Bickering among MPs marked the recent discussion of two draft laws by the Standing Committee on Government Organization. The drafts were submitted by the two major parties on the same subject. Ts.Nyamdorj (MPRP) and Kh.Temuujin (DP) were heard calling each other “pup” and “dog”. It is not exactly new for MPs to be called animals; after the 2000 Parliament election, voters often referred to the 76 MPs as “76 red cows” and in 2008, after Parliament decided to give MNT30 billion as compensation to goats, MPs were for some time called “goats”. Ironically, the draft laws were about MPs’ rights and called for changes in laws relating to Parliament and to procedures of Parliament meetings.
Mining activity has intensified since last October when the Government signed the Oyutolgoi investment agreement. Donor countries and international organizations have cautioned Mongolian officials that unless the income from natural resources is distributed correctly and used beneficially, the country may fall into real poverty. Good governance and a stable legal environment have been called the prerequisites to prevent such a possibility but how to achieve these is still not clear.
In May Parliament approved certain directives about formulating new laws or amending present ones, indicating that MPs considered the current situation to be not satisfactory. Kh.Temuujin’s draft was supported by 16 MPs and recommended changes in Parliament’s operation, structure, organization and MPs’ working procedures. It also called for improved cooperation between reporting organizations and Parliament, and for reforms in the complex legal environment. MPs’ rights and privileges are defined by the Discipline Law which sets the ethical parameters for MPs’ behavior and actions.
Temuujin’s draft law was not approved. Instead, MP.U.Enkhtuvshin’s was. This had only six clauses which made slight amendments in the previous law. It added, altered and deleted a few words or a sentence from the law in effect raising concern that it is not very good.