Ukraine wants to reduce the political and economic influence of the very wealthy. Parliament in Kiev on Thursday approved by a clear majority a similar controversial law.
The new law provides for the creation of a register of so-called oligarchs. Then they are not allowed to support any parties, not to participate in privatization and they have to disclose their assets.
The oligarchs are basically the owners of the media whose value is in the millions and at the same time they have a monopoly in their main field of business and are trying to exercise political influence. The law is valid for ten years.
Siege of opposition broadcasters
The main contentious issue was the ruling on which the National Security and Defense Council, made up of the president, decides who will be included in the registry. The head of state, Volodymyr Selinsky, had recently imposed a blockade on opposition television channels and websites through this council. His opponents accuse him of cleaning up the media landscape ahead of his possible re-election in 2024 and eliminating potential rivals. Because Silinsky was also supported by the oligarchy.
Before its passage, Parliament’s Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmila Denisova wrote that the draft was unconstitutional. Parliament Speaker Dmytro Rasmko wanted the draft to be examined by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which announced that it would take place in December. The parliamentary majority voted for the president without waiting.
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