The Fight Against Corruption: A Conversation With Potential Parliamentarians
8 July, 2019

With the snap elections just around the corner, we gathered representatives of two parties set to get around 50% of the national vote to explain what their parties – totally new to Ukrainian politics – can bring to the table.

Two weeks remain until Ukrainians head to the polls to elect the new formation of their parliament, so Hromadske sat down with Anastasia Krasnosilska, number 8 on the party list of Servant of the People, and Ivan Prymachenko, number 23 on the party list for Golos (“Voice”), to clarify their parties’ position on a variety of issues, where both parties coincide and what sets them apart. 

Political parties are not our enemies – our enemy is really this old corrupt system

Prymachenko, who is the founder of educational platform Prometheus, is confident that his party can fight for the needs of Ukrainians. He believes that the “real experience and real achievements,” that party members have fulfilled without any political power will prepare them to take on corruption from an oligarchical system. 

I think with MP power [we] can achieve much more

Reforms in healthcare and anti-corruption, and the realization of ProZorro, an online government procurement system, are all accomplishments referred to by Prymachenko as those Golos members contributed to. To him, it's not about parties but about whether a politician is effective or not. 

READ MORE: Rockstar Vakarchuk Announces First 10 Names on Golos Party List

Similarly, Krasnosilska, a former activist and fighter for anti-corruption measures as a member of the board of Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), asserts a pragmatic and focused approach to politics. For her and for Servant of the People, it’s about actions and results. 

“I'm more used to judging by actions," was Krasnosilska’s response to the procurement of Ivan Bakanov, a childhood friend of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to the post of deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Today, Krasnosilska works closely with anti-corruption legislation. Emphasizing the measures that President Zelenskyy has made during this short time, she points to the “improved” illegal enrichment draft law as an example of what to expect from Servant of the People.

Setting a concrete plan, Krasnosilska points out four key measures to bring an end to corruptive practices. In alignment with Golos, she and her party believe in limiting the influence of oligarchs on TV and promoting antitrust legislation. Furthermore, she highlights the importance of providing open access to all eligible businesses to state resources and punishment, on all levels, for corruptive behaviors. 

“Our main focus is really pragmatic and efficient steps to achieve real changes for Ukrainians”- Krasnosilska on the goals of Servant of the People

If the latest polls prove accurate, Servant of the People would hold 42,3 percent of the vote and Golos 7,2 percent. 

When discussing tariffs, both parties point towards anti-corruption measures. While Golos relates the root cause of the problem as economic growth, both agree that introducing proper measures in order to achieve corruption-free practices and a stable of rule of law is the first step in creating a solution.  

Both agree that there is no simple solution to the problems that face Ukraine today. When discussing the conflict in the Donbas, Prymachenko points to the contradictory policy. For Golos, creating a unified front through expert and civil society discussion takes precedence in identifying a solution. 

Prymachenko describes compromising with Russia as an “extremely dangerous idea.” Nonetheless, he highlights the importance of delivering a worthy solution and in his words sums up the Golos position, “punish Russia, but care about Ukrainians.” 

On the other hand, Servant of the People, outlines three specific goals. First, establish a peaceful ceasefire, second, return political prisoners, and third, rebuild the territory. On the third front, President Zelenskyy has already announced a measure to bring in both foreign and domestic investments. 

READ MORE: Second Wave: What Does Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People Party Promise to Ukraine?

Despite the focused plan, Krasnosilska underlines that in resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine, there are “no shortcuts.” For her, it is not about whether Ukrainians and Russians compromise or not, rather, whether the administration follows Ukrainian interest or not.  

Both parties seem to have the same underlying goals and values and when discussing a coalition, the parties emphasized their willingness to cooperate with like-minded parties. However, the results of the election are not yet known, what Ukrainians want is still unknown and whether we will see a solid coalition or not is yet to be decided.