Citizens Voice their Opinions on Constitution AmendmentsPolitics
Ulaanbaatar, May 16, 2023 /MONTSAME/. Chairman of State Great Khural G. Zandanshatar, and Members of Parliament, A. Adiyasuren and D. Ganbat worked in Bayankhongor, Uvurkhangai and Arkhangai aimags on May 12-14 to introduce and listen to citizens’ opinions regarding legal reforms which the Parliament is carrying out, specially the draft amendments to the Constitution.
On May 13, the Speaker and the MPs convened a meeting with public servants of Bayankhongor Aimag. The meeting began with a presentation on measures to be taken by the State Great Khural regarding salary reform for public servants. The State Great Khural plans to discuss the issue of increasing the salaries of the 225,205 public servants, who are paid from the state budget, after discussing and making its decision on the draft amendments to the Constitution.
“The State Great Khural members consider it appropriate to address the problem of the salary gap of government employees taking into account the economic growth of Mongolia, external and internal factors. Reforms in governance and social policy are necessary to improve the economic situation. Improving governance, fighting corruption, and having a transparent government are crucial to improve the economy and the quality of life of every citizen. Therefore, the State Great Khural has set a goal to carry out legal reforms for combating corruption during the spring session of 2023. Corruption elimination will naturally expand the economy, thereby solving many problems, including those concerning human development. Decentralization and reduction of congestion are also essential and these goals are regarded as the basis of legal reforms,” said Speaker G.Zandanshatar.
Subsequently, the public servants of the province expressed their opinions and asked questions about the public service reforms and changes to the Constitution. The public servants expressed gratitude for the adoption of the Law on Ethics of Public Servants. Additionally, the issue of raising wages and providing housing for public servants was discussed.
While some of the participants of the meeting were in favor of improving the parliament's ability to represent citizens by increasing the number of members of Parliament, some others expressed their disapproval of raising the MPs number to 152, which is stipulated in the draft amendments to the Constitution.
Chairman of the State Great Khural G. Zandanshatar, informed the public servants that the Parliament had approved the Law on Inspection and following the law ad hocs were established in the Parliament and raised the Development Bank case, which led to demonstrations, and three successive public hearings of evidence. Currently, the trials of the associates of the Development Bank case are running openly. An ad hoc, appointed by the Parliament also investigated the case of "coal theft" and held a public hearing on the matter. As a result, such incidents are expected to be prevented from happening again by bringing such issues under public scrutiny. It was also considered that the state and the people should take control of the extraction, exploitation, and export of mineral resources,” noted the Speaker.
Furthermore, a number of anti-corruption legal changes are scheduled to be made during the upcoming spring session, such as the approval of the Law on the Legal Status of Whistleblowers and the discussion of the National Anti-Corruption Program. The Speaker added that the statute of limitations for office and corruption cases was abolished, and the policy of sentencing for corruption cases was tightened by changing the criminal law.
Later that day, Speaker of the Parliament, G. Zandanshatar and the MPs met with the citizens of Kharkhorin Soum of Uvurkhangai Aimag, where one citizen expressed her gratitude for listening to people’s opinion on the changes to the Constitution as people had not had the opportunity before.
The citizens attended the meeting expressed divergent opinions on increasing the number of members of Parliament to 152 and some of them suggested that rural representation should include farmers and herdsmen, teacher and doctors, instead of only business representatives.