Cabinet appoints NABU head selection commission, with conditions
Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers resolved on Feb. 15 to appoint all six members of the commission for the selection of the National Anticorruption Bureau (NABU) director, the NGO Anti-Corruption Action Center reported on Feb. 15. Earlier the same day, the Cabinet appointed five commission members and refused to appoint the sixth one, international expert Drago Kos, who is also a member of the commission for the selection of the head of Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor’s’ Office (SAPO). In the latest resolution, the Cabinet explicitly stated that a member of SAPO head selection commission has to leave it to become a valid member of the NABU director selection commission.
According to the Anti-Corruption Action Center, such a condition for Drago Kos is unlawful and it might spoil the selection processes of both the NABU and SAPO heads. Recall, the commission for the selection of the SAPO head could have completed its work back in December, when it had calculated that Vitaliy Klymneko had gained more points (246) than his competitor (229). However, the commission members representing the government refused to vote for Klymneko’s appointment on Dec. 21, Dec. 24 and Feb. 3.
Recall, SAPO has had no head since August 2020, while the tenure of the NABU director expires in April 2022. Both bodies are important parts of Ukraine’s anti-corruption infrastructure, so the independence of their heads from power brokers (as promoted by Ukraine’s western partners) is important. For the government, such bodies’ independence is considered a threat.
Alexander Paraschiy: There is no doubt that the government will be doing all its best to appoint “dependent” figures at the position of either NABU and SAPO head, or to block their activity by leaving them without a head (as is going on with SAPO for almost 1.5 years). Western governments, who have promised generous financial support for Ukraine over the last week, might demand their appointments in a transparent manner as a precondition for some of the upcoming loan tranches.