Thursday, March 16, 2006

A bid to take over the SBU?

This is one of the problems with a government that lacks transparency and with courts that are up for sale to the highest bidder--people can't have any confidence in the end that a policy decision isn't some sort of power play. And the opposition can play the ambiguity for all it's worth, which can be a lot here.

A case in point:

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko fired several high-ranking Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) officers, local media reported. The head of the Resources and Logistics department Vladimir Yaremtchuk, the head of the Personnel department
Vladimir Rogalin, the head of the Procedural and operative department Vladimir Porodko had to resign following the presidential decree. This may be connected with the recent taping scandal, connected to the ex-SBU head Aleksandr Turchinov.

Ukrainian Interior Minister wants to take over the SBU Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko wants to take over Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), local sources report, quoting ex-Finance Minister Sergey Terehin. Answering the questions on the taping case involving ex-SBU head Turchinov, he noted that the latter resigned 7 month ago, but the taping scandal somehow was invented now, before the elections. Lutsenko, to his mind, initiated the scandal to take over this post, as the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko plays to his hands, knowing that Lutsenko will not be supported to take the post of the Interior Minister again, as he made enemies with most of the local politicians. Yushchenko can place him to head the SBU.

To remind, AIA already reported that previously Lutsenko demanded to pass under his jurisdiction the control over the investigation of corruption cases on the highest levels of the government, control over the border guard units and subordination of the Emergency Control Ministry of Ukraine. The local experts noted that the next move of Lutsenko will be taking over the Security Service of Ukraine. He already hinted his intentions when recently criticized the SBU for hampering reforms inside its structures.

Corruption has always been the problem here. It is an added tax on everything; it deforms policies and politicians; it allows government officials to do pretty much what they want without any threat of reprisal; and it leaves the people without any confidence in government. ANd democracies, in the end, need the confidence of their people to function. This all means that reform, as difficult as that is, has always been the solution. That there hasn't been much of it is a real pity.

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