Reformer of the week
Yegor Sobolev, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada’s anti-corruption committee, is one of the leaders of the protest movement that is seeking to create an anti-corruption court, lift lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution, and introduce a more fair electoral law that will reduce oligarchs’ influence on politics.
From Oct. 17 to Oct. 19, thousands of protesters rallied for these demands and set up more than 50 tents near the building of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. On Oct. 19, parliament partially satisfied one of the demands, sending two bills on lifting lawmakers’ immunity to the Constitutional Court for consideration.
The protests were organized by numerous political forces and civil society groups: Sobolev’s Samopomich, ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s Movement of New Forces, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party, the nationalist Svoboda Party, the National Corps, Samopomich, AutoMaidan, Reanimation Package of Reforms, and others.
The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, on Oct. 9 supported legislation to create independent anti-corruption courts and urged Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to submit a relevant bill. However, Poroshenko has resisted the idea for more than a year and has failed to submit a bill on such courts so far.