by Mendee Jargalsaikhan & Julian Dierkes
In May, we wrote a primer on the Independent Authority against Corruption. The АТГ has been back in the news recently, partly because of on-going investigations against former politicians, but also because of battles between various politicians over a prominent corruption charge, the so-called ₮60b case, but also about the appointment of the agency’s leadership.
Below, we offer a brief recounting of the sequence of recent events involving the executive, legislative and judiciary with their various angles of jurisdiction over the IAAC.
Appointing the IAAC Leadership: The Executive
On July 17, 2018, President Kh Battulga sent a letter to M Enkhbold, Chairman of the State Ikh Khural, to call a special session of parliament to change the Independent Authority Against Corruption leaders, who, in the president’s view, are not making any efforts investigating and resolving the ’60 billion tugrug’ case. Again, yesterday (July 25), President Battulga delivered another letter to M Enkhbold demanding to have the special session on July 30 with the ultimatum of responding within the next two days. The Chairman’s response to the President’s initial letter (on July 19) stated that parliament should wait for the decision of its relevant standing committee.
During the parliamentary election campaign in 2016, conversations of then-MPP leader Enkhbold and other party officials to trade public posts were leaked. Since then, Kh Battulga and his campaign managers have been nudging law enforcement agencies, especially the IAAC, to investigate this case. Also, apparently, a change in the leadership of the IAAC has been a priority for Battulga’s team. Earlier this year, the presidential office tried to appoint new director and deputy director using their self-devised social media nomination process, which has been refused by the parliament.
Leading the Charge in the Legislative: Oyun-Erdene
In his letter, President Battulga mentioned 26 MPs who are supporting the request for a special session to have public hearing on the 60 billion tugrug case, and cc-ed MP Oyun-Erdene. Recently, MP Oyun-Erdene has become quite vociferous on the 60 billion tugrug case. First, he requested an update from the IAAC on June 18, filed a motion for a public hearing on June 29 (along with 19 members), and then requested a special session on July 10 with support from 25 members. Based on consultations with the Chief Prosecutor’s Office and a response from the IAAC, the Chairman of the Judiciary Standing Committee decided not to conduct a public hearing. According to Oyun-Erdene, the current director of the IAAC should explain the investigation of the ’60 billion tugrug’ and several ongoing cases, especially related to the 51 percent of the Erdenet mine.
60 тэрбумын асуудлаар Нийтийн сонсгол хийхээр 19, Ээлжит бус чуулган зарлахаар 26 гишүүн нэгдээд хариу алга!
Оронд нь АТГ с хариуцлага тооцуулах бичиг авав.
Монгол улс сонгогдон байгуулагдсан Парламентын засаглалтай юу? Дарамталж тогтоосон АТГ засаглалтай юу?
Хамт харцгаая! pic.twitter.com/JPR0iquOdi
— Л.Оюун-Эрдэнэ (@OyunerdeneMN) July 23, 2018
Иргэдийн эргэлзээг тайлж, үнэн худлыг өөрөө илэрхийлсэн Гэрчлэлийг сонсох гэж л дэлхийн улс орны парламентууд “Нээлттэй сонсгол” Халуун сандал гэгддэг арга хэмжээг хийдэг түүхтэй.
Манайд ч энэ л агуулгаар энэ хууль батлагдсан. Хууль хэрэгжүүлэхгүй бол батлаж яах юм???!!!! pic.twitter.com/bg0r5bMue8
— Л.Оюун-Эрдэнэ (@OyunerdeneMN) July 24, 2018
Getting the Judiciary Involved: Darkhanbaatar
Relatedly or not, in June 28, Mr. O Darkhanbaatar filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court that parliament is not changing the current director and vice director of the IAAC since both have served the remainder of terms of previous Director Ganbold and Deputy Director Khurts, both appointed on November 17, 2011. Mr. Ganbold was relieved upon his request in April 2015 and current director Enkhjargal was appointed in June 2015. Deputy Director Nyamdorj was appointed in 2015 following Khurts’ resignation. When President Battulga wanted to replace these directors by the social-media candidates, the parliament ruled out the justification arguing that current leaders must serve the legally-mandated 6 year terms. The Constitutional Court hasn’t responded to Darkhanbaatar’s complaint.