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Offshore scandal decreases chances for creation of Ukraine parliament coalition — lawmaker

April 04, 20:08 UTC+3 KIEV
Oleh Lyashko, the leader of Ukraine’s Radical party, said on Monday that the radicals’ parliamentary faction in Ukraine’s parliament would initiate President Poroshenko’s impeachment
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© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

KIEV, April 4 /TASS/. The recently published Panama Papers which described the corruption schemes involving President Petro Poroshenko have decreased Verkhovna Rada’s chances for creating a new coalition in Ukrainian parliament, Svetlana Zalishchuk, a deputy of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction, said.

"The coalition crisis is now evolving into a state one. Against the background of the government and parliament, the president seemed to be an institution, which enjoyed relative trust. The war of all against all is entering a new dangerous phase. Now, there are much fewer chances to create a new coalition without elections," Zalishchuk wrote on her page in Facebook.

Zalishchuk doubted the efficiency of creating a special investigative commission at Verkhovna Rada (parliament). "Not a single parliamentary commission has proven to be effective so far. The impotence of the law enforcement system brings the president’s explanations to zero," she said.

According to the previous report of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) based on information leaks from the Panamanian company Mossack Fonseca, Poroshenko has not yet handed over the assets of his confectionary corporation Roshen to a trust but has created an offshore company for their restructuring. Mossack Fonseca is known for rendering legal assistance in the registration of offshore companies.

Later, Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau said that it would not investigate the fact of existence of Poroshenko’s offshore companies because Ukraine’s incumbent president was immune from the bureau’s prosecution.

Possibilty of impeachment

Under Ukraine’s constitution, the powers to impeach the president are vested with the Rada, which can initiate the impeachment if the president is accused of state treason or any other crime. In that case, Ukrainian deputies are to set up a special temporary investigative commission comprising a special prosecutor and special investigators. If the commission decides that there are enough grounds for starting the impeachment procedure, parliament is to pass its decision by at least 300 votes.

Rada adopts a decision to strip the head of state of his presidential powers by three quarters of the votes only after the Constitutional Court looks through the case.

Oleh Lyashko, the leader of Ukraine’s Radical party, said on Monday that the radicals’ parliamentary faction in Ukraine’s parliament would initiate President Poroshenko’s impeachment.

However, Ukrainian expert and political scientist Ruslan Bortnik told TASS on Monday that the probability of impeaching Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko under the current political and legal circumstances was low.

"In all probability, it’s going to be impossible for the moment. There is no [impeachment] procedure or a special law. The possibility of impeachment is written down in the constitution but there no special [impeachment] law," Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Analysis and Policy Management, said.

He believes that deputies initiating the impeachment may potentially gain some political dividends but since this matter is not legally settled, the whole impeachment procedure, in Bortnik’s view, is doomed to fail.

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