The Ukrainian parliament paved the way on Thursday for the creation of an anti-corruption court, a key requirement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume its financial assistance.
A total of 315 deputies, the minimum required being 226, voted in a second and final reading a bill on the creation of the court, long sought by Western donors of Ukraine but whose details have been the subject of difficult negotiations. For the moment, however, it was unclear whether the provisions of the bill corresponded to the requirements of the IMF, as many important amendments were made at the last minute on Thursday.
The document defines how the anti-corruption court will functioning, but its implementation will take months and will be triggered by a separate law.
The fight against elite corruption was one of the major demands of participants in the pro-European Maidan uprising in 2013-2014 and remains one of the main demands of Westerners supporting the current power resulting from this movement.
In recent years, Ukraine has developed new anti-corruption structures such as a specialised investigative agency (NABU) and prosecution service (SAPU), but the creation of an independent tribunal represents the culmination of the process towards Western style institutions.
“Today we have completed the formation of anticorruption infrastructure,” President Petro Poroshenko tweeted after the vote. “I want to emphasize the resolve of the Ukrainian authorities to fight corruption.
In a statement issued on June 5, the U.S. State Department said, “the establishment of a genuinely independent anticorruption court is the most important, immediate step the government can take to meet those demands and roll back corruption that continues to threaten Ukraine’s national security, prosperity, and democratic development.”