The World Bank has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in criticizing a draft law currently being debated in the Ukrainian parliament on the establishment of an anti-corruption court.
The World Bank’s country director for Ukraine, Satu Kahkonen, sent a letter to Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and to the office President Petro Poroshenko to express the bank’s concerns about parts of the bill.
“We believe that the draft law requires revisions to bring it into line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission and to satisfy the requirements of the World Bank’s estimated $800 million Policy-Based Guarantee to support key reforms in Ukraine,” Kahkonen said.
The international financial institution, according to the letter, has put pressure on Poroshenko to amend the bill in line with recommendations from the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters, known as the the Venice Commission.
The Rada would have to revise the jurisdiction of the anti-corruption court according to legislation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.
The World Bank wants Ukraine to change the set of qualifications needed to serve as a judge in the court, including the need to have experience in international bodies or organizations.
The creation of a public council with members selected by international agencies and donors and who support anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine, is also one of the World Bank’s demands as away to veto dishonest candidates. Under the current version of the draft law, the public council only serves in an advisory role.
In December, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged Ukraine’s government to safeguard the independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, as well as take more active measures to fight corruption in the country to meet the government’s commitments under the IMF programme.