Ukrainians seeing corruption ‘way too often’



Three major parliamentary parties have agreed to form a new coalition on March 29 and nominate parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Hroysman to be Ukraine’s new prime minister, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

But prospects of forming a new coalition – vital to get IMF loan talks back on track – were thrown into fresh doubt on Tuesday after Yulia Tymoshenko pressed demands as the price of taking her Fatherland Party into an alliance, Reuters reports.

Corruption remains a serious problem across Ukraine, according to a new poll released today by the International Republican Institute’s Center for Insights in Survey Research:

In the poll, conducted in 24 of the country’s largest cities, an overwhelming majority of citizens rank corruption as a significant or serious problem, including more than 70 percent of people in the nation’s capital, Kyiv. In some cities, more than a quarter of respondents report having to do a favor, give a gift or pay a bribe to a local official to get things done….

While corruption remains a problem overall, trust and approval among Ukrainians of their local mayors has increased since last year. In half of the cities surveyed, more than 40 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the October 2015 mayoral results and in some places, like Kharkiv, Lviv and Ternopil, well over 60 percent approve of the mayor’s activities and reforms. According to the poll, one of the most popular reforms of the last year was replacing patrol police in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odesa. This reform resulted in a significant boost in citizen approval ratings of the police.

“It’s clear Ukrainians know corruption when they see it. The problem is they’re seeing it way too often,” said Stephen Nix, IRI’s director of Eurasia. “This problem can be solved if the Ukrainian government and civil society work together to root out and hold accountable those who corrupt their democracy. One significant reform that may assist Ukraine in its fight against corruption is the government’s proposed decentralization reform package, which would give people greater insight into their local governments’ activities and hopefully result in more accountability.”

IRI is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy.

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