Ulaanbaatar City Mayor E.Bat-Uul appeared on the television talk show “Uncensored Interview” and spoke about his son, B.Chuluudai, and his offshore company named in the Panama Papers.
The Panama Papers investigation revealed the names of Mongolian citizens who own offshore accounts or who are involved in offshore investments. Your son B.Chuluudai was listed among Mongolians who have established offshore companies. What do you say about that?
First of all, I have given an explanation to the media about this situation. Some local media has written misleading information, saying that B.Chuluudai owned an offshore account. I have already explained that my son established an offshore company, but it struck out before even opening an account.
Secondly, thanks to the freedom of the press, I learned that my son was trying to set up an offshore company just like everyone else. My son is a father to three children and is in his mid-thirties. He is the leader of an independent household. I don’t chase after Chuluudai’s daily life. He is living in accordance with his rights provided by the Constitution. He is running lawful business operations.
Did you speak to him about this issue?
When I found out about it, I asked him what was happening. He told me that he tried to set up an offshore company in 2011, but it was struck down, not even obtaining an account.
What if it is discovered that Chuluudai’s offshore company made a large number of transactions?
In that case, I will give up my position. I will resign on my own straightaway. No matter if the company Chuluudai set up made a small or large number of transactions, if Chuluudai’s story of the company being struck down before opening an account can be proven false, I will give up my position.
Besides giving up your position, could you give up your career in politics?
Yes, I could. People in high-ranking state positions, like me, can’t tell lies. We should keep our word and should bear responsibility for what we’ve said. I can promise that I work and live under strong ethics.
It seems difficult to be the child of a politician and to have famous parents.
Being born to a family in politics means being responsible throughout your entire life. You know, I have one thing that I regret. I was a member of parliament when Parliament was discussing the bill on corruption and personal income and interest conflicts. Back then, I brought one issue up several times and could not get any support. I used to say, “Well, a parliamentarian and his or her spouse declares an income. According to international experience, their children should declare their income as well. In particular, their closest relatives, siblings, and children should also declare their income and assets. Otherwise, this law will be incomplete. In general, a state serviceman is a person involved in the public’s interests. Therefore, all their income and assets should be transparent.”
The parliamentarians did not accept my proposal, saying, “The children of parliamentarians are independent individuals. They are an individual household, they have independent and separate businesses. They can’t be supervised just because they were born as the child of a politician or born the siblings or relatives of a politician.”