(AFP) – Ukraine’s parliament bowed Thursday to pressure from its Western lenders and delayed voting on legislation giving it the power
to remove heads of the country’s nascent anti-corruption agency.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has come under political pressure since launching a series of investigations against top
officials in the past year.
A bill submitted jointly by President Petro Poroshenko’s ruling party and its coalition partner granting parliament the right to remove corruption
investigators appeared to be the last straw for the IMF and World Bank.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday the global lender was “deeply concerned by recent events in Ukraine that could roll back progress that has been made in setting up independent institutions to tackle high-level corruption”.
She said the work of NABU and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) — a partner agency that is also under attack — was “crucial to
achieving stronger and equitable growth”.
The World Bank echoed Lagarde’s unusually blunt remarks in a statement issued on Facebook on Thursday.