Proposed amendments to the Constitution

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Following recommendations from the consultative meeting on constitutional amendments, a parliamentary task force on constitutional amendments created the first draft of amendments to the Constitution, which will be debated over by the public in open discussions organized throughout Mongolia until September 10.

The following additions have been proposed in the draft:

Two more parts were proposed to be added to Section No.28. Proposed Section 28.3 states that Parliament is eligible to create a temporary committee to review a public interest issue, and more than a quarter of MPs or a group of a political party or a coalition in Parliament can propose to create a temporary committee to the Speaker of Parliament.
The Speaker is to create a committee of proportionate representatives to Parliament’s majority group and opposition groups.

Section 28.4 states that regulations for creating and operating a temporary committee will be government under other Mongolian laws. Two more parts were also proposed in Section No.46, which states that the selection process of state officials is to be carried out under a merit system, hiring officials based on their professional ability to perform a job and maintaining professional network of state officials, and state and local authorities are to monitor the implementation of the merit system.

Section 46.5 states that an illegal dismissal and pressure to leave state position will be banned following an election.

The following changes have been made in the draft:

Under the current Constitution, Section 22.2 states that Parliament may decide on its dissolution if more than two thirds of MPs consider that Parliament is unable to carry out its mandate or if the President and the Speaker of Parliament both agreed to dissolve Parliament.

The draft has proposed new addition to this section. Proposed Section 22.2 states that Parliament will be dissolved on the basis of the following two reasons:

1. If more than two thirds of MPs consider that Parliament is unable to carry out its mandate.

2. If a new Prime Minister is not appointed within 30 days after the first session of a new Parliament or within 21 days after the previous Prime Minister resigns.

The current Section 27.2 states that regular meetings of Parliament’s spring or fall sessions shall be convened for no less than 50 working days. The proposed Section 27.2 has increased it to 75 days.

The current Section 27.6 states that if majority attendance is achieved in a parliamentary or standing committee session, the session’s decisions will be considered valid. During sessions to appoint a new Prime Minister and Cabinet members, and other bills, decisions will be nade through an open poll, unless a decision to hold a closed poll is dictated in the law.

Under the newly proposed section, the part about “Cabinet members” was eliminated from the current section 27.6.

Section 39.1 states that Cabinet is formed of the Prime Minister and its members, but a part stating that one-third of Cabinet members can hold office as an MP has been included in the proposed Section 39.1.

Section 39.3 states that Parliament will decide appointments of Cabinet members one by one as the Prime Minister puts forward nominations for Cabinet ministers to Parliament, but proposed Section 39.3 states that the Prime Minister must submit his or her decision to appoint or dismiss a Cabinet member to the President and Parliament, and the President is to have the power to ratify or veto the Prime Minister’s decision within 72 hours.

Section 43.2 states that if the Prime Minister or half of Cabinet members agree to dissolve the government, the government shall step down in its entirety, but the proposed draft eliminate the part “or half of Cabinet members”.

Section 43.4 states that when more than one-fourth of MPs propose to disband the government, Parliament will review the dissolution of the government.

The newly proposed Section 43.3 states that if more than one-fourth of MPs propose to dismiss the Prime Minister, Parliament will review the proposal and if the majority of MPs (39 legislators) vote for the Prime Minister’s dismissal, a new Prime Minister shall be appointed with seven days.

Section 46.1 states that ministries, government agencies and other organizations shall be formed under the law, but the new Section 46.1 states that Cabinet has to have five permanent ministries; the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Defense; and the Ministry of Environment. The Prime Minister is eligible to put forward a proposal to form up to seven new ministries in social, economic and infrastructure sectors.

Section 46.3 states that working conditions and social guarantees for state officials shall be regulated under the law. The proposed Section 46.3 states that the independence, legal status to work, working conditions and social guarantees of state officials shall be regulated under the law.

Section 51.2 states that the President shall approve nominees of the judges of the Supreme Court proposed by the General Council of Courts and send it forth to Parliament for final approval. The President has the authority to appoint the Attorney General of the Supreme Court elected by a majority vote by the Supreme Court to serve a term of six years. The newly amended version of the section said that as Parliament approves the nominees of the judges of the Supreme Court, proposed by the General Council of Courts, the President shall ratify the Parliament’s approval within 72 hours, and also ratify the nominees of other judges proposed by the General Council of Courts within 72 hours. Within 72 hours, the President shall ratify a judge who gained a majority vote from all members of the Supreme Court as its Attorney General to serve a term of six years.

Section 57.1 states that the territory of Mongolia shall be divided into administrations of province and capital; a province is made up of soums; a soum is made up of bagas; the capital consists of districts; and a district is made up of khoroos.

The amended version indicated that the territory of Mongolia is to be made up of administrations of province, capital and city; a province is made up of soums and cities; a soum is made up of bagas and villages; the capital consists of districts; a district is made up of khoroos; and a city is made up khoroos.

As the status of city has been added to the proposed Section 57.1, some changes were made in other sections of the Constitution that include terms relating to territory and jurisdiction.

Under the proposed amendments to the Constitution, Section 33.1.3 has been eliminated, which states that the President has the power to instruct Cabinet on issues in the areas of his or her full power, and if the Prime Minister ratifies a decree issued by the President regarding his or her instruction, the decree is deemed valid.

Under the amended version of the Constitution, the Prime Minister’s power was raised up and the President’s authority was decreased. The drafters of the constitutional amendments believe that the amendments will be of significant importance to strengthening state discipline, ensuring government accountability and maintaining political stability. They stated that the proposed draft directly reflect the results of consultative meetings on constitutional amendments, and noted that every Mongolian citizen has the right to present their opinions regarding constitutional amendments during discussions to be held across Mongolia.

During this time of challenging political and economic circumstances, every Mongolian person should pay a careful attention to the work to change the nation’s core document by actively participating in open discussions on constitutional amendments, learning more about the proposed draft, and by presenting their ideas on constitutional amendments to Parliament’s State Structure Standing Committee.

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