Ukraine Plans to Curb the Power of the Rich Elite

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The Ukrainian parliament has passed legislation to curb the influence of wealthy people in business. That happened a day after a car carrying a top adviser to President Zelensky was fired upon with an automatic rifle.

 

Rich tycoons are known as oligarchs also have a lot of political influence in Ukraine. Businessmen who fall under the new law will soon be banned from financing political parties or being part of the government. They also have to register their assets and are not allowed to participate in privatizations.

Businessmen must meet several criteria to be considered an oligarch. Among other things, they look at their assets and their influence on the media. Ukrainian media previously estimated that about ten Ukrainians will be affected by the tightened rules.

Zelensky’s employees had suggested there may be a link between the new legislation and Wednesday’s shooting. Then strangers near Kyiv fired on the car carrying top presidential adviser Sergei Shefir. He himself was unharmed. His driver was injured.

The legislation will not come into effect immediately after parliamentary approval. The president has yet to sign. Critics within the opposition portray the law as populist. They believe that Zelensky can better strengthen the rule of law and legislation against monopoly formation.

Political newcomer Zelensky won the 2019 election after promising to fight corruption. He himself is not counted among the wealthy business elite. The president made a name for himself as a comedian before his political career. He played the role of a teacher who became president in a hit television series.

Opponents of Zelensky may be hindered by the oligarch law. His predecessor and political rival Petro Poroshenko, nicknamed the ‘chocolate king’, owns a candy empire and television channels, among other things.

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