WILL THE NEXT PRESIDENT BECOME A REFORMER? – DISCUSSION RESULTS

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Representatives of the top candidates for the President of Ukraine selectively support the priorities of the Reanimation Package of Reforms. This is evidenced by the results of a public discussion with the representatives of the Presidential candidates “Reforms Agenda for Ukraine” organized by RPR on February 27, 2019.

The discussion was attended by MPs who are authorized to represent candidates for the President on their behalf. Presidential candidate Oleh Liashko was represented by Viktor Halasiuk, Mariia Ionova represented Petro Poroshenko, Tetiana Ostrikova spoke on behalf of Andrii Sadovyi, Viktor Chumak represented Anatolii Hrytsenko, Alona Shkrum -was the representative of Yuliia Tymoshenko.

Discussion of reform priorities began with a speech by the co-chair of the RPR Board and a member of the Board of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform Yuliia Kyrychenko regarding the constitutional powers and political capabilities of the President.

“One of the RPR tasks is to support the informed choice of the society when it is the political program of the candidate that the voter will support,” the expert emphasized.

“The informed choice means voter’s support for the candidate despite certain candidate’s mistakes in the future,” she added.

Viktor Plakhuta, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Freedom Fund, presented four main priorities of the Reanimation Package of Reforms in National Security. In particular, he stressed that the SSU should be deprived of a number of functions not typical thereof.

“It is necessary to depoliticize the Service and leave only those provisions that are directly related to the sphere of security: counter-intelligence, cyber defense, etc.”.

Representatives of all candidates declared their support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. Regarding RPR’s key priorities, Viktor Halasiuk noted that the presidential candidate Oleh Liashko advocates the creation of CEB for the development and implementation of state defense policy, as well as the transfer of part of the State Defense Order into the field of public procurement.

Viktor Chumak supported all four points, Mariia Ionova expressed the need to improve the housing support for the military; Alona Shkrum spoke in support of the first, third and fourth points of the RPR priorities.

Mykola Khavroniuk, a member of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform, spoke about three key RPR goals in the rule of law. He drew attention to the need to change the algorithm of the formation of bodies for the selection of judges, as well as to change the leadership of anti-corruption bodies.

“It is not enough to change personalities, we need to change the mechanisms for the formation of these bodies, so that they were represented by absolutely unbiased people. There is a need for dramatic changes in the legal sphere,” said Khavroniuk.

Viktor Chumak and Tetiana Ostrikova supported all three RPR priorities, while Alona Shkrum acclaimed only the first and second points.

Mariia Ionova directly supported only the need for the Rome Statute ratification adding that the judicial reform should continue. Viktor Halasiuk was also in favor of the Rome Statute ratification only stating the need for a full upgrade of the judiciary and prosecutor’s office.

Olha Aivazovska, head of Civil Network OPORA, told about four main RPR priorities in the field of electoral reform. She drew attention to the need to adopt the law on the all-Ukrainian referendum.

“Following the resolution of the Constitutional Court (April 26, 2018, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the Law “On an All-Ukrainian Referendum” unconstitutional – RPR), there is no legal framework for any initiative on holding a referendum, however, it may appear sooner or later,” said Aivazovska.

Tetiana Ostrikova supported all the RPR theses, while Mariia Ionova noted that Petro Poroshenko’s team “is in favor of settling the referendum issue”, but other RPR priorities are controversial and require additional study. However, Ionova did not specify what kind of study is required.

Alona Shkrum supported the introduction of effective sanctions for electoral legislation violation (Draft Law No. 8270), but stated that Yuliia Tymoshenko’s team has its own vision of an electoral system that does not fully coincide with that proposed by RPR.

Viktor Halasiuk directly stated only the necessity of transition to a proportional electoral system, while Viktor Chumak supported the introduction of effective sanctions for the electoral legislation violation, as well as restrictions on the election campaigning on TV and radio.

Viktor Halasiuk directly stated only the necessity of transition to a proportional electoral system, while Viktor Chumak supported the introduction of effective sanctions for the electoral legislation violation, as well as restrictions on the election campaigning on TV and radio.

Mariia Ionova supported the completion of administrative-territorial reform and expansion of budgetary powers of local self-government bodies, but Viktor Halasiuk, Viktor Chumak and Tetiana Ostrikova did not directly support or criticize the RPR priorities.

Ihor Burakovskyi, chairman of the Board of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, presented key RPR priorities in the field of economic development. He emphasized the need to reform the tax and customs services.

“We need to see how they work, how they cooperate with businesses. And what do you think about creating a single analytical body investigating economic crimes?”

Viktor Halasiuk did not speak directly in favor of any of the RPR priorities; Viktor Chumak and Tetiana Ostrikova approved all of them, and Mariia Ionova directly supported the second and third points of the RPR priorities.

RPR priorities for the presidential candidates – Infographics 

Ukrainian Radio was the information partner of the public discussion with the presidential candidates.

The event organized by RPR was held within the institution building program of the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, with the financial support of Sweden.

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