by the speaker of the parliament. It contradicts itself in every article. We just voted for the Chornovol’s amendment that people who submit the declaration must do it in 2018. And then we vote for Alekseyev’s amendment, that they have to submit a declaration before May 1, 2017. I request to send it to a second reading”, – said the deputy.

As noted by Oksana Romaniuk, Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information, the introduced amendments to the legislation in the area of electronic declaration will affect journalists.

“Because corruption is exposed and investigations on this topic are written mostly by journalists who work in non-governmental organizations and Bureaus of Journalistic Investigations in general are all public organizations. They are not registered as mass media outlets, but as non-profit public organizations”, – said Romaniuk.

She noted that she considers this as a pressure on journalists and attempts to complicate their work.

“The greatest surprise is not even the organizations are obliged to declare, but third parties are – imagine that all the contractors from whom we rent an office space, or order coffee breaks, or garbage disposal, water, or printing posters, including all members of the organization (since the general meeting of members = are often the highest governing body in the non-governmental organizations), and so on – yes it is understandable that no one of the third parties needs problems and now everyone will run away from the anti-corruption non-governmental organizations”, – said the media expert.

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