Head of Venice Commission advises Poroshenko to suspend lustration and improve anti-corruption law
Ukraine should suspend its lustration of government and make improvements to the law on clearing corrupt officials out of government, President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio said on Tuesday.
Buquicchio proposed to include in the Constitutional Commission a member of the Venice Commission - former Polish Prime Minister and expert in the field of constitutional law Hanna Suchocka.
As reported by the press office of the Ukrainian president, Buquicchio called for the suspension of Ukraine’s lustration efforts at his meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday.
A statement on the meeting said that the main topics the Ukrainian president and the delegation of the European Commission "For Democracy through Law" (known as the Venice Commission) discussed were the need to amend Ukraine’s constitution and revise the law on lustration.
When speaking about the law "On cleansing power" (lustration), Buquicchio said that the law was "bad", and the Venice Commission is very critical in its assessment of the legislation.
"But we have come to a joint opinion in discussions with your representatives, the Minister of Justice, and agreed to work together on finalizing and bringing this law into line with European standards," Buquicchio said.
The president of the Venice Commission said the process of lustration should be suspended in Ukraine while the law is improved.
President Poroshenko, in turn, stressed the importance of Ukraine’s cooperation with the Venice Commission in elaborating amendments to legislation in the context of implementing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union and the need to bring the country’s legislation into line with European standards.
The president of the Venice Commission said that his organization is ready to help Ukraine in the development of its legislation.
"We will work as quickly as possible," Buquicchio said.
An expert delegation of the Venice Commission is expected to arrive in Ukraine next week and will hold a series of meetings, in particular with the Ministry of Justice.
Buquicchio praised the president's proposal to create a Constitutional Commission for integrated development of necessary amendments to the Constitution. According to Buquicchio, fundamental changes in legislation cannot be made without amending the Constitution.
In addition, the Venice Commission is also ready to provide expert advice regarding the draft law on judicial reform, once the bill is considered in the Verkhovna Rada, as well as on the introduction of amendments to the constitution regarding the decentralization of power.
Buquicchio noted that decentralization-related amendments have to be made as soon as possible within the framework of the Constitutional Commission, taking into account the need for ensuring legislative support for local elections.
"You are doing a lot to establish an atmosphere of dialogue, to reach a peaceful solution and respect for the law in the state," Buquicchio told Poroshenko, adding that is was very difficult to carry out reforms in such a difficult situation as the country now faces.
"But you have to, because now everyone is watching Ukraine," Buquicchio said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, in December 2014 President Poroshenko announced his intention to create a special commission on amending the constitution to enact local government reform.
Poroshenko said on Monday that the Constitutional Commission would be formed by the end of the week.