Civil society organizations urge the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to use a veto and return the adopted Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On Political Parties in Ukraine’ On Improving the Legal Regulation of Financing the Activities of Political Parties” (draft law 5253-1) to the Verkhovna Rada for revision.
Although the law contains positive innovations, some of its provisions create prerequisites for non-transparency of party finances and bribery of voters.
First, the law does not allow to fully restore the reporting of parties that was suspended by the law in the spring of 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of this, the society is not aware of the financing of political parties and their donors. Moreover, parliamentary parties, receiving a significant amount of state funding, do not inform citizens about the expenditures of such budget funds. In 2020-2021, parliamentary parties received almost UAH 1.5 bln of taxpayer funds, but how they were spent remained a mystery.
Another provision supported by MPs allows parties to report not all financial obligations, but only those whose deadline has come, and the party has not fulfilled them. So, parties will be able to explain their hidden expenses with such “financial obligations,” which will not be indicated in the accounting for an unlimited time because civil legislation allows not to determine the deadline for fulfilling such obligations and repaying, for example, loans.
Another provision allows not to consider the distribution of works, goods, or services that are needed to counteract Covid-19 as contributions in favor of parties by third parties on behalf of the party or under the party’s brand for the entire period of quarantine. This provision borders on legalizing voter bribery and allows parties not to reflect such contributions and expenses in party reports, while bypassing the statutory limits for making contributions by one person during the year.
Transparency in the financing of political parties is one of the main prerequisites for limiting the influence of oligarchs and private interests on political parties. Therefore, we call on the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to apply the right of veto to the adopted Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On Political Parties in Ukraine’ On Improving the Legal Regulation of Financing the Activities of Political Parties” and return it to the Verkhovna Rada with proposals to:
- fully restore the reporting by political parties;
- exclude the amendments concerning reporting by parties on financial obligations from the law;
- exclude the provision that allows unlimited “covid” contributions to parties (or to limit its validity period to the period before the entry into force of this law).
You can join the signatories by entering the name of the organization/initiative here.
Anti-Corruption Action Centre
Civil network OPORA
Centre of Policy and Legal Reform
All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”
Center for Investigative Journalism “Syla Pravdy”
Center for socio-political research and public initiatives “Statum”
Committee of voters of Ukraine
Transparency International Ukraine
Anti-Corruption Research and Education Center in Ukraine (ACREC)
Institute of Legislative Ideas
Court on palm
Center for Economic Strategy
Center for Political Studies
Office of Social and Political Developments
Centre of United Actions
Access to Truth
Human Rights Platform
Nashi Hroshi Lviv
Free Voice IAC
Information Access Center
“Civil holding “GROUP OF INFLUENCE”
Institute of Mass Information
Center for Democracy and Rule of Law
Zaporizhzhia Reform Council
Investigative Journalistic Agency “Fourth Estate”
European Youth of Ukraine
Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center
Luhansk Regional Women’s Legal Defense Public Organization “Chaika”
Human Rights Center “Tree of Life”
Ukrainian Centre for European Policy
Center for Innovations Development