Constitutional Amendments Adopted

By Julian Dierkes

While some details remain curiously unclear (as is so frustratingly often the case with Mongolian legislation and reporting on it, the Ikh Khural approved a number of constitutional amendments on Nov 15. While these are subject to a presidential veto, it seems like Pres. Battulga will not be vetoing these amendments so that they are likely to enter into law.

It thus seems like the uncertainty Mendee and I wrote about in October will come to an end without an election (until the regular June 2020 election) and without a referendum.

Here are some of the most significant changes that have been approved for 19 of the 70 articles of the constitution (no official translation available yet):

  • Natural Resources – (1) exploitation of natural resources will be based on long-term state policies, benefits to the National Resource Fund to improve the living conditions and equal distribution; (2) citizens have a right to know the environmental impacts of natural resource exploitation; (3) strategically important deposits will be governed by the public.
  • Political parties – (1) structured along democratic principles and financially transparent; (2) state funding for political parties will be governed by law [implying revisions to the law on political parties but also public funding for political parties would be funded by the state].
  • Policy continuity – (1) parliament determines policies (social development and economy); (2) parliament cannot increase the proposed state budget; (3) restrictions on changes to long-term developmental policies.
  • Referendum – prohibits conducting a referendum which threatens the country’s independence and sovereignty.
  • MPs – (1) can establish temporary investigative sub-committee with support of 25% of MPs; (2) recall an MP or violations of the Constitution, their oath or criminal convictions;
  • Government – (1) Prime Minister and four cabinet posts can be MPs; (2) Prime Minister changes the cabinet members without parliamentary debates and presidential consultation;
  • Presidency – (1) minimum 50 years old; (2) single, six-year term;
  • Judiciary General Committee – (1) total 10 members: 5 members would be appointed by judicial professionals, 5 members would be openly contest; (2) work for only single four year term;
  • Judiciary Disciplinary Committee – will be established – the committee will have power to remove or take disciplinary actions against judges;.
  • City status – all provincial centers, Darkhan, and Erdenet will gain city status.

These amendments will enter into force on May 25, 2020.

As more specifics about these amendments become known, we will discuss more of the implications of these amendments.

About Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He toots
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