Publication “the Panama dossier” on the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has provoked a political scandal: the opponents and even the President’s supporters discuss mechanisms for holding the leader accountable for hiding offshore accounts from the investigation before impeachment.
What has become known about Poroshenko
In the investigation of the international consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ) and the Centre for the investigation of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) published April 3, tells that the confectionery business Poroshenko (Roshen) was placed in an offshore company in the British virgin Islands (BVI) . Offshore Prime Asset Partners Ltd, registered in 2014, became the holding company for Ukrainian and Cyprus entities Roshen, and the head of the state is its sole owner.
This company President Poroshenko in their declarations for 2014 and 2015 did not specify, said the journalists.
The Prime Partners Asset shares have no par value, assured journalists Makar Senyk, managing Director of investment company ICU and for being a financial Advisor for the sale of Roshen Corporation. That is why the offshore company was not specified in the Declaration Poroshenko, he explained: the requirements of 2014 I was able to do it. However, according to the documents obtained by OCCRP, from the moment of registration on August 21, 2014 shares Prime Asset Partners Ltd. actually worth $1000, and their sole owner was recorded Poroshenko.
There is no reason to check
The President of Ukraine on Monday afternoon wrote on his Facebook that as President, withdrew from the management of the business assets and has instructed their consulting companies and law firms. Now he expects asset managers “will provide in-depth explanations for Ukrainian and international press.”
The corpus delicti in the actions of the President there, said Monday the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. The information was “previously studied by experts of the prosecution, who saw in it a criminal component”, said the Prosecutor of the Prosecutor General Vladislav Kutsenko.
The national anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) in a statement in Facebook wrote that the actions of the President cannot become the subject of the proceedings, as they have no powers to consider the case against the leader of the state. In respect of other persons referred to in media reports, is currently “being investigated for the purpose of establishing bases for carrying out pre-trial investigation.
The threat of impeachment
The most serious claim of the opponents was the fact that the re-registration of businesses to offshore Poroshenko was engaged in August 2014: at a time when the South-East of Ukraine was one of the bloodiest episodes of the war, the battles at Ilovaiskaya. “During the War for independence we have a President huckster”, — said in his Facebook MP of the faction “Samopomich” Yegor Sobolev. The discovery of offshore companies at a time when the Ukrainian military were killed in Ilovaisk in August 2014, was “cynical”, said Monday the leader of Radical party Oleg Lyashko.
Sobolev also wrote that the President is required “to remove from the presidential chair”. And the leader of the Radical party Oleh Liashko has proposed a mechanism: to establish a special Commission in the Verkhovna Rada to begin impeachment proceedings.
Assessment of Ukrainian political scientist Mikhail Pogrebinsky, to implement the scenario with the Deputy impeachment will fail because the procedure under the law too complicated. According to article 111 of the Constitution, the President can be dismissed by Parliament in case of Commission of high treason or another crime. To initiate the issue of impeachment of the President in impeachment need the support of a parliamentary majority. To investigate Parliament creates a temporary Commission with the special Prosecutor and the investigator. To ensure that the President was dismissed by Parliament need the support of not less than three fourth of the constitutional composition after checking case the Constitutional court.
In the faction of the Radical party Lyashko is 21 people.
Even members of the presidential Unit Petro Poroshenko (PPO) is not the same opinion on the legality of the action of the President. According to the MP from the PPO Mustafa Nayem, information about the offshore carries a reputational damage for the President. He proposed to set up a temporary Commission in Parliament to study the issue. Another Deputy faction, Vladyslav Golub, said “Interfax-Ukraine” that the President acted according to the law, and information “were used solely for the purposes of a political point”.
The faction “Self-help” will initiate the establishment of the temporary investigative Commission in the Verkhovna Rada for an objective investigation “offshore scandal” around the President of Ukraine. Information, according to the statement of the faction, “threatens the institution of the President and creates the danger of the inclusive political crisis in Ukraine”.
The argument of the opponents
The scandal with offshore companies gives an additional argument to the opponents of the President to put pressure on him, says the political scientist Pogrebinsky. Have it on hand, Yulia Tymoshenko, who has already launched a campaign against the President.
Assessment Pogrebinsky, for the President and his entourage the most heavy may be that such information could not be made public without “the approval of the guardians of the United States.” In Ukraine it can be perceived as a sanction for the emergence of new attacks on the President, says Pogrebinsky.
Publication of information about the offshore occurred during the ongoing Ukraine crisis government: the President sought the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, but could not gain a majority in the Parliament to resolve this issue. Poroshenko is currently not in the country — he went on a visit to Japan.
The negotiations on the creation of a coalition and the formation of a government scandal unlikely to affect predicts Ukrainian expert Andrey Busarov: the decision to form a government largely depends on Western partners, who will certainly take these into account, but are interested in the speedy formation of the government and to avoid the scenario of early elections.
The scandal is unlikely to greatly affect the rating of the President, says Bazarov: all two years in power Poroshenko is under pressure and criticized for its oligarchic past. But the scandal could hurt his party, which is trying to boost its popularity ahead of a possible early election.