Public Councils attached to ministries under siege
According to the Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Iryna Bekeshkina, Public Councils attached to ministries and other public bodies are being forcibly taken over and the very idea of the public having impact on the activities of State institutions totally negated.
Ms Bekeshkina was specifically referring to the Public Council attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Public Councils are consultative and advisory bodies which any number of representatives of civic organizations should be able to join. They theoretically exist so that the public take part and have the power to control the activities of the authorities.
However some financial, or even criminal groups, have seen the opportunity to push their own interests, Ms Bekeshkina warns. She says that for this purpose a huge number of fictitious civic organizations have been created, whose members have joined such Councils. She says that it’s very easy to take over one of the Public Councils. You need only register civic organizations, and gain a majority on the Council. Elect the Chair, and the deed is done!
Ms Bekeshkina says that just such a seizure recently took place during the founding meeting for a Public Council attached to the MFA. A pastor of the Assembly of God Church, Oleksandr Korman, was elected with numerous infringements and no quorum. Members of an organization with no relation to foreign affairs became members of the Council, while no specialists from analytical centres who have worked in the area of international policy for many years, got on it.
Radio Svoboda said that it had tried to contact members of the Assembly of God throughout Friday. It also noted that the founder of the Church is presently involved in several criminal investigations.
MFA spokesperson, Oleksandr Dykusarov asserted that it was all a matter of self-organization of those who come to the meeting. If that’s their decision, he said, we can’t influence it.
Kyrylo Kulykov, National Deputy, believes that the technique used in the MFA could spread and create a threat to national security.
From a report at Radio Svoboda
The sad story of the destruction of the Public Council attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs would seem orchestrated for different reasons, but is no less worrying. See