Do we need new constitutional amendments now?

The Constitution of Mongolia

In recent years, constitutional amendments have been a topic of debate amongst a number of politicians, legal scholars, specialists, and the public. Many of them say that a lot of sections of the Constitution, which was adopted in 1992, are still relevant to today’s circumstances.

Legislators and government officials often talk about enhancing the legal and regulatory environment for foreign investors and entrepreneurs in Mongolia to pursue foreign direct investment, and to deal with the nation’s economic challenges, when they meet with foreign delegates and talk to the public about actions the government is taking.

What is the new government doing to fix the problem?

How will politicians create a better legal environment for businesses in Mongolia? Making amendments to the laws that need to be changed to pursue foreign investment is the first priority. The problem is that some amendments are in violation of the Constitution, so there should be some amendments made to the Constitution as well.

For the new government’s first step, on November 23, Prime Minister J.Erdenebat instructed Cabinet Secretariat J.Munkhbat and Minister of Justice and Interior Affairs S.Byambatsogt to set up a task force made up of legal scholars, specialists, and experienced lawyers to cooperate on drafting amendments to the Constitution. The task force was formed with 15 members and its first meeting was held on December 23.

What will the task force do?

The task force is going to conduct three months of studies throughout Mongolia to listen to people’s opinions on constitutional amendments.

In reality, most people are not familiar with the legal ramifications of constitutional amendments, so the task force’s responsibility is to tell people why we need constitutional amendments and how constitutional amendments could change their lives, as well as how they would influence the economy, help maintain political stability, and address many other challenges facing society today.

During their first meeting, members of the constitutional amendment task force and former Member of Parliament M.Batchimeg pointed out that if the task force focuses on specific points by listening to what issues people want to see addressed in changes to the Constitution, its findings will be effective.

Task force member Ts.Davaadulam, an official who has gained quality experience working for an international organization, stated that studying international perspectives and experiences is of significant importance to making amendments to the Constitution. She noted that when people are asked if making constitutional amendments is correct or wrong, they will give limited answers, so the task force will concentrate on creating a specific and focused survey for the public.

Prime Minister J.Erdenebat noted that the task force will decide what topics and sections of the Constitution they will work on, as well as what decisions to make. He said that the Cabinet’s responsibility is to provide the task force with the resources and independent status it needs to carry out its operations,  and to find out what changes the public wants to see.

During their first meeting, a majority of the task force members agreed that the group has to focus on specific issues by outlining their objectives.

During a conference on Mongolia’s independence and foreign policy held this past week, Head of the Security and Foreign Policy Standing Committee J.Enkhbayar noted that there should be to dramatic changes made to the Constitution to meet the needs of today’s responsibilities concerning diplomat affairs and to keep up with international standards. He noted that the opinions of legal specialists and experienced lawyers, and their collaboration, are of great importance to making changes to the Constitution.

Some lawyers and legal specialists are reminding people talking about constitutional amendments to remember a statement made by the most important author of the Constitution,  B.Chimed, that the key to political stability is to adhere  to the Constitution.

If constitutional amendments are simply focused on adhering to the concepts behind national security and making the current Constitution stronger, we don’t need to make any changes to the Constitution.  The amendments should help us deal with the challenges facing us.

Making constitutional amendments is a very complex issue requiring comprehensive research and thoughtfulness. State officials and legal specialists carry a great responsibility in pursuing this matter, and everybody has to pay great attention to constitutional amendments, because everything in society is guided by the Constitution.