Reformer of the week: Jaanika Merilo
Jaanika Merilo, an Estonian-born reformer, was ranked on Dec. 21 as the top contributor to startup businesses and investment in Ukraine by PaySpace Magazine.
Merilo used to work for investment and startup companies. These include Estonian Investor Association, Estonian Development Fund, US Invest AS, Estonian Business Angels Network and BrainBasket.
She is an advisor to Dnipro Mayor Borys Filatov, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan and Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy and previously also to ex-Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius.
Merilo has also been pushing for the introduction of electronic tickets in public transport. Parliament’s transport committee on Dec. 21 approved a bill on such tickets.
Merilo has been a key promoter of e-government and the ProZorro electronic procurement system in Ukraine to reduce corruption in public services.
Merilo is also an advisor at Estonia’s parliament, head of the ICT Competence Center non-governmental group and an expert at Ukraine’s Agency for E-Government.
Anti-reformer of the week: Oleksiy Gorashchenkov
Oleksiy Gorashchenkov, a top official at the Presidential Administration and an ex-aide to President Petro Poroshenko, is a front-runner in the competition to head the yet-to-be-created State Investigation Bureau.
Gorashchenkov has told the competition commission that he had little cash due to a low civil servant’s salary and had to sell an apartment, according to a Dec. 16 Nashi Hroshi show. But he later told journalists that his salary had allowed him to accumulate about $100,000 in cash.
He also told the commission that he had been a “successful” lawyer but later told journalists that he had never been a lawyer.
Civic activists, including Oleksandr Lemenov, say the commission does not have a single member independent from the authorities and is set to choose a Poroshenko loyalist.
Other leading candidates for the job include Yuriy Makedon, a lawmaker from the Poroshenko Bloc, and Olga Varchenko, a prosecutor at the department accused of fabricating political cases on behalf of Poroshenko’s top allies Ihor Kononenko and Oleksandr Hranovsky.
Another top candidate, Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios, is also controversial due to the extraordinary wealth in his electronic declaration and because he was a top official at ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration.