Ukrainian lawmakers pass law on oligarchs after attempted assassination

Kiev-The Ukrainian parliament passed a law on Thursday ordering to register with “Oligarch” and not participate in politics the day after trying to kill President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top aide.

The law provides a definition of oligarchy and empowers the president, an organization led by the National Security and Defense Council, to decide who meets the criteria.

Oligarchs are prohibited from funding political parties or participating in privatization. Senior officials, including the president, prime minister, and central bank governor, must declare a deal with them.

Zelenskiy says the country needs to be protected from the powerful businessmen who have destroyed its political system for decades. His opponents say he fears it will be selectively applied to focus more power in the hands of the president.

“Thanks to the anti-oligarch law, Ukraine has a historic opportunity to build a civilized and clean relationship between large corporations and nations,” Zelensky said in a statement.

“Yes, many politicians don’t like it. Yes, they want to live as before and work for oligarchy. Yes, there is a lot of pressure on our agents. There were many plots and even blackmail, but the law was passed. “

The law passed the first reading in July. Thursday’s second reading, passed by 279 votes in a 450-seat parliament, means going to Zelenskiy for approval.

Zelenskiy’s team suggests that anger at the law may be behind an attempt to assassinate the president’s top aide and best friend, Serhiy Shefir. Shepher’s car was shot by an unidentified attacker on Wednesday as he traveled between two villages outside the capital.

The driver was injured, but Shepher was unharmed. Interior ministry spokesman Artem Shevchenko said on Thursday that police were searching for weapons and interviewing witnesses who may be hunting nearby mushrooms.

Former TV comic Zelensky won overwhelmingly in 2019, promising to tackle corruption and curb the influence of the big names that have dominated business, media and politics since the end of the Soviet era.

Opposition lawmaker Oleksi Goncharenko of the former President Petro Poroshenko’s party said the law “creates a large range of corruption” by empowering the presidential body to determine who is the oligarch.