Yevhen Bystrytsky: Present political crisis is indeed the evidence of successful reforms. It means reforms reached a trigger point and faced opposition of corrupt system


Kyiv, February 15, 2016. Experts on reforms published a statement regarding political crisis in Ukraine. Over 50 representatives of business, society and expert circles joined it. “This crisis in some sense gives evidence of successful reforms, however prejudiced we might be towards them. Reforms in the country reached a trigger point where they faced opposition: hidden corruption, nepotism etc,” said Yevhen Bystrytsky, executive director at the International Renaissance Foundation at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The experts suggested some steps to overcome the crisis. The first step must be cleansing the authorities, creating technical government by new rules and dismissing officials with tainted reputation who lost social credibility. The signatories emphasized the necessity to form a new Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the technical government basis. In this case, members of the government must be appointed on the ground of the candidate’s strategic vision of development in the spheres and exclude any political presentation. Overcoming the crisis of confidence is possible only by changing the rules. Simple rearrangement of surnames in the government will not change a thing,” believes Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, expert on advocacy at the Reanimation Package of Reforms, board member of Transparency International Ukraine. It is necessary to provide the administrative reform at this stage. Ihor Koliushko, chairman of the Board at the Centre of Political and Legal Reforms, said that it is necessary to optimize the function of one or another department instead of downsizing the staff. Real changes must be implemented instead of merging or separating ministries’ structure. Ministries must be given broader autonomy and transparency of the governments’ activity must be provided.

Moreover, the experts insist on reforming the public service and the government. “We pretend we are paying for a civil servant’s work and they pretend doing their work. In this case we will end up only with an illusion of a result, not the result itself,” said Yurchyshyn. Inefficient communications system also causes discontent. Moreover, approval and implementation of the new law on elections is important. It should eliminate the majority component and closed party lists, being the most favourable for political corruption.

Igor Burakovsky, director of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting,
believes that the attempts to blame everything on war and the tendency of reformers to abandon the fight due to the opposition are the most dangerous processes in Ukraine today. “If we continue looking for such excuses, we will have to change the political elite,” he emphasized. The experts are convinced that the society and expert community will be ready to cooperate with authorities regarding implementation of reforms only provided the above stated demands are met. Otherwise, confidence in the present political elite will be quite doubtful.