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Ukraine leader calls urgent meeting after repeal of anti-graft laws

KYIV, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called an urgent meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday to discuss the fallout of a ruling by the Constitutional Court to abolish some anti-corruption laws.

The court said it saw as excessive the punishment set for false information on officials’ asset declarations and struck down some critical powers of the key anti-graft body NAZK, which in turn said the court had destroyed the anti-corruption system.

“Recently there have been signs that certain entities are trying to revise key parts of the social contract in Ukraine, which provide for zero tolerance for corruption and any form of opacity in public administration, the presidential office said.

“It is unacceptable.”

Zelenskiy called recent events “crushing blows” inflicted on Ukraine’s achievements in the fight on graft, and added that some laws would soon be brought to parliament to make such crises impossible.

Earlier this week, Zelenskiy promised to keep the fight against corruption on track, vowing to use his powers to preserve or reinstate the reform requiring officials to declare their assets and face prosecution for illegally amassing wealth.

The court ruling could also affect some reforms outlined under a $5-billion deal with the International Monetary Fund.

The government secured the IMF deal in June, but the Fund has held back some funds over concerns about Ukraine’s performance in tackling graft and adopting reforms. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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