Draft anti-corruption law announced
Member of Parliament J.Batzandan announced yesterday that he has introduced a draft law that would restrict the rights of high-ranking state officials, in order to prevent corruption.
According to the draft law, state high-ranking officials, their spouses and children would not be permitted to have accounts in foreign banks, they would be restricted from investing in foreign companies, they would not be permitted to buy shares in foreign companies, and they would not be permitted to gamble. Moreover, the law would require high ranking officials who are married to foreigners to obtain Mongolian citizenship for their spouses.
J.Batzandan said in a statement, “This law would not be applied to all citizens. It would only apply to high ranking state officials. I am not requiring them to divorce, only to ensure their spouses obtain Mongolian citizenship. If these people can’t meet such requirements, they can’t dedicate themselves to Mongolia.”
Mongolia currently has over 100 high-ranking state officials. These include the members of parliament and high-ranking civil servants. If the law is adopted, officials will be given a period of three months to comply with the requirements under the law.
The following is the interview with MP J.Batzandan.
-You intend to limit some rights of the high ranking state officials. What are the restrictions?
-Currently there are around 100 high ranking political officials in Mongolia countrywide. Majority of them are ministers and chairmen. The draft law I have initiated includes the provisions to prohibit the state high ranking officials to; possess real estate in foreign countries, to hold shares of foreign companies, to buy the stock and shares of foreign companies, to have a savings and bank accounts in foreign banks and to take loans from foreign companies. Moreover, the draft law prohibits high ranking state official to own; alcoholic beverage and cigarette producing companies under the name of family members or to hold shares of entities who import alcohol and tobacco. Gambling activities either domesticallyor in foreign casinos will also be prohibited as well.
-You said that for a high ranking political official to have a foreign wife or husband influences the national security of Mongolia. Does the draft law include a provision regarding that issue?
-In many foreign countries you have the right to serve in a high ranking position when you have a foreign wife or husband, in the case where their foreign wife or husband becomes a citizen of that country. For example it is demanded that a husband or a wife of a candidate in the election should be a citizen of that country also. Thus, I am conducting a public poll through Facebook and Twitter regarding this issue. Some people said that thisis a violation of human rights of a citizen.
If sportsmen compete in international games under the name of the foreign country, he or she have to become the citizen of that country. Accordingly to fulfill that demand, the Mongolian shooting sportsmen G.Munkhbayar became the citizen of Germany. The draft law is not about dismissing him or her from the position. I just want high ranking state officials to respect their Mongolia.
In terms of a lawmaker, I think that the high ranking state officials should waive some of normal citizen’s rights because they know state secrets of Mongolia. With this law I want to stop incidents of transferring capital and possessions that is earned in Mongolia overseas.
-The idea to have a foreign spouse is controversial and disputed among people?
-I am not demanding high ranking state officials who have a foreign spouse divorce, but I want them to become a citizen of Mongolia. If the draft law will be adopted it will be apply only to 100 people who are serving in high ranking state positions. The high ranking state official should understand that they are not an ordinary citizen.
-How many of that 100 high ranking state officials have foreign spouses and how many of them allocated their capital or assets overseas? Is there any survey on that matter?
-According to the information from citizens, high ranking officials of Mongolia have; private landin the United States, Ships in Jeju Island, houses in Hainan and have allocated great sums of capital in foreign banks. I won’t reveal the private information to public but if the law isbe adopted, these individuals will be given to these state officials to transfer money back to Mongolia.
-Are MPs promoting your draft bill?
-Many MPs are supporting the draft bill saying that it is correct in terms of the principle. Anyway, I received comments from the Independent Authority Against Corruption and I am waiting for comment from the Government. But, I face some attacks when I tell high ranking state public servants to stop casino gambling. High ranking state officials should enhance these standard of Mongolia.
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