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Question to a President Essay

If you had the opportunity, what would you ask the president or leader of your country, and why?

Nowadays it is a popular trend among leaders of CIS countries to hold Q&A sessions with the people of their countries at least once a year. Mr. Yanukovych, the President of Ukraine, followed this trend as well and held the session at the end of February 2011 just one year after his election. Over 50 thousands of questions were sent prior to the event. One of them was mine. Among the questions on democracy issues, economic forecasts, current reforms in social and administrative policy my question to Mr. President was related to corruption. I was asking him on what steps and when are to be taken in order to overcome social phenomena such as corruption that thrives on all levels of our society. It seems to me that the issue of existing corruption is of a crucial importance to everyone in Ukraine, who has to deal with medical institutions, police departments, higher education system, tax, customs or any other government authorities and even funeral services, meaning that almost every Ukrainian citizen faces corruption during their life or after.

Unfortunately, it is not only the problem of Ukrainian citizens- it affects anyone, who decides to visit or do business in Ukraine. Foreign companies that are planning to start their business in this country are shocked by the level of corruption and often either terminate their activity in this country (Archer Midland Daniels) or decide not to enter first place. This results in a decrease in FDI, GDP, technological development and overall welfare of the country. To realize how bad is the situation in Ukraine with corruption one should see the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, where Ukraine is ranked 134th among the 178 countries covered by the Index, putting it on a par with Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, my question was not among those 38 that were answered by Mr. Yanukovych during his 4-hour session. But taking into consideration the span and the influence of the corruption issue in Ukraine I am confident that either the current or the next President of Ukraine will not only provide the answer, but will actually take the required measures in order to change the situation for better, like it was done in Georgia, for example.


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