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D.Battsogt: ‘Justice’ Coalition was pressured into taking a break in accordance with the ‘Double Deel’ Law

By B.DULGUUN

The following is an interview with MP D.Battsogt who has announced his withdrawal from the “Justice” Coalition of MPRP and MNDP in Parliament.

 What are your reasons for withdrawing from the “Justice” Coalition in Parliament?

Until I made my decision to withdraw, I honored the decisions of the “Justice” Coalition of MPRP and MNDP, established after the 2012 Parliamentary Elections. As decisions are made by the majority of votes after openly discussing issues, submitting to principles is a matter of legitimacy. I will not hide the fact that there were disagreements between members’ views and opinions and times when people were judgmental to ministers, who are working in the government in accordance to the quotas of the coalition, and the House of Altankhuyag. Since the “Justice” Coalition was established with the DP, I worked with the thoughts to make the work of this government as stable as possible and to see the results. It became difficult to reconcile with some unjust decisions and so, I have decided to withdraw.

Is your decision connected to the Strategic Partnership Agreement to be established between DP and MPRP?

I guess there’s no need to hide. There were disagreements in the coalition while discussing the draft of the “Double Deel” law. The President submitted this draft law currently implemented by Parliament. Since the first discussion session, our coalition members came to an agreement to strip ministers of their positions. We were firm on this decision and DP in Parliament took a break in accordance with the law. This lasted for more than 60 days from the end of the Autumn Session until the opening of the Spring Session of Parliament. As the Spring Session began, the break of the DP ended and the “Justice” Coalition took a break. Our coalition received pressure to take a break in accordance with this law. It’s alright to take a break once for a coalition who is working together in the ruling the government in respect of each other’s influence. However, as soon as the break ended, the coalition was requested to take another three-day break. I understood this as a request made by the government and the Prime Minister. Even ministers working in the government and with MPRP started to pressure us and under no other circumstances, we agreed.

There are many issues that need to be discussed by Parliament starting from the measurements that need to be taken to overcome economic difficulties and issues. There’s no need to give repeated breaks, force the society into confusion and halt Parliament with a law that’s already become clear. I shared this point of view to the coalition and handed in my letter of resignation to withdraw due to our collision of views

Is the Democratic Party pressuring the “Justice” coalition in Parliament to take a break in accordance with the “Double Deel” draft law connected with the agreement to be established between DP and MPRP which was publicized by the media?

The initial agreement of the members of the “Justice” Coalition to strip ministers of their positions changed at the beginning of the Spring Session into supporting the coalition’s views. Only members working in the government disagreed. A talk to summarize and unite ideas and views of the coalition members started. Even the head of the coalition said that we would work well together. There were always disagreements. They shouldn’t be giving such influence to MPs who have sworn to make decisions based on their own convictions, honor the interests of the citizens and work righteously. Hence, I told them that I can’t work with them and would withdraw from the coalition. I got the withdrawal officially approved.

Before the Strategy Partnership Agreement between the two parties was publicized by the media, I received a notification that a session with this topic was to be held. I didn’t believe it at first.

Seeing that the agreement was done separately from MNDP which is co-ruling the government, was it necessary to be a secret from you?

Probably. In any case, drafts rumored several days earlier have found their way onto paper and are being transferred into bills.

Although ministers aren’t expressing their thoughts about the “Double Deel” law, they are searching for ways to keep their position. DP is threatening to dismiss MPs who support the draft law, to begin implementation from July 1, 2014. Did the coalition receive this sort of pressure?

I’m thankful to DP members who supported the “Double Deel” draft law for conveying their convictions. Disregarding MP’s convictions and thoughts, accusing them of betrayal and threatening to dismiss them is a controversial issue. Parliaments of generations of the last 20 years had defined that it’s wrong to be working as both an MP and a member of the government but weren’t successful in resolving it. The President brought it up and submitted this matter which became an expectation of the citizens and a demand of the society. Currently, Parliament is discussing it. If Parliament is the organization that approves the law, they should first show a good example themselves.

If they truly see the law as a violation of the Constitutional Law, they can get the Constitutional Court to make the decision.

Instead of establishing a secret contract and obstructing the law in Parliament to find ways to save the government, couldn’t the members of the government and DP just have gone to the Constitutional Court saying that the law submitted by the President is in violation of the Constitutional law?

Supporting and approving this law doesn’t mean that we want to have ministers humiliated and dismissed. If they truly have worked diligently to help the economy and if it brought prosperity, they can defend themselves. However, the state economy is in crisis with the MNT exchange rate decreasing by 30 percent and now, the citizens don’t have any money. While the situation is worsening, ministers shouldn’t be defending themselves. It’s not wrong to invoke responsibility with ministers who didn’t work efficiently. Keeping the wrong things in the name of keeping the government stable doesn’t bring good results.

A year ago when someone held up a minister to dismiss, I used to tell them that we should have him working instead. At the time, the results of their works hadn’t been shown. Now it’s different. The deadline for results has expired. Now, we can only state unprogressive matters honestly.

 It’s a fact that MPs influence and get influenced by one another in actions to resign from the government. Furthermore, there are suspicions that MPs are bribed during draft law discussions and get money for supporting particular laws. Is it true?

I don’t know. I’ve never received money from anyone when laws were approved. I can’t deny that there are MPs with all sorts of interests. Among MPs, there are many wanting to make decisions for the sake of the country and its development. There are also those who serve fractions or groups and distort decisions for their benefits. I don’t think MPs get money to approve laws. Overall, we have come to a time when we need to think about the reputation of MPs and this institution named Parliament.

 

As soon as your withdrawal from the “Justice” Coalition was announced, news of you entering DP or MPP was spread. Did you choose the party you’re entering or did you get proposals from these parties?

 

I only announced that I withdrew from the “Justice” Coalition, not from MNDP. Some media reports wrote that I am following the “Shonkhor” fraction, entering DP, or I am to enter MPP following after S.Byambatsogt etc. Somebody is spreading these rumors because they’ll gain something from it. Truthfully, I haven’t even thought about entering a party. Some friends have told me to enter their party as a joke. I didn’t interpret it as an official invitation.

If DP or MPP asked you to leave your party and enter theirs, what choice would you make?

I’m thinking of becoming a free MP who makes decisions independently, supporting the issues I want to support and disagreeing with those I disagree with.

How did the Head of the “Justice” Coalition and the Party Chairman receive your decision to withdraw from the coalition?

After I made my decision, I didn’t meet the Party Chairman. So I don’t know his thoughts. Before I officially handed in my letter of resignation, the head of the coalition seemed to have thought that I was approaching the matter emotionally. Since I handed in my resignation, we haven’t met.

From an MP who withdrew from the coalition, will you be asked to give up your position as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy? Are you prepared?

I heard that the members of MPRP talked about taking away my position as the Chairman of the Standing Committee. When the coalition was established, the MPRP and MNDP agreed that the two will manage the two Standing Committees of Parliament; therefore, this issue will be decided by MNDP. If they ask me to give up my position as the Chairman of the Standing Committee, I have no reason to decline. I will give up my work.

 

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Posted by on Apr 27 2014. Filed under Топ мэдээ. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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