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The public’s voice falls on deaf ears

By B.KHASH-ERDENE

The Chair of Transparency International sent a letter to Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg and Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold asking them to reject the Amnesty Law on Wednesday.
“Transparency International is writing to respectfully ask that you reject the proposed Amnesty Law and amendments to the code of criminal procedure, and to express our deep concern that such changes would severely undermine the positive progress Mongolia has made in tackling corruption.”
The letter to the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament is Transparency International’s second attempt to put a stop to the gross attempt by corrupt politicians to get away with their crimes. A press release issued by Transparency International on October 8 called on Mongolia to reject a new law with provisions granting amnesty to those under investigation for corruption.
A partial veto was placed on the Amnesty Law by President Ts.Elbegdorj after it was passed by Parliament in August, on the grounds that it allowed those who abused official powers and the corrupt to run free. Parliament accepted the partial veto in September.
Even though the veto was accepted, the current version of the law still has flaws.
According to Transparency International, the Amnesty Law would result in 45 out of the 55 cases the IAAC is currently investigating being closed, and amnesty would be granted to the accused – potentially sending a message to the Mongolian people that the corrupt can not be brought to justice. The alleged crimes involve more than 32 billion MNT (16.2 million USD) in damages.
“Ahead of the 29th of October discussions on these very important legal issues, we ask that you consider the best path forward for the people of Mongolia and keep the fight against corruption at the top of your agenda,” the Transparency International letter said.
The Amnesty Law has been amended six times since its first approval. The current version was billed to free those who were convicted of minor and accidental crimes and first time offenders, especially female convicts with young children and juvenile prisoners, to help decrease the prison population in Mongolia.
Criticism of the broadness of the law was expressed during the law’s discussion by Parliament.
There have been a variety of debates and conspiracy theories about the bill, and the hidden agenda behind the inclusion of articles that would allow the corrupt and fraudulent to get away with their crimes.
Democratic Party members pointed a finger at former President N.Enkhbayar for the suspicious clauses in the Amnesty Law, as his party (the Justice Coalition) played a big role in the development of the bill. N.Enkhbayar recently returned from South Korea, reportedly after receiving treatment for the health issues he sustained during his hunger strike while imprisoned in 2012. He was convicted of abuse of power and corruption, and then pardoned by President Ts.Elbegdorj in the same year. N.Enkhbayar has been active in gathering supporters in recent months, organizing many conferences with his party members, who are considered a nationalist group.
The Mongolian People’s Party, on the other hand, said the Amnesty Law’s questionable clauses were the result of corrupt members of the Democratic Party. They underlined the fact that Democratic Party has the majority seat in Parliament, which they used to get the law passed in the first place.
Regardless of who initiated the eyebrow-raising clauses in the law, the fact remains that the bill was passed by law-makers, despite strong opposition from within. Knowingly passing dubious legislation is evidence of an overabundance of corruption among the top dogs in the country.
Although the formation of the Independent Authority Against Corruption in 2007 (initiated by the President of Mongolia) and the adoption of the Glass Account Law this year are steps toward eliminating corruption in the country, there is no way around the fact that the general public largely believes that all top state officials are corrupt. Distrust of people who hold state power is widespread, and with good reason.
The poor state of the country’s economy and approval of controversial laws such as the Amnesty Law only further fuels public distrust. This, in turn, affects the course of the country’s development and future by increasing political and economic instability. The recent demonstration of contempt by Dornod Province residents towards Agriculture Minister R.Burmaa, during her visit to the province to promote the Khalkh Gol agricultural free trade zone, is a perfect example of the growing distrust in the government. The locals refused to listen to R.Burmaa, as the agricultural free trade zone was approved without consultation with residents, and they blocked roads, refusing to let the minister into Khalkh Gol soum.
It is sad to see such disreputable individuals lead my country, and to watch the public grow evermore frustrated. It is the hope of this journalist that the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament heed the words of the people and make the right choices to leave behind a respectable legacy.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=16658

Posted by on Oct 29 2015. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “The public’s voice falls on deaf ears”

  1. The only surprise here is that anyone should be surprised. Those of us who had such high hopes for Mongolia in 2009 have become so accustomed to the scalp-crawlingly horrific acts of the Mongolian Government since those days of such promise that we hardly notice them now, except to pity the people they claim to represent and actually rip off wholesale. This latest move is merely absolute confirmation from the horse’s mouth (or have I got the wrong end?) that the country is indeed run by the criminally and suicidally insane. What of the PM’s hand-wringing promises now? When you have criminals in charge of purging criminals this is what happens. Goodbye FDI indeed – what were Rio thinking of when they renegotiated Phase 11? It is absolutely inconceivable that a contract can be reliably enforced in Mongolia, and we have seen that apply in international commercial cases over and over again where the Mongolian Government has publicly stated its refusal to comply with international court judgements. Imports are now priced out of the market by the actions of this bunch of incompetent robbers and so once- thriving businesses that gave the Mongolian people access to reasonably priced imported commodities, like decent food, have been driven out. And now the Government of Mongolia wants to free the its convicted members and create a law and precedent so they can do it all over again. Just how are these people’s brains wired?

  2. You are a joke. Spineless and led by incompetents. You should be ashamed. Say good bye to FDI.

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