11 Jul 2019 17:15

Zelensky outraged at Ukrainian public officials, suggests expanding lustration law

KYIV. July 11 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has suggested a bill on expanding the effects of the law on government cleansing, or lustration, to the president, lawmakers, ministers, and other top officials who held their positions between February 23, 2014 and May 19, 2019.

"We have drafted the bill on extending the effect of the law on government cleansing. I suggest adding the president of Ukraine, all Ukrainian people's deputies, the Verkhovna Rada speaker, government members, prosecutor general, the head of the SBU [the Ukrainian Security Service], the heads of the Anti-Monopoly Committee and the State Property Fund, the heads of the State Fiscal Service and the Customs Service, the secretary of the NDSC [the National Defense and Security Council], the top management of defense plants, who occupied these posts between February 23, 2014 and May 19, 2019, to the list of posts subjected to lustration," Zelensky said in a video address published on the Facebook page of the Ukrainian Presidential Office on Thursday.

"We're accused of wanting to abolish lustration. So everybody understands that we're not going to scrap lustration, we suggest intensifying it," he said.

This bill is only a public evaluation of relevant officials' activity, he said. "I'm sure that the actions of all these officials will be given a just legal evaluation in the future," Zelensky said.

He said that after less than two months in office as president, especially after his recent trips around Ukraine, he "just cannot find any words that are printable" following his talks with public officials of various levels.

"I understand that this is a hopeless diagnosis. White-blue, red-white, orange, dark red, pink - they're all alike really. They don't care one bit!" he said.

Zelensky said he is contemplating what people's deputies who leave deputy's immunity in effect, legalize illegal enrichment, and simply do not go to their office are needed for; what ministers, who "say that Ukrainians are eating too much," and who "are building roads only on their Facebook pages and are giving birth to children in America" and who "ruined the health of the nation and are talking about the danger of cherry pits," are needed for.

"What are prosecutors who can punish only their own liver," needed for? What is Yanukovych's economy minister, who calls people 'morons,' kicks phones out of their hands, and promises 'to slap them,' needed for?!" Zelensky said.

"I'm racking my brains every day over what to do with them. Maybe swap all of them for our prisoners? Or alternatively, put the poor-quality bullet-proof jackets they've bought on them and send them out to the frontline? I believe that the least possible thing that can be done now is to deprive them of every opportunity to take part in governance forever," he said.