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16 Jun, 2022 22:11

Zelensky outlaws more Ukrainian opposition parties

The Party of Shariy and the Left Opposition movement bring the total number of banned political groups to nine
Zelensky outlaws more Ukrainian opposition parties

Two more political movements, the Left Opposition and the Party of Shariy, have been banned by a Ukrainian court. Both featured on a list of eleven political factions suspended in March by Ukraine’s Security Council. Thursday’s announcement brings the total number of outlawed parties to nine.

The Volodomyr Zelensky regime has already outlawed the country's largest opposition group, Opposition Platform – For Life. 

According to rulings by the Eighth Administrative Court of Appeal in the western city of Lviv, all activities of the Left Opposition and the Party of Shariy have been prohibited, with “funds and other assets” set to be nationalized.

As Justice Minister Denis Malyuska explained, the two join other banned “pro-Russian” parties, whose activities were allegedly aimed at “undermining the sovereignty” of Ukraine.

Explaining the court decision, the minister cited the law “On political parties” and amendments to it, adopted in the wake of the Russian military offensive, and simplified procedures to ban a political party for the duration of martial law.

“Materials on the illegality of political parties are provided to the Ministry of Justice by law enforcement agencies, and with these materials the Ministry files an administrative lawsuit to ban the political party. At the same time, the activity of a political party can be banned only by a court decision,” the ministry said in a statement.

Court hearings on Opposition Platform – For Life have been postponed till June 20. The party was led by Viktor Medvedchuk, a businessman who favored a different approach to relations with Russia and the West. He was placed under house arrest in April of last year, after his faction overtook Zelensky's Servant of the People in opinion polling. 

The politician has since ended up in the custody of Ukraine's security services.

The Party of Shariy was founded in 2015 by Anatoly Shariy, a prominent blogger and critic of the Ukrainian government. In May, the Ukrainian Security Service announced that Shariy had been detained by Spanish police as the result of a “a special operation.” He was later released on bail.

Shariy was granted political asylum in the EU by Lithuania in 2012. Back then, he said that he was fleeing persecution by the government of Viktor Yanukovich. The Left Opposition coalition was formed in 2015 and comprised five political parties, including the Communist Party of Ukraine, as well as more than a dozen public organizations.