Activists, MPs and ordinary citizens demand dismissal of Prosecutor General
On Monday a rally took place near the presidential administration in Kyiv. Several dozens of activists, MPs and ordinary citizens have come together to demand the resignation of the prosecutor general – Viktor Shokin. Ukraine's general prosecution office has been under a lot of criticism for not willing to fight corruption not only in the country but also within its own ranks.
Daria Kaleniuk Anticorruption Action Center Executive Director: "We will not allow him to maintain this soviet system of prosecution, which intimidates people. We don't believe even that this prosecution can be reformed. Because it doesn't exist. It's an organized criminal group, and not a prosecution."
Kaleniuk leads an anticorruption watchdog NGO, which itself became the most recent target of the general prosecutor's office attack. Last Friday, the court granted the prosecutor's office a request to seize banking documents of the NGO. Daria Kaleniuk believes President Poroshenko should have acted.
Daria Kaleniuk Anticorruption Action Center Executive Director: "We're here now to ask our president "what the hell is going on"? this is not what we were asking for during Maidan, this is not what we were expecting after Yanukovych ran away. It is up to the president to initiate resignation of Shokin, it's up to the president to ensure that the parliament has enough votes to accept this resignation. President has the largest faction in the parliament."
Among those, who spoke to the participants of the rally was Mustafa Nayem – member of the parliament from the Ukrainian president Poroshenko's fraction. Nayem believes it's not entirely up to the president to have Viktor Shokin let go:
Mustafa Nayem, Ukrainian MP, Petro Poroshenko Block: "We are ready to vote against him, we are ready to vote and resign him, but we hear several voices from insdie the general prosecutor that you know what – you will not have enough votes to resign Shokin."
As the rally was winding down the representative of the presidential administration came out to the protestors. They gave him their demands and we caught up with him to ask the official position of the President of Ukraine on the general prosecutor's resignation.
Rostyslav Pavlenko, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine: "The president has already submitted the resignation letter from Mr. Shokin to the parliament and the parliament committee has already voted on that, so tomorrow we anticipate the voting in the Rada and then there will be the appointment of the new PG."
People, who came to this rally hope this will be a final push on the parliament and the president to finally dismiss the general prosecutor, who has been critized for months for not being able to fight the corruption within his agency. Some hope that the decisive voting will take place in the parliament tomorrow. And we will be in the parliament covering this news for you.
This is Volodymyr Solohub and Denys Savchenko reporting from Kyiv for Ukraine Today.