President Battulga addresses opening of first session of State Great KhuralPolitics
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga delivered opening remarks at the first session of the new Parliament – State Great Khural of Mongolia.
“Distinguished members of the Parliament,
I congratulate you upon your election as members of the parliament, gaining public trust in the eighth parliamentary election, and wish you success. You have now become legislators during the current period with significant responsibility that comes with a number of economic and social challenges awaiting their solutions, and requires to effectively and promptly perform your tasks and make accurate decisions only. The supreme power of the state is now vested in you.
Since you have assumed the public trust, I wish to strictly remind you that you must remain faithful to the public trust by acting in an ethical and responsible manner, and exert all your efforts to serve their needs and provide greater opportunities for them, instead of taking advantage for the sake of yourselves. Because, shameless acts had been done by some members of the previous parliament, who received a large amount of low-interest loans from the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Fund through the companies that belong to them.
Furthermore, some parliament members committed a series of crimes and unethical behaviors, such as murder, sexual abuse, embezzlement of state fund money and illegal grant of natural resource permits, which caused harm to the reputation of the legislature, supreme branch of government and decline in the public confidence.
It has been revealed that 27 members of parliament, through their acquaintances and related companies, had acquired 1,170 tenders. If you look at the details of statistics on the MPs elected in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, 42 parliament members have possessed more than one special permits (licenses) through their associates and related entities. The last parliament had 18 members, possessing mining licenses, which is a record number. 18 is a number almost sufficient for establishing two parliamentary factions. Special permits that trace back to parliament members total to 230. This means there are 5.3 permits for each parliament members, which is much higher than the country average for each entity.
I expect you to not undertake such unprincipled and unethical actions. You are the representation of the people, and not a group of people with power that enables you to steal ordinary citizens’ opportunities and raise your fortune by billions at a time.
Out of the total 606 candidates to the elections, 27 candidates are being investigated by law enforcement accused of 31 criminal charges. On this matter, the election commission failed to act as the threshold and the filter for candidature to the legislative body. Instead they simply had granted parliamentary candidate passes, which action later created confusions among voters. The General Election Commission simply had neglected their responsibilities. Six candidates, granted with passes by GEC, have been arrested by court orders in the middle of their election campaigns.
GEC hasn’t even intended to address this matter. Their inaction generates public confusion and made the legal actions seem like they are breaching the 35.2.1 of the Law on Parliamentary Election of Mongolia. This is a serious mistake on GEC’s side.
GEC also failed to fulfill its responsibility to raise public awareness throughout the election campaigns. The commission did not stop with only not addressing the controversies, but also generated uncertainties throughout the whole election process and the following events. This cannot go on any longer. These are all rationale to oust the commission. The fact that the commission has been operating with the same composition since 2009 has resulted in such corrupt and complacent attitude. The last elections are the proof we cannot allow such attitude to continue to be applied.
I hereby, from this podium, demand the self-dismissal of the General Election Commission.”
After Your ultimate victory in the elections, the 62 MPP members securing the majority of parliament seats cannot blame the previous parliament for wrongdoings. You have been bestowed with great duty to rule the country for 8 consecutive years. I wish to remind you once again you now do not have the right to avoid accountability. It is Your responsibility now. I call on You to respect the minority’s opinion, and unite Your abilities for overcoming economic crisis, reviving the people’s livelihoods, keeping the workplaces and making optimal decisions that voters trust You with.
I wish the elected MPs from the Democratic Party (DP) to eliminate division among party members, instead, to focus on unison within the faction. The decreasing percentage of votes for DP conveys a strong message from the voters. If You cannot make a real restoration within the Party, it is a sign of eventual doom. The disadvantage of the current electoral system is that the representation of 54 percent of voters could not win seats in the parliament. There is no other choice but to blame the opposition for this matter.
Distinguished members of the State Great Khural!
These elections have left great lessons for You, on the grounds of which You should reflect the right changes in the concerning laws.
First of all, the election system’s approach is needed to change. MPP has secured majority of parliament seats twice by winning only 44 percent of votes. This is a system error. This error entails errors in decision making which will result in public disapproval and hesitation. Today, we are faced with a risk of coming to a “dead-end democracy” or error in the democratic system.
Distinguished members of parliament,
Voters put their trust in You to put all Your effort into overcoming the current economic crisis. All efforts must be put into increasing income from exports, and discovering new export opportunities and passages. Income, nothing else, but only a huge amount of export income can save the economy from failing.
A great number of important issues such as promoting exports of minerals and mining products, construction of infrastructure, alleviating conditions for and increasing mining exports, formulating and adopting related laws and regulations and fair distribution of wealth, await You. Thanks to close and persistent collaboration with the Cabinet, developments at the railway construction connecting Gashuunsukhait with Tavantolgoi and Tavantolgoi with Zuunbayan have been taking place. The responsibility of commencing and administering the project of construction of railroads connecting Altanshireet with Baruun-Urt and Baruun-Urt with Khoot is now in Your hands. The road constructions will become a great impetus to mining exports, because 36 major mineral deposits, including Tavantolgoi, Oyu Tolgoi, Kharmagtai, Tsagaan Suvarga, Manlai, Kharaat Mountain, Tukhum and Tumurtei are located en-route. The next step would be creation of value, construction of processing plants. This is our collective responsibility. As a follow-up to the railway infrastructure construction, utilization of ground water for mining operations needs to be stopped immediately with the help of water diversion and anti-desertification systems facilitated in the Gobi.
Your actions need to start from here and now to live up to Your promises through mobilization of economic projects on agricultural production, processing and exports. Promoting development of tanneries and wool processing industries will be a large contribution to the growth of renewable resource – the livestock farming. After 30 years of discussion, the construction of leather complex in Darkhan has been commenced. This project requires policy support.
Great challenges, great deeds and critical decisions are anticipated.
Thank You for Your attention.
May the people of Mongolia ever prosper and flourish under the might of the Eternal Heaven.”
Office of the President of Mongolia