UWC cautions new President of Ukraine against politically motivated justice

#UWC news
July 17,2019 88

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) is concerned over recent statements by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressing his intention to extend the “lustration law” to former President Petro Poroshenko and all of Ukraine’s parliamentarians and government officials who held office since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, thereby banning them from holding public office.  

In a statement made on July 11, 2019, President Zelenskyy proposed expanding Ukraine’s law on lustration to include everyone who held a government post between February 23, 2014, and May 19, 2019.  The intention of the current “lustration law” was aimed at preventing those who held office under the government of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from continuing to do so. The Yanukovych regime was responsible for defrauding the Ukrainian state, human rights abuses and crimes against the people of Ukraine, including mass shootings of peaceful protestors which resulted in the murder of 100 Ukrainian citizens that are today revered as the “Heavenly Hundred”. 

“One cannot compare the actions of President Poroshenko, the government led by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Chairman of Ukraine’s Parliament Andriy Parubiy to the criminal, authoritarian and kleptocratic regime of Viktor Yanukovych,” stated UWC President Paul Grod.  “Although not perfect, the post-Maidan Government of Ukraine should be congratulated for defending Ukraine against Russia’s military invasion, rescuing the economy from near-collapse and putting Ukraine on a clear path to reform and pro-EuroAtlantic trajectory. Many prominent, respected and reform-minded activists served in various government positions in recent years and should not be subject to a blanket ban on service.”

“Any individual who committed a crime should most certainly be brought to justice through due process and should not be able to hide behind political immunity,” stated Grod.  “However, besmirching the reputation and targeting the entire post-Maidan government with criminal prosecution and placing bans on participating in executive and legislative governance is not right and will be viewed internationally as politically motivated justice as was pursued by the previous Yanukovych government.”